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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Comment on Covers

I realized that I had 2 posts today about covers without reminding you all how much I LOVE covers as an RA tool.

Publishers spend a lot of time and money designing covers. They use them to tell a story to readers about what they can hope to find inside of the book.  They want to sell books and the cover is their best marketing option

Whether or not you agree with how well a cover conveys the appeal of the book, there is no denying that it gives some clues as to what one can find inside.

For example, lots of red and black together means death, murder, and suspense, while just dark colors alone signifies a much darker tone; probably a story in which a major character dies or ends up poorly.

On the other hand pastels and brightness will signify a happier book.  If there are spaceships, it is SF. If there are dragons, its fantasy.

What about the size of the author’s name.  Is it bigger than the title? If yes, this is someone you should know about.  Their name alone can sell a book to people who like that type of story. Maybe just asking, “Have you read books by ‘blank' before?" is all you need to ask.

This all may sound obvious, but when a book is put in front of you and you know NOTHING about it, being able to locate clues on the cover will help you get the RA conversation started, and, more importantly, will buy you a few moments to collect your thoughts so as not to sound like a moron.  And, I haven’t even mentioned the great info you can get from the blurbs. [Click here for more on that.]

The point is, you can tell a lot about what is going to happen in a book based on its cover.  Back in 2010, Michael Gannon had a great presentation on how to judge a book by its cover in RA terms.  I went back and found this report by an audience member on what Michael talked about.  Take a look.

And get out there and use those covers to help your readers in their search for their next great read.

1 comment:

Kathleen Kramer said...

This is so true! And how about the covers that do not help at all, and even put off a reader? My vote for worst cover of 2013: Americanah. This is such a great book, and no one will ever know because the cover makes you want to skip over it!