Guessing what a book is about from only the cover – #1

So I recently put this tweet out:

asking for submissions to tell me the name of a book with no context. I wanted books I didn’t know and hadn’t heard of so I had no preconceived notions of what the story was. I had an overwhelming number of responses for such a small twitter following as there is. So, thank-you writing community you really came through. So I’ll be guessing the first twenty suggestions. I’ll be tagging the people who suggested them and the authors if possible.

So this is my new tag. I don’t believe anyone else had done this but if they have, please HMU. The tag will be called #judgebythecover. feel free to submit your suggestions to it and even to do your own tag and let me know!

PSA: No shade here is intended, this is just some fun. Some indie authors did provide their own books as suggestions. I want y’all to know that this isn’t me judging your book and all of these books are going on a list for me to look at for reviewing etc. With that said, please drop me a note if you would like me to review your book.I can’t promise I’ll always be positive about a book, but I can promise honesty. This is just based on the cover what a book may be about.


Okay, so I know about Dread Nation so we’re going to ignore that one otherwise it’d be an unfair guess.

Here’s No Country for Old Gnomes by Delilah Sawson and Kevin Hearne.


Okay, so the title alone gives me an idea that it’s going to be a fantasy story. Based on the cover this will be about a young girl who has a pet griffin/ meets one. Clearly not set in the modern world and probably in the middle grade age range. I bet they have to journey to the castle/ bridge thing in the background of the image and there’s probably a big lake in front of it.



Okay then, I’ve never even heard of Lawrence Norfolk! I’d say it’s a standalone novel, probably set in the past and relating in some way to someone high ranking. Fish, duck, boar and rabbit are all old traditional foods that would be eaten at feasts and the cutlery is more fanciful so probably rich. One of them is a fish knife. I’m guessing each part of the meal will relate to some interpersonal relationship if this is taken literally and not metaphorically. Maybe each part of the book is named after the course they’re on? I’m going to guess like mid mid to late 1800s. Adult novel, historical fiction, possibly based on a real person?



Okay, so definitely fiction, adult. Stand alone novel. This gives me crime vibes, so probably about the investigation of the death of the girl in the picture. The name will definitely have meaning so Newton’s first law of motion is the law of inertia. So an object will remain at rest or at the same rate of motion in a straight line unless another forces acts upon it. I’d say this means that either the girl was a potential suicide or there’s a series of deaths that are connected. Honestly the cover isn’t telling me a huge amount but definitely a mystery, wouldn’t peg it as a love story. I expect the protagonist is male or the love interest of the girl.


So I’ve read the Night Angel and Mistborn, and I know Assassin’s Quest. Thanks for all the great suggestions, Dakota! So I’m going to do the other two suggestions.


Okay, so adult fantasy fiction. Part of a series, set in a magical world not ‘our’ world. Male protagonist who is the chosen one. Kills a lot of people, maybe used to be a slave or something? Skeletons must be significant so I’d say maybe that’s where he got the blades or something. Maybe he’s an arena fighter or a barbarian type since he’s shirtless. Uses two swords, they are probably magical and he’s the only one who can use them. I’d peg this being written in the early 2000s late 90s.

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Adult high fantasy series. Male protagonist, early 20s, set in a city on the edge of a cliff. Probably caught and in exchange for their freedom must catch the assassins that killed the king.


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Science fiction adult novel series. Female protagonist. Probably a former slave or arena fighter. Must win a tournament to be released. Lives on a space station that has two sections, and she probably comes from the shitty poor one and must win in order to be let into the higher echelons of society and make a name for herself and support her family. Probably has a sister who is dying from some terrible disease. Will fall in love with another competitor or her rich sponsor in the game. Very corrupt government.


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Stand alone adult fiction novel. Historical set in Russian (obvs) probably someone there for some political reason, likely the first or second world war. Stand alone book. Main character is male, mostly likely there to solve a crime or gets involved in a crime.


I know Red Rising so I can’t use that one, and while I’d love to do one of Beth Anderson’s books, I would need a name of one. So I’ll save that for next time!

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Adult novel, non-fiction about the struggle of someone with an eating disorder growing to love their body. Autobiographical, probably due to a massive health scare and ending up in hospital.

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Adult fantasy series set in a a magical world. Not much to go on in this cover so all I can say is it says male protagonist and there’s a magical stag who is like the magic stag king or something? Who knows actually?


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Okay, adult fantasy series about faeries, set in Ireland or Scotland. Probably female protagonist, can’t guess much else on the cover. Based on what normally happens – human girl ends up in the world of the fae or some reason and must rescue someone, probably a younger sibling. Most likely falls in love with the head of a group of fae.

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I’m guessing this is an indie author so I appreciate it’s harder to have covers that they may want. I’d guess it’s an adult, stand alone novel probably about love and maybe set in space? Probably about mental health and possible painting.


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Okay, adult fantasy set in space? Female protagonist, romance? About spiritual enlightenment and space travel…maybe pregnancy?


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Okay, adult science-fiction series. Male protagonist, set in the modern world. Time travel. Set in an old cabin that probably siblings spent their summers in, they maybe go back after a family member dies (probs their dad) and find a way to turn back time. Maybe the world is ending or something and so by changing the past and saving their scientist dad they’re able to prevent a war or something?

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Definitely a romance novel, so definitely adult. As soon as the cover is black I also jump to it’s probably a sexy novel rather than a fluff one. The guy has a guitar so he’s a musician. The description helps too.So she’s a singer and he plays guitar, so maybe they are artists that are forced to work together on a project. At first they hate one another but then when they play music it’s amazing and then they have a lot of sex. Then there will be a scandal, probably on the guys side like it’s suggested he’s cheated, and then they get back together when he performs a bunch of love songs for her in front of millions of people.

Okay, that’s it for now! Such an amazing group of books and now I have a bunch to actually look into. Let me know if I was close on any and if you enjoyed my interpretations and wild guesses. Don’t forget to check out the books listed and their wonderful authors!

3 thoughts on “Guessing what a book is about from only the cover – #1

  1. Pingback: Guessing what a book is about from only the cover – #2 | Inkspit

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