One of the big things the successful indie authors tend to bang on about is the importance of covers. Despite the warning that you can't judge a book by its cover, many readers do precisely that. As an avid reader and chronic book-buyer, I can absolutely attest that I have bought books for their covers. Even when a cover isn't in a genre I care about, if it's eye-catching it can mean the difference between snagging my attention or not. Here is a good example, courtesy of a Kindle weekly deal that landed in my inbox:
LOL! Someone should tell Eloisa James that there's a difference between "I am holding up my skirt in order to run better" and "Here, have a look at my diamond-studded panties. Too much or not enough? Be honest!" and that this cover is leaning towards the latter. Heh.
Seriously, what the hell is she supposed to be doing, some kind of yoga move in a ballgown? Ach, I'm going to have to click over and read the description or it will bug me all day. *clicks over and reads*
Huh. It's a Cinderella story. And the prince is apparently not a total jerk. And the rival woman is apparently sympathetic and likeable rather than a total shrew in need of comeuppance. And the heroine is apparently the active and competent manager of an estate rather than a passive piece of fluff in a ball gown. And there's a pickle-eating dog for reasons entirely obscure to me.
I really don't read romance, but I do like fairy tale remakes. And it's only a dollar. And it kind of sounds like the author was trying to avoid problematic tropes? Which would be totally cool if that was the case. Ah, what the hell. At least I can say I'm broadening my horizons. *tosses book into cart*
It's true that there's no one book cover that will snag every reader on earth. But there are definitely book covers that can catch prospective readers' eyes and tempt them to read your book description just to find out what the hell is going on in your novel. Sometimes that's the first step in snagging a new fan.