I think we do judge books by their covers, it's like a promise made to us of what is inside. I remember seeing "An Accidental Tourist" by Anne Tyler and I just had to read it. I was wondering about the title. For me it is the title that makes me pick up a book, and not the cover. They say men are more moved by photos and women more by the written word, so it may be that since I am female it is the title that draws me. I know a title drew me in and before I knew it I had devoured over five Anne Tyler books. Tyler is married to a phsychiatrist, which seems to contribute some to her style of writing since there is always a psychological reason for what the characters too. None of them seem to suffer from out there abuse or poverty and that is just so, just 'cause the author has been in this sort of sheltered life where the biggest problems seem to be in just finding one's way and identity.
Andre Norton, who took a man's name because she wrote man like books and who would read them done by a woman?, has passed away. Mercedes Lackey seem to fill that void very well with stunning language in the Norton tradition. Andre Norton refered to herself as a "staid teller of old-fashioned stories". The Norton title that first drew me in was "Moon of Three Rings" and in it were people who changed to animals and back again on a world where the Moon had 3 rings. This world of villages where people live in the Middle Ages is one we come to again and again, as if this is the home we best understand.
I remember seeing the "Sword of Shanana" and I had to read it this book in the Tolkein tradition.
I guess I will keep on judging books by the title and for the most part, this seems to work in helping me find a good book, very well.