In book world we like to talk about how book covers are essential. They are the wrapping on the product and if it’s not done well, then the product isn’t going to sell as well. I’m still on my journey to publication but I want to share a quick story about reading reviews before buying books.

I saw a post on Facebook asking if people read book reviews before buying a book to read. Many people in the discussion said they did read book reviews before buying a book and considered it very important. I said that I do not. I was asked this question:

“Then how you do decide what to read?”

My answer was really simple: Book cover and blurb. If neither grab me then I won’t buy it.

I also feel that reading book reviews might take away from me enjoying a book, or that it might spoil the book in some way. So I don’t read them. I do however, love to read reviews after I’ve read a book. That’s one of my favourite things to do. I love seeing whether a reviewer agrees or disagrees with my opinion on the book.

Image from Amazon UK

So with that in mind I’d like to show you my latest book purchase.

I was strolling through the shops when I paused at the book section. I saw this book. I immediately picked it up to get a closer look at the cover. I loved it. I also loved the title. I knew that I wanted to find out more, so I flipped it over and read the blurb. I loved what I read. So I bought the book. It’s that simple.

I knew nothing about this author, there was no author that I was familiar with recommending this book that would help me buy it. There was nothing but the wrapping on the product. That my friends is the power of a book cover.

I must add something though. If an author I love releases a book I will simply buy it, no questions asked even if I don’t like the cover. If that same author recommends a book to read I will often buy that too. I trust them, their brand and thus their recommendations hold a lot of weight. I still don’t read book reviews on my favourite authors new releases.

What I’m talking about here is for an unknown author, someone I’ve never read before and have no familiar author recommending them.

So what helps you decide what to read next? Do you read reviews as well or are you like me and buy based on cover?