Judging a book by its cover

Curse of the Spider King is co-authored by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper, and it is book one in a series titled "The Berinfell Prophecies."

Judging a book by its cover is a natural and logical tool of every book buyer . Most avid readers will have bought books simply because of their cover art at least a few times in their life. Heck, that's how I found Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, and that was one of the greatest fictional finds of my life.

Still, how often have we picked up a book with a captivating cover, and frowned as we trudge our way through...maybe not even finishing the story.

And then that begs even more questions...how many imaginative feasts do we skim over because the cover art doesn't meet the fancy of our eye?

And that begs an even further question...how often have we read a book, and once finished, look at the cover art and say aloud, "Tis a mismatch!" Well, likely we've never said it in those exact words (I certainly haven't), but one gets the point.

So, back to the Curse of the Spider King, what does this cover tell you about the story within? Having not read the story, this is what the cover tells me:
-Fantasy, Humor (the way the men look riding on the spiders), Tolkienesque, fairy tale, young adult/teen, slightly whimsical (because of the font).


WayneThomasBatson said...

Hi, Brandon, thanks for posting. So true about covers. Funny thing about that Spider King cover you've posted. That's the original cover before CH and I suggested one key adjustment:

The Spiders needed to be way bigger! lol The actual cover shows a much more realistic proportion between spider and rider. In the book, the spiders are very, very large.

Kat Heckenbach said...

I just bought this book and am anxious to read it. I admit that the cover and title had a lot to do with piquing my interest :). Hopefully, the story iside will be a match! I shall soon see...

Brandon said...

Hi Wayne!
Thanks for stopping by. That's great that the publisher/artist made that adjustment by your recommendation. I think it's important that the authors feel the book represents the story properly!

Very cool! From what I've seen in the amazon reviews, Hopper and Batson's stories are quality fiction. Let me know what you think...oh, I'm sure you will on your blog! :)

S. J. Deal said...

The cover of Curse of the Spider King is fairly well designed, centered text, and the spiders are obviously on the move. There is the castle hidden in the trees. However, if not for the ray of light shining down it would have fallen prey to one of the cheif foes of coverdom, being too busy. The ray of light kind of balances that, which is good.

This cover does tie into the book very well however, which is a plus.

Usually the covers that draw my eye are the simplest. For example: Eragon. Just the dragon head on a simple background, just the author name, and just the title, that's it.

Ivorydancer said...

I just finished that book about a week ago and I loved it!

Brandon said...

Hi S.J.,
Good points about the cover. I agree, it's well balanced by the light coming down.
I love good cover art of different styles, but a simple elegant cover is always nice, agreed!

Hey IvoryDancer,
Glad you enjoyed this one! By the cover, it looks like a lot of fun.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Hey all, thanks for coming by. I hope you love the book. I am, at this very moment, pounding the keyboard on the second books in the Berinfell Prophecies series: Venom and Song.

It's due {gulp} Wednesday.

Andra M. said...

My first thought on the cover: Fantasy, possibly for young adult.

It's definitely one I would pick up and read at least the back cover.

Which I'm about to do on Amazon . . .

Brandon said...

Hi Andra,
Yeah, it definitely screams fantasy, and it strongly hints at young adult.

Chris said...

Wednesday?! they just released CotSK a few weeks ago! I am suddenly glad that I don't have to deal with deadlines

KM Wilsher said...

Love this cover art BB, great post :)

I think I have said "Tis a mismatch!" oh that was when I wore pink socks with my emerald dress LOL

This author seems as exciting as his books - Lovin Wayne TB

Brandon said...

Hi Wayne,
Wednessday! Wow. Adrenaline rush time!!

Deadlines helps us get things done...of course, so does self-control. :)

Hey KM :)
haha, I just knew someone said those words! And nice getup...turn that emerald dress in for $$$ and write novels for a living ;)

novelteen said...

I like the cover art, though it was hard to tell they were men riding spiders at first. I thought they were robot/spiders and that the story was going to be a bit more sci fi. You've got to have really good lighting to see the men's legs. They kind of blend in.

Brandon said...

Hi Novelteen :)
Wow, that would be something. Robots riding spiders!

Mike Lynch said...


Brandon said...

Now you're talking old west robots riding spiders!

Robert Treskillard said...

Robots riding Spiders in the Wild West? Sounds like a whole new follow on series for Wayne and Chris!

Brandon said...

Hey Robert :)
Most excellent!

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

What a great way to intro the book, Brandon. I'm notorious for not noticing cover art. Same with this one, until I finished. Then I looked at it closely (something I do when I love a story and don't want to leave it). I was impressed with how much the artist put in that worked with the story.


Krysti said...

I'm a little late jumping in to comment here, but I hope you won't mind: I like the cover art, but when I first heard the title, I said, "Naw. Not reading that one. I don't 'do' spiders."


But then, for reasons I will never understand, I DID read it! I'm glad I did. Now my teen wants to read it too, and I'm so glad I read it, because now I get to share the book with him.

Brandon said...

Hi Rebecca,
I try to post on "unique" aspects of each novel if I haven't read it. So thanks!! :)

Hi Krysti,
That's excellent. I can only imagine the pleasure of enjoying fiction with my children...I enjoy when my wife and I read the same book. Good discussions often.