The One Kind of Book I Just Don't Trust
I know the old saying says not to judge a book by its cover, but I can't help myself. I need my books to have nice covers, or at least conventionally attractive ones, to get my attention. Inevitably, the books that have sat on my shelf unread the longest are those whose content I'm interested in, but the cover just doesn't do it for me.
Even so, I've been known to look past an ugly cover for a good book. But there's one kind of book cover that I just don't trust.
Confession: I cringe whenever I see a book cover that has the author's name larger and more prominently featured than the title of the book.
My reasoning is that the story content should ALWAYS be what's most important. So when the author's name has top billing on the book cover, featured more than the title, it shows the publisher is relying on the author's past successes to sell this book rather than allowing the quality of the book to speak for itself. I don't care about how popular an author is or how well their last book sold.
Regardless of all that, I want to know that this new book can stand on its own as a literary work of art. I realize labeling a book as "good" is subjective, but I feel like at the end of the day, a book I deem good is a book I deem good––the author's name has little to do with that. The author's craft, on the other hand, has everything to do with that. I find myself much more intrigued by an interesting title than by someone's name. I've bought books just based off their title and book covers alone, never having heard anything about the author before or having read their previous work.
Maybe it's an unjust bias against books that are designed in this fashion, but that's how I feel. I'm open to any opinions in an attempt to sway me to think otherwise and I love getting book recommendations, so if you can think of examples to the contrary, share them in the comments!