GUEST POST: ‘Book covers sell the story?’ by Paula Limbaugh

Today we welcome Paula Limbaugh for a guest post about the importance of book covers. Paula’s words are not all comfortable reading for us at Greyhart but eloquently makes the point that in order to attract a reader, a book needs the right cover and sales pitch. But what brings in one reader will do the opposite for another.

We’re always interested to know what you think of our books, and the covers are a key part of that. If you’ve got an opinion, we’d love to hear from you.

Over to Paula…

Whether, online or in an actual bookstore the first thing that grabs my attention is the cover.  Walking through the aisles of B&N it’s like they are all screaming “Me, me, pick me!”    If the artwork is good I will read the synopsis, if not I will pass it up unless I recognize the author or if the title is exceptionally catchy.

Recently I was given a copy of VampCon   by Armand Inezian to read as part of the Read… Review… Repeat…! | Greyhart Press book program.   I had asked Tim Taylor to choose a book for me and this was it.  Upon seeing the cover I thought, “UGH, I don’t want to read this!”  I just thought magna.  It took a day or two before I decided to give it a go.  Boy was I ever wrong to judge a book by its cover!  It immediately grabbed my attention and turned out to be a brilliant tale.


This got me thinking “How many other great reads have I passed up?”  So I decided to conduct a little experiment. I showed the cover of VampCon to several people and asked if they would pick up this book upon seeing the cover.  Out of 11 people only 2 said yes, one was an eighteen year old and the other twenty two.  The others asked ranged between 25 to 60 years old, judging by the artwork alone they didn’t think the story would interest them.  Going back and telling the same people what the book was about, I had 5 interested in reading the book.  Next I went on and randomly chose books whose covers were unappealing to me and began reading the synopsis of each.  I actually found quite a few that sound promising.

To complete my little study of the book cover I contacted Jeff Menapace author of the Bad Games series  to find out what determines a book cover for him.  He said he usually has a look or mood  that he’s going for and will even find images online that convey his thoughts, these he will pass on to the artist and let the “magic happen”.  For me the Bad Gamescover makes me wonder what’s going on inside that house, what tale awaits under the cover?


I guess now that I’ve opened my eyes and shed the prejudice; I shall request Reaper’s Walk: Hellstone by Don Franklin to read next.  Again, magna popped into my head when seeing the cover, but who knows what gem I may find!

Reaper's Walk

Reaper’s Walk

FLASH UPDATE!!  Well surprise, surprise, I checked my e-mail late last night and there was Reaper’s Walk: Hellstone waiting for me.  I had asked Tim to choose another book for me and this was it!  I guess I don’t have to request it after all.  I began reading and so far, so very, very good.  Never ever will I judge a book by its cover.

Paula Limbaugh

Paula Limbaugh

Hello, my name is Paula Limbaugh and I am from the US.  I live in a Chicago IL suburb with my husband Dave.  I am a contributor for Horror Novel Reviews | Honesty in the Terror  and have been participating in the Read… Review… Repeat…! | Greyhart Press program.  Back in July I was privileged to be one of the proofreaders for Iain Rob Wright’s novel The Housemates .  There are more books on my TBR list than there is time, but I’m going to try!

Thanks for reading.


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About Tim C. Taylor

Tim C. Taylor writes science fiction and is the author of 21 published novels as of August 2021. His latest book is 'Hold the Line', published by Theogony Books. Find out more at
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3 Responses to GUEST POST: ‘Book covers sell the story?’ by Paula Limbaugh

  1. Pingback: GUEST POST: ‘Book covers sell the story?’ by Paula Limbaugh | Greyhart Press | Thomas Rydder

  2. Reblogged this on Seumas Gallacher and commented:
    ..excellent view on the pullng power of a great book cover …enjoy …

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