Rather, I want to look briefly at how people really do "judge" a book these days. With many of the books being purchased these days coming from electronic shelves filled with millions, rather than hundreds, of books. Is it really practical to look through the covers anyway? While it is certainly possible for a book's cover to cause someone not to buy it, the single most important factor in someone's book buying decision (or any online purchase for that matter) is the reviews and ratings.
I'm sure that everyone of you has looked at the reviews for a book or some other item and said, "wow, most people have liked this so I am willing to take a chance on it, or vice-versa" I've included a capture of the ratings and reviews summary from Amazon for In The Image of Man. This basically says two things to prospective buyers.
First, those who have read the book enjoyed it. Or perhaps, knew the author and were biased.
Second, not very many people have read the book, or at least liked it well enough to rate and review it.
It is certainly possible that the actual text content of the reviews will help sway someone to try the book anyway. However, this isn't as likely as if a hundred people reviewed it and had positive things to say.
This is why I am running a book giveaway over the next week where someone will win a free signed copy of the newly edited version of In The Image of Man simply by writing a review and dropping me a note so I know about it. Now it might seem odd, to offer a book to someone who has read it, but many people have only read the ebook and could still use a physical copy. Also, as of yet, no one has a signed copy of the new version.
If you've read a book, not just mine, and enjoyed it, let others know. We authors, and prospective readers, need your feedback.
'Til next time!