Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Talk: Judging a Book By Its Cover

Like my homemade banner? *wink*
Because I’ve recently posted several rants that would classify as “discussions,” I’ve created a new meme-ish type thing called Book Talk. It’s not necessarily going to be weekly; I’ll just post whenever I have a topic I want to talk about. Feel free to comment on this post or any future Book Talk post with any topic you’d like me to discuss.
Book Overload
This week’s topic is judging a book by its cover. Just an FYI: we live in the age of information. We are constantly bombarded with ads, commercials, information about anything and everything. To survive without having a constant headache, we have to pick and choose where we place our attention. This goes for books as well. With self-publishing on the rise, virtually anyone can put books on the market. You don’t even have to speak very good English (though it’s advisable to have decent grammar if you’d like to actually sell copies of your book). How is one to possibly wade through the thousands of books that are published each year? I’m sure all of us do it. Instead of wasting our lives away reading synopsis after synopsis, we simply stereotype books based on their covers. Easy. As. Pie.
The Importance of a Good Cover
Recently I’ve really noticed how much value I put into a book based on its cover. If I’m scrolling through books on Amazon or Goodreads, or even browsing at a bookstore, I’m constantly and instantly judging books based on how they look (we often do this with people as well, rather unfairly, I might add). I think it’s part of our nature. Maybe it’s worse with visual people (like me) but I’m going to assume we all do this at least once in a blue moon.
I don’t feel bad about doing this at all. Why should I? A cover is the primary way for the artist to convey the genre and essence of the book to the book’s audience. Authors and publishers alike know good and well that no one has the patience or interest to read the synopsis before making a judgment call about the book. That’s the cover’s job: to give us a visual of what the book might be about, to peak our interest, to make us pick it up and read the back cover.
That puts a lot of pressure on the cover, doesn’t it? The quality of your cover can make or break your book. Let me repeat that: The quality of your cover can make or break your book.
Self-published Book Covers
Sometimes I don’t really think self-published authors really get this fact. I mean, there are some awful looking covers out there. By awful I mean amateur. If you are looking to self-publish your book, one of the most important things you can do is get a nice looking cover. I don’t care how much it costs, just do it. Do whatever you can to catch the eye of readers when they’re scrolling through page after page of books. Personally, if I see a cover that I like or think is pretty or sophisticated, I’ll stop and read the synopsis. Often times if the book is free on Amazon or something like that I’ll just go ahead and buy it after skimming the synopsis. *sheepish grin* If it’s not on sale but I really truly like it, I might buy it. If I’m on Goodreads and I see a cover I like, I do the same thing: skim the synopsis then add the book to my to-read shelf.
What I Like In a Cover…
I’m a cover nut, if you can’t tell by now. If I had all the money in the world, I’d buy books just so I could pull them off my shelf and look at the covers every now and then.
Personally, I like a lot of sunlight on the cover. Especially if it illuminates part of an object or a person (like the person’s face). Dark covers are good, too, but only if it properly illustrates the book.
I also like funky fonts. Like the font on The Infinite Moment of Us, for example. Curly-cue fonts are awesome, as are gothic fonts and chalk-like fonts (like on the cover of The Fault In Ours Stars).
Let me point out one thing: covers don’t have to make sense. Sometimes the less sensible they are, the better. Like the cover of Avalon, which was just revealed this week. Like, what in the world? It looks like someone hung a bunch of glass and sharp pointy objects from the ceiling, and this guy is walking beneath it. Whaaaa??? But it’s a cool cover nonetheless, and it drew me in. Guess what? It’s now on my TBR list.
To conclude this rant, I guess I should say this: judging a book by its cover is something we all do (DON’T DENY IT). Thus, covers are a pretty big deal. They are a huge aspect in helping us decide if we like a book or not. What are some of your favorites? What do you like/look for in a cover? Share your thoughts below!

No comments :

Post a Comment

I love love love to receive feedback from my readers! Please feel free to comment on any post with your thoughts.

P.S.- Gobs and Gobs of Books is an award-free blog, and as honored as I am to receive awards from awesome people like you, please know that if you nominate this blog I will not pass on the award. Thanks anyway!