Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cover Story: Son of a Gun

Son of a Gun

Ten Ways to Judge a Book by its Cover
  1. The spine stands out with an arresting color and compelling lettering.
  2. The overall design captures the personality of the book.
  3. Images tell part of the story.
  4. The title pops off the background and is large enough to read from a distance.
  5. It must convert well to black and white for one color advertising.
  6. A tiny image on the Internet must show up.
  7. The font suggests the time period, setting or genre of the book.
  8. Fewer words in the title are better.
  9. Colors work to suggest a mood (dramatic, antique, stark, modern, scary.)
  10. Consider: would you pick this book up if you saw it on a Barnes and Noble display table?
Three things not to do:
  1. Colored title on a black background—it won't show up in black & white.
  2. A detailed picture of a character—let the reader's imagination supply that.
  3. Meaningless clutter—focus on a strong theme.
"Readers will only give a book a few seconds of consideration. It must wrench their attention away from thousands of other volumes . . . In a bookstore, most books are shelved spine out, so this narrow strip is your first sales tool. Next, book browsers look at the book's front. Your cover is your billboard. If it interests them, they'll turn to the back. If they're still intrigued, the first few sentences will receive their consideration."

There's so much more to publishing a book than just writing it!

Does the title show up in black and white?

Will the tiny image on Amazon catch anyone's attention?

With several choices, some direction from Kenna (head of the cover design department of Tate Publishing) and input from Mark (my marketing guru) Son of a Gun is getting dressed up for its debut on the shelves. I'm thrilled with its cover story!

How do you decide to buy a book?


Raejean said...

I usually buy a book that's been recommended to me by someone who has a similar reading taste as mine.

I have checked out some great books from the library because of their covers and went on to buy the book later.

Congratulations on your cool cover art!

Diane said...

Your book fits all the criteria. I'd buy it.

I'm every marketers dream. A bright, shiny object or eye-catching gewgaw draws me like flies to honey.

Cover and title are usually what suck me in on books.

audrey said...

I love this cover! It is very well-designed and one I will be proud to have on my shelves in a few months.

As a wanna-be designer I often discount a book when its cover is poorly conceived. Even if I eventually choose to read it, a purchase may depend on choosing one cover edition over. Having a beautiful or poignant cover enhances the entire reading experience for me. That is one of the main reasons that I struggle when reading ebooks - no cover to glance at every time I open, close, or pick up the book.

The Grandmother Here said...

I read books that my friends (and other reviewers) like by using But the cover art still influences my decision. Too much cleavage? That's not of interest to me.

Grandma Cebe said...

When I go in Barnes and Noble, it's the cover of a new book that will get me to pick it up and take a closer look. Your's would definitely be in my hand.

Christie said...

Squee!! Are you so excited? I love it. Can't wait to buy a copy of my own. You'll sign it, of course?

~Kristina said...

Buying books:
-was it recommended by someone I know?
-was it written by someone I feel the ned to read?
-is it sweeping through
-did the cover draw me in (pretty poor strategy but it has occasionally worked!)?
-while browsing, did i randomly pick it up, read a few lines and just know that i need the whole story?

Those usually do it for me.
I really like the cover you've gone with. I'm excited to read it! Is the b&w cover a tip that it might be an epub, too? :)

marta said...

mom, i really love the cover art. congrats!! your book seems to register high marks on a great cover. your tips are so helpful, thanks for spelling them out.

see you soon. xo.

Susan Adcox said...

I am very sensitive to book covers. I once put off reading a book for months because I didn't like the cover. When I read it, I loved it. My daughter's test is to open a book at random, read a few lines, and see if she is interested. Any fool can write a good first page--but looking at a random page--that's a good test.

Katie Roundy said...

Love the cover! Very classy/ time period/ unique/ eye catching/ well designed. I'm excited to read what's inside..