Do you judge a book by it’s cover? It’s one of those questions where the politically correct answer, is “Of course not, I judge it by what’s inside”. But do you really? Every time?
Book covers do play a huge role in selling a book and publishers know this very well. I recently heard from an author who loved some covers designed for her book, only to have them rejected by the sales team did not because they weren’t quite right for a major department store chain. They had to be re-designed in a more general, less arty way to attract a bigger market percentage.
If a book catches my eye – whether by cover design, title or author – I read the blurb. If that tweaks my interest, I’ll usually give the book a go. The cover alone is not usually enough to sell me a book, but a well-designed, interesting cover does attract my eye as much, if not more, than a name.
What do you make of the cover for J.K. Rowling’s new book for adults (to be released later this year)? On first glance, I wasn’t keen on the cover. Will I read the book? If the plot interests me, probably. But, looking at the design elements, here’s what I noticed: see how the black “x” trails upwards, leading to the author’s name? The eye goes to the “x”, up to the name and down to the title. The title just ‘pops’ out. Clever, really. The bold colours do stand out and there is a simplicity to the cover, a mystery, that should have people asking, “What’s all this about?” Will J.K. Rowling’s name be enough to get people to buy it? Is the cover, and the debate it’s already stirring, a clever marketing ploy? Are the publishers banking on the concept that any publicity is good?
Here’s another book cover to consider – A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty. I’m waiting for a proof copy (the book’s due out later in the year) ahead of a review. The blurb sounds intriguing:
Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World – a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie’s Tea Shop. Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello – where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours. They are worlds apart – until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white – the slim seam of a letter. A mesmerising story of two worlds; the cracks between them, the science that binds them and the colours that infuse them.
The blurb fits the cover beautifully – I like the crack edging towards the purity of the rainbow. Author Markus Zusak (The Book Thief) has this to say about the book: ‘Perfectly strange, and absolutely comical and heartfelt… Jaclyn Moriarty is one of the most original writers we have.’ Sounds impressive – I’m intrigued and looking forward to reading it for myself.