So you’re in the bookstore – either an online or brick-and-mortar one; it really doesn’t matter. You know you want a new book to read but you haven’t really decided exactly what you’re looking for. Then you see it. The perfect cover. It features a handsome man with muscular arms holding the heroine in an iron embrace. Her eyes look lovingly – or defiantly – into his as he grips her against the backdrop of a sunset or a raging sea or an alien world. Or perhaps your perfect cover is different. Perhaps it’s a vampire with fangs exposed or a female warrior defending her fallen comrade against a burly barbarian. Or maybe your perfect cover doesn’t include any of those elements. Perhaps it’s just a tumble-down castle or forbidding forest in some strange, fantastical land.

So do you pick the book up? Most of us will if we like the cover. But just how important is cover art to book sales? To me personally, the deal isn’t sealed until I read the description. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the cover art is; if the summary is flat, unbelievable or poorly written I’ll move along and find something else.

So while cover art doesn’t guarantee that a book will sell, in a world of crowded bookshelves, it can get readers’ attention. And for publishers, getting the readers’ attention is very important.

But beyond that, good cover art can get a book discussed even if the book doesn’t ever become a best seller. There are entire Web sites and blogs devoted to nothing but book design, although I must admit that my absolute favorite can be found here at Cover Café. Not only does Cover Café highlight some truly amazing covers, they also skewer the worst, most cringe-worthy covers with some of the funniest descriptions you’ll ever read.

At Blushing Books, we pay special attention to cover art as well, and the process of creating eye-catching art for our books is an ever-evolving one. Some of our covers are traditional, while others are a bit more racy since – let’s face it – our content can be pretty racy.

But that leads to another question: Just how sexy do you like your book covers? Do you prefer your characters to be clad on the cover? Or  – such as the case of Carolyn Faulkner’s His – does a cover showing skin make the book more appealing?

We’d love to know, so if you have an opinion on any of our covers, please don’t hesitate to contact us. And we invite you to participate in our poll about book covers. What do you prefer? Racy? Demure? Or does it even matter?

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