For What It's Worth

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

tell me something tuesday




Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question: Does it bother you when a book cover doesn’t match the characters in a book?

Answer: It used to bother me more when I first started reading/blogging but while I love a good cover – I don’t choose my books because of them and I’m drawn to unique covers more than character covers so….

It used to piss me off a lot in romance when the cover has a blonde dude or girl and then in the book they have read hair or something. But I read so many romance books on my Kindle now that I barely see or remember the covers anyway at this point.

Thankfully Amazon usually reminds me that I’ve read a book before I buy it twice lol

Basically, I’ve given up the fight. I know authors can’t control their covers, there’s a limited pool of stock photos and publishers tend to go for trends rather than accuracy so it’s an uphill battle.

Two things that DO bother me about covers though…

~ whitewashing

If a publisher is afraid to show the characters ethnicity/skin color on the cover then they really need to examine that thought process.There is no excuse that’s good enough. Whether on the publishers or readers behalf.

If you can’t embrace the story as written then that's a problem.

~ Misleading genre covers

This is happening A LOT lately. Cheery romantic covers for books with no romance. Stark thriller type covers that are paranormal or fantasy.

I don’t mind thinking outside the box with covers or mixing things up but not when it feels purposefully misleading. Like they're trying to lure in people from one genre to read another??? I don'tknow but it always leaves me disappointed when the book isn't what I was expecting.

Tell me what you think about covers that don’t match the characters!

51 comments:

  1. I think I'm more with you - I don't read a book JUST because of a cover, so it doesn't really change how I feel about things. However, I don't like when a cover is really misleading and it makes you think one genre when it's something else. Not cool. And whitewashing. Yeah, if the character(s) are POC, SHOW THAT! Or don't use a person at all if you're going to be an idiot about it...you don't just magically make them white, like nobody reading the book is going to find that strange. But yeah, most authors don't have a say in their covers, so I do feel bad about that.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. That pretty much sums up my thoughts as well Lauren.

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  2. preach it. I don't like the whitewashing either. If the publisher can publish that book, then have a cover that fits the cover. I remember so many books that don't match the characters.

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    1. It's also been proven that readers WILL buy books with PoC on the cover. I don't think they are the right people to acquire the book if they're afraid to put their publishing weight behind it.

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  3. It still bothers me when characters on a cover don't match their descriptions but I'm a grouch!

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    1. I don't like it but I guess I don't notice too much anymore. I read most of my character cover books on my Kindle and I don't even see the cover for more than 5 seconds lol

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  4. Totally agree. The covers that don’t match the genre are totally misleading. I try not to pick books based on covers, but it still is a factor.

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    1. A cover may get me to take a look at a book but I've been burned so many times by choosing that way that it isn't my deciding factor anymore.

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  5. I’m not going to read a book *only* for the cover but I admit I do find it kind of lame when the cover models aren’t even close to the character descriptions. I mean, surely the author provides some basics so how hard would it be for the publisher to try to chose models (or even stock photos) that somewhat match. Make an effort, people. LOL

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    1. Yeah. They should! I think it bothers me more though when everyone uses the SAME cover model lol

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  6. Book covers not matching characters (unless whitewashing occurs which is totally unacceptable) but cover models not completely matching how I visualise a character isn't a major issue. I do hate when a cover doesn't fit the genre, though. My biggest pet peeve is an ugly cover on a really good book. The cover should always do the book justice.

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    1. I would love the covers to match the characters but it's not a deal breaker for me - except in the case of whitewashing - either/

      The covers misrepresenting the genre seems to be happening more and more though.

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  7. Another point I did not think of! YES, it does bother me when this book has such a cute cover and I am all aha romance, and there is no romance, no light, and vice versa

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    1. Yes! It's happening a lot lately and it pisses me off lol

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  8. You made two great points. I should probably have thought about the whitewashing issue, but I didn't know there were misleading covers as well. This is just flat out dishonest, trying to take advantage of those people who only glance at the blurb (or read a blurb that's as misleading as the cover...😒).

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    1. The misleading cover/blurb thing seems recent - to me at least. Fantasy looking covers that are paranormal or contemp/mystery or light romance looking for really intense stories.

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  9. I know authors have no control over covers but I still think it's annoying when they don't match. You make really good points that I totally agree with too.

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    1. I feel bad for the authors that have no control. It must be really frustrating.

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  10. See I'm mainly ebooks now so I don't see the cover except when I originally open it lol

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    1. The vast majority of my reads are e-books and I don't even notice the cover either. That's why I almost re-buy the books sometimes lol

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  11. Misleading covers and whitewashing upset me too. If there is a girl with a sword on the covers, there better be at least one girl with a sword in the book!

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    1. I'm seeing so many sword on the cover/fantasy looking covers and then they're paranormal or contemporary...what's up with that??

