|Goggles? Airship? Female protagonist?|
TAKE MY MONEY NOW!
You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover—but you do. Everyone does. This is why marketing exists in the first place. There are literally (see what I did there) millions of books, all clamoring for a reader’s attention. That cleverly engaging first line/first page of your work may not even be seen if you a reader is unwilling to pick up the title because the cover is unappealing.
The cover, for the reader, could easily be considered the true first page of the story. It sits right there for Thor and everyone to see, and it gives an immediate first glimpse into the story. Images of a goggle-wearing protagonist with a crashing airship reflected in one lens immediately tells your reader what kind of story this is likely to be. If the cover is dull or drab (unless you’re writing in a dull and drab genre) readers are less likely to be interested.
More, the cover helps convey the quality of the work to the reader. If you're asking people to pay money for something, you owe them a certain amount of value. The cover can provide one assurance that the work about to be read meets some basic requirements of story and editing. A professional cover lets readers know that they aren’t paying for a rough, first draft of the story.
Good cover designs, like the first line/first page of your story, draw the reader’s attention. The artwork can take hold of them emotionally, and make them want to turn the pages—which is ultimately any writer’s goal.