Thursday, May 28, 2009

Judging books by covers

As authors, we should never under estimate the importance of a well designed book cover. This very same subject is the latest topic of conversation on the writers corner of the book lovers forum. Several members relay tales of how changing their book covers led to a significant increase in sales, an experience that I can certainly relate to.

In the meantime, over on The Bookseller book covers are being debated from a whole different angle. According to the report by Victoria Gallagher, designers are being severely hampered in their work by not having enough information about the book to work with, in some cases, not even the title. How on earth anyone is expected to design a cover for a book with such little information is beyond me, the designer needs much more information that this. The designer needs to know not just the title, but also the genre, the market and age group at which the book is aimed, and what the main themes are. Only then can they make an informed choice as to what it is about.

When I had the cover my own book re-designed, I had a detailed conversation with the designer Clifford Hayes, in which all of this, and a lot more was discussed, and the results of his work were outstanding, surpassing all my expectations. The new cover gave my book a new lease of life, enabling it to attract the attention of those media people and book sellers that I spoke about earlier, plus of course the readers, who after all, are what this is all about.

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