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  12. Completely agree. I'm fine with small inconsistencies from cover to story, but it really annoys me when a cover has a huge disconnect with what's inside.
    Jen Ryland Reviews

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    1. The most recent one was Morgan Matson's latest. The cover just screamed rom-com romance - perfect summer read and the book wasn't it.

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  13. This actually bothers me sooo much! I don't know if you remember when they tried to do the cover change for Winner's Curse? That was such a huge deal because the girl on the cover completely DID NOT match the main character! So glad they reconsidered!

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    1. Oh yeah - that was a bad move on their part. The original covers worked and the redo - did not.

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  14. I am such a cover-ho, and they are imprinted on my brain once I see them. Therefore, that disconnect really irks me, because I have that picture in my head, which does not fit with what the author is describing in the book.

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    1. I love a good cover but they are all so similar or follow trend snow that it's all a blur to me these days lol

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  15. I've almost done that- bought the same book more than once. When they're all on the Kindle sometimes I lose track! And I agree about both the whitewashing and the misleading covers- droves me nuts when a cover has no relation to the book lol.

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    1. I'm so bad when it comes to e-books. I read so fast and don't really see a cover so the book is gone from my brain a day after I read it. lol

      The mis-leading cover/summary thing is starting to piss me off lately.

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  16. It can be annoying when the MC on the cover is not as they are descibed in the book but generally if the book is good I'm not too bothered. I get more annoyed if a cover is nothing to do with the book as I wonder what the point in the cover is. I do read a lot of Indie books with poor covers so I'm learning to live with it! I agree about the whitewashing-that is always wrong.

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    1. I don't like it but it wouldn't deter me from reading or ruin the book for me. Especially with smaller pubs/authors - they have a small selection of stock photos to choose from.

      The misdirection in covers is happening more now and that annoys me.

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  17. I can't say that it bothers me that much if the cover doesn't match the actual storyline except on one or two occasions. There have been times when I picked up the same title, and because the cover is different, only to get it home and realizing I had a duplicate.(lol) These days, I'm more likely to get irritated by facts that are wrong in a movie. I saw a movie a little while ago that was based in 1922, and when someone was shot, the character said he was going to call a paramedic. That word didn't even exist back then.(lol) Hugs and Happy Wednesday! RO

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    1. Yes, that is irritating. My husband notices ALL of that. Makes for fun movie watching lol

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  18. It does bother me a little. The book cover should be somewhat about the book is some way.

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    1. I thinks it's better if it does but it's not a deal breaker for me unless it's something really bad.

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  19. I agree. The most important job of a cover is to portray the genre and tone properly, and it can lead to wrong expectations and disappointment if it doesn't do that right. But it does bother me when characters don't look right!

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    1. I'm more upset by the tone not matching than the characters lately. I have read so many books thinking it was one thing and it's not. I'm such a mood reader so if I want something light/dark & it's not grrrr

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  20. Misleading covers is a toughy for me. I haven't come across any whitewashing but I have come across males being on the cover when the main character is a female. That is one that really bothers me. I get it, men are hot and the majority of your readers are women, but I want to see kickass women on covers too!

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    1. I had totally forgotten about that but that one annoys me too!

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  21. I don't mind the characters not matching exactly but when they're not even in the ballpark (aka a blonde instead of a black haired dude) then I get twitchy. But, like you said, as I read more on my kindle, I rarely remember the cover when I'm reading.

    I despise misleading covers... If it looks like a romance, and blurbs like a romance it better be a flippin' romance. (<- Insert any genre)

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    1. I definitely don't like ti but unless it's something really glaring I don't care too much.

      The misleading covers though....

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  22. I hate to say that I totally judge a book by its cover, but it’s the truth! If it catches my attention, I’ll often pick up a book by an unknown author just to give something new a try: that totally drives me nuts too though when certain details aren’t reflected on the cover (like hair color for example!).

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    1. I used to be a cover judge-er but I've been burned to many times and discovered a few gems with crappy covers

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  23. As much as I like to see covers matching the characters its not a deal breaker for me. It can drive me crazy at times, but most of the time its not a big deal for me.

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    1. I'm the same. I don't like it but it's not the end of the world.

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  24. This doesn't bother me at all since I rarely forget how characters are described in books, unless it's something that's vital to the character/something that makes them unique. But I do get bothered by misleading covers A LOT. It's hard to pick books up and then just feel ??? when you've actually read it!

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    1. The misleading cover is so much worse to me. I'm a moos reader so if I pick something up based on the cover/blurb then that's what I expect.

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  25. I totally agree with everything you said. And it works for narrators on audiobooks too. I read one where the guy was supposed to have a deep gruff voice and the male narrator had this really soft spoken voice. I ended up not liking the book for that reason.

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  27. It's all misleading. I don't buy the excuse of their just aren't enough stock photos. That's part of my job and you CAN find them. Hair color can be changed in photoshop (seen it done for covers just fine). They're just lazy. Publishers AND indies since I've seen plenty of them do it, too. And get the time of year right. Don't put a spring cover on a book that's entirely during a winter blizzard.

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