Can a cover 'trick' a reader?
My favorite cover snark artist doesn't think so.
"The back cover billed this book as a feminist-historical-fiction-fantasy hybrid. So, I thought "what the heck!" and purchased.
About 2 pages in - upon reading the physical description of the strikingly beautiful main character, Ariane, and the subsequent physical descriptions of her strikingly beautiful younger sisters - I realized I had been tricked! This book is more a Romance novel than anything else, albeit a slightly more substantial and far more engaging read than most "bodice rippers." "
How can a cover "trick" you? It's an inanimate object!
The above is a quote from the Amazon review of this book:
Covers can trick readers as much as movie previews can trick viewers. You see a preview (or a cover) and you expect a certain type of movie. That expectation can be misleading (egregious movie examples lately being, say, Stepmom - a downer about cancer disguised as a romantic comedy).
It's pretty clear to me that the above cover is meant to evoke the feel of the Dorothy Dunnett covers. Check out the font:
My question is (back to books), when is it a good idea? Will a publisher entice more readers than they alienate? Is it a good idea for publishers to put a 'historical fiction' cover on a romance? Is it 'cheating'?