Compelling Covers: Would You Buy These Books by Their Covers?

In my research to help create my own book cover, I’ve collected sample covers that catch my eye. I’m also trying to be more aware of my own book-choosing habits, which include being sucked in by an intriguing cover and a good blurb. What is it about certain books that makes me push the buy button?

Here are three more books on my to-read pile that I’ve already felt compelled to purchase, and why I bought in to the commitment.

Since Tomorrow by Morgan NybergSince Tomorrow by Morgan Nyberg

The cover: Neutral colors and an empty, battered playground speak of what once was, and a strange lightning storm tells me this is not a world I know.

Summary: This is a novel of a world in the remaking. The old man, Frost, remembers the “good times.” Those who live on his “farm” among collapsed warehouses and the foundations of vanished houses struggle to maintain human values. But when others in this makeshift world are driven only by greed and the need for power, all values must ultimately be replaced by the simple instinct for survival.

The cover made me curious enough to read the summary which reveals the book to be in the post-apocalyptic genre (one of my favorites). Add to that the author’s writing style evidenced on the first few pages, and I had to buy this book.

Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders by Richard Ellis Preston JrRomulus Buckle & the City of the Founders (The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin, Book One) by Richard Ellis Preston, Jr.

The cover: A zeppelin hovering over a city filled with smoke promises action, but a man wearing steampunk garb tells me this is not a typical period novel.

Summary: In a post-apocalyptic world of endless snow, Captain Romulus Buckle and the stalwart crew of the Pneumatic Zeppelin must embark on a perilous mission to rescue their kidnapped leader, Balthazar Crankshaft, and prevent a catastrophic war which could wipe out all that is left of civilization and the entire human race.

The cover and the title were intriguing enough for me to take a chance on the book. The summary let me know the story would probably not take itself too seriously. There would be humor here, and that would be a nice break from so many of the books I normally read.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher

The cover: A dandified Darth Vader framed in velvet curtains, and icons from the Star Wars universe on display.

Summary: Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this sublime retelling of George Lucas’s epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. ’Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearstome Stormtroopers, signifying…pretty much everything.

Darth Vader sporting a Victorianesque costume. Luke and Leia ready for battle. “A tale told by fretful droids….” Verily, A New Hope. How could I resist?

What do you think? Would these covers compel you to buy the books?

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Speculative Fiction Writer

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