I belong to several on-line mystery groups--DorothyL, 4_Mystery_Addicts, Crime_Thru_Time and others. At some point, the discussion always turns to book covers and their impact/influence on the book buyer.
I am probably something of an anomaly in that I almost always know what book I'm going to purchase without ever seeing the cover. I buy books of authors whose past books I've enjoyed, books recommended to me by others, or those for which I've seen a plot summary that appeals to me.
That's not to say I don't appreciate cover art and it's value. As one whose profession is response-generation marketing, I know the importance of visual impact and how little time one has to catch the eye of your targeted market.
Ideally, the cover should be visually compelling and relative to the story. However, when wearing my collector's hat, I also know if I've started a series whose covers display a particularly style of cover art and the publisher changes that style part-way through the series, I am not best pleased.
In reading all the various discussions about covers, I admit to never having found them particularly interesting. So image my surprise when having watched a short video by Phyllis Theroux on creating just the right cover for her book: The Journal Keeper, A Memoir.
Watch and enjoy (copy and paste link into your browser):
Now the big question: Did the book cover and/or video result in me buying the book? No, it didn't. However, my love of wing-back chairs did cause me to stop and look at the book and watch the video.
Perhaps more importantly, the cover resulted in my writing this blog and passing the information on to all of you, who might never have heard of this book otherwise. Who knows how many of you may buy it? Word of mouth, or post, as the case may be, is a very powerful thing.