A lot of people, especially college-level english teachers will use this old catchphrase, “You can’t tell a book by it’s cover”. While that may be somewhat true in a literary sense, it is absolute folly where marketing is concerned. The book-buying public always use cover art as an initial draw in searchiing for the next book to pick up. Once browsed, a good book will complete the purchase, but frankly, if your cover is crap, that shopper will think the story inside is as well.
My series, The Milward Chronicles is anything but crap. It was once number one in the bestseller list on Fictionwise for fantasy (I kept a printout of the web page), and surprisingly, it made it there with, if I’m honest, a pretty weak batch of cover art done by yours truly. My publisher, Sandy Cummins has, gently but consistently, pestered me to punch up the covers, and so, as you can see, I did so.