I haven’t seen a topic about this, so I decided to make this thread. I’ve been asking myself this question in my head for the past week because many people have different views about this. Does having an eye catching story cover attract readers? Since the majority of authors in this community pay for their story covers to be created by many bomb artists and editors. I do think having an eye catching story cover attract and catch readers because the story cover is the canvas of an author’s story. It basically tells what the story is about in a drawn form.
I definitely think it does, but I don’t think it necessarily needs to be a drawn cover. Look at the top trending- there’s a story quite high up (I think top 3-5) with just a simple LL edit.
I recently commissioned a pretty click-baity story cover lol. I’ve had amazing results so far- it’s easily my best performing story ever (trending even higher than when I’ve been on a shelf) and I think a lot of that is to do with the cover (of course the description helps and I’d like to think the story doesn’t completely suck, but I think the cover is 90% of what’s getting people to click it).
After the story was approved to show up on the ranks, my reads and rank just sky-rocketed. It was actually better than any shelf effect I’ve personally had. New readers to a story would be judging it solely on the cover and description, so that’s why I think the cover is the driving force behind the story doing well (but obviously the actual story has to be interesting for readers to continue reading).
I am pretty sure there was on like last week. and I have seen more. but anyway
a good cover properly can catch attention. but a lof of popular stories have edited covers. sometimes you see a story with an amazing cover but the story is bad. honestly a good story is worth more than a good cover. I would never say a cover dont matter but. if the cover is amazing but I dont like the description I wont read the story
When I’m looking for a new story to read then the first thing I check out are always cover and description. Usually, I tend to avoid story covers with half naked people since you see these kind of covers almost everywhere and not only in the romance section (of course, there are exception). It’s just not appealing for me.
But I do think that quality on covers are essential since you want to gain readers. You don’t need to pay an artist. It is enough if you have a cover that isn’t overloaded and if you can clearly see what’s on the cover. It can be the protagonist itself or something what the story is about. Maybe a bright colour you don’t see in every cover helps too.
Well, some people say “Don’t judge a book by its cover” which is true and I agree with it but let’s be honest: if you’re looking for a story then you do look how the cover looks and description and then I decide to read the story or not, right? So yes, I think it does and the cover’s quality matters and should attract the target group.
That’s important too. Good point.
The “target group” for my story was the “typical” Episode reader which is why I went with something click-baity. Good for getting lots of reads.
But if I was writing a thriller/horror and trying to attract people who like those kind of stories, my current cover wouldn’t work. I’d attract the wrong readers and my retention would probably suck.
You made some very interesting points. Part of me thinks that in order to make my story seem more appealing to readers is to pay an artist to make the story cover for me. In my opinion, I think paid story covers are very detailed and interesting to look at. But you are right, an author doesn’t need to pay an artist simply to make their story attractive and appealing. The storyline and plot matters more than a story cover.
There was a cover topic recently about what people like in covers (but I don’t think it was asking specifically if a good cover attracted readers in general) and most people didn’t seem to care if covers were drawn or edited. I’m personally no more likely to click on a commissioned cover than a nicely edited one (and when I say nicely I mean- the picture should be clear and there should be some form of effort put into it, than a screenshot from the app that still has debug elements on it lol).
When I first started promoting my stories on the forums, I was hardly ever including my cover and I think with threads here, when you don’t include the cover, your posts just don’t stand out. And that was sort of what made me realise a decent cover was pretty important.
However, I don’t think having a good cover makes or breaks a story. I’ve started reading stories that I’ve chosen based on the cover before and then stopped reading because I just wasn’t enjoying the story or its content didn’t live up to expectations I had after seeing the cover.
I also think that a story cover attracts readers. Like for me when I’m scrolling through stories, sometimes I will just pick a story that has an interesting or pretty cover . The cover is the only thing that I look at though. I think that a good story description is also important to look at when you are picking a story to read. It’s also important to write a good story description to attract readers too!