You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover

Award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson may live east of the Mississippi River, but her heart lies out west on the Great Plains. With a lifelong love of horses and two history teachers for parents, it wasn’t long before her characters found themselves out in South Dakota among the Lakota Sioux.  She loves to put people from two different worlds into new situations and to see how their backgrounds and cultures take them someplace they never thought they’d go.

When not helping out at school or walking her rescue dogs, Sarah spends her days having conversations with imaginary cowboys and American Indians, all of which is surprisingly well-tolerated by her wonderful husband and son.

You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Or can you? That old saying may be true in some deep, meaningful sense—the grizzled, snarly old biker may have a soft spot for kittens and brake for babies—but when you’re talking about an actual book?

You better believe it’s judged by that cover.

So today we’re going to look at some covers for a little compare n’ contrast. And since I’m writing the blog, we’re going to use my covers. (Funny how that works out, isn’t it?)

Here we have A Man of His Word, my December 2012 debut. Lovely, isn’t it? We’ve got our hero and heroine locked in a tender embrace. We also have a campfire, which plays into the plot very nicely. So far, so good. But wait! There’s more! We also have some trees, some sky, some grass, various kinds of boots, and a horse hiding in the shadow.

Whew. That’s a lot going on. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, because I do love the pose Dan and Rosebud are in. She’s not having her shirt ripped off and he’s not bending her into some unnatural, predatory pose. They’re very much equals on this cover, just as they are in the book.

Then we come to my current book, A Man of Privilege. As you can see, it’s a radically different cover. Not a heroine in sight; instead we have our hero taking up a good deal of the image, with only a drink, a captain’s chair, a curtain, a Capitol building, and a lamp (of all things) to keep him company. He screams power and authority, and the look on his face? LOVE.

The contrast between the two book is striking, isn’t it? One is outdoors; the other indoors. One is a couple; the other a determined man. One has a semi-pointless horse; the other has a pointless lamp.

So which is the better cover? That depends on a lot of different factors, the most important of which is how you measure ‘better.’ Is it hunkiness? The Privilege wins, in my opinion. Is it romance? Then Word does it for me. Is it sales? I won’t know those numbers for another six months, maybe more. Is it reader feedback?

Well? Which is the better cover? I’m giving away a copy of A Man of Privilege to one lucky commentator! Plus—bonus—every week I’m giving away one of these handcrafted (by me!) book necklaces from everyone who commented throughout the week! Check the Authorial Moms blog every Sunday to see if you were the winner!

A Man of Privilege Blurb:  She isn’t what he expected.
Blue-blood lawyer James Carlson is working on the case of his life.  After winning this trial, his career will be set.  He won’t let anything...or anyone... alter his course.  Then he meets his witness.
Maggie Eagle Heart makes him question everything--his family, his goals, his future. Because she’s the one woman he wants, and she’s the one woman who is completely off limits. Yet even as he struggles to keep their relationship all about business, he can’t deny the attraction is mutual--and irresistible. 
James has always done what is expected of him…until now.

This post is brought to you as part of the A Man of Privilege/Distinction Blog Tour.  For a complete tour schedule and rules, visit www.sarahmanderson.com. Comments on this blog will be entered to win a signed copy of A Man of Privilege.

Next tour stop is July 10: Romance Novel News

A Man of Privilege is available! Visit your favorite bookseller, at Amazon, or for the Nook.


  1. Hi Sarah,
    I like the Privilege cover more. I just like a man in a suit.

  2. What she said. I'm for the guy in the suit. Love 'The Look'.

  3. Hi Jane and Fiona!

    It is a *very* nice suit, isn't it? *grin*

  4. I love the cover for A Man of His Word! I guess I'm a sucker for trees! And I know the hilarious story about her boots ;) I ALSO LOVE your latest cover, A Man of Distinction. Yum.

  5. I like both covers - but if I had to pick one, I would choose A Man of His Word. I like their embrace.

  6. Hi Jaye and Tammy!

    So the first two votes were for the suit, but I see the cowboy hat is making a strong comeback!

  7. Love Desire. I'd be hardpressed to choose between them. They're both great. Welcome to Get Lost in a Story, Sarah!

  8. Both covers look nice. I like the Privilege cover.


  9. Hi Sarah

    Its really hard to choose between the two. There are factors in both the covers that i like. But i think i like a Man of his word a little better because its more romantic.

  10. A man of Privilege cover is my choice although the other cover is good too. I am just a bit more of a sucker for a man in a suit.

    1. Hi May,

      You won the copy of A Man of Privilege! Please send your address to message AT sarahmanderson DOT com! Thanks so much!

  11. Hi everyone! Bonnell, BN, Sonali, and May--thanks so much for commenting! They're both great covers--I love how the voting is split right down the middle!

  12. Boy, Sarah--talk about a tough question! While I like both (mmm... man in suit!!), I'd give a slight edge to A Man of His Word because I like seeing both the hero and heroine. And hey, horses need cover time, too! ;) Congrats on A Man of Privilege!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net