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Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Musing - Judging a Book by Its Cover

We've all done it - we've been drawn to a particular book in the store due to its cover. It might have been the colors used, the artwork or something else that caught our attention. But caught it, it did.

But have you ever stopped to consider that the larger publishers use focus groups to determine which covers work and which ones don't?

And did you know that with each printing, the cover is likely to change?

Our tastes change over time. We wear different styles of clothing, drive different cars, listen to various types of music. We watch different television shows, different movies. We change our hairstyles, our furniture, our decor, even our landscaping.

So it's within reason that a cover that might have grabbed our attention one year ago won't today. The mid-size and smaller publishers might or might not give this any thought; especially with POD and eBooks, they might consider once a cover is done, it's done.

But it never truly should be.

Consider all of the covers below. They are all for one book: Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier. It was reportedly Alfred Hitchcock's favorite book and his favorite movie (that he directed.)

If you saw each of these book covers today, would one grab your attention while you'd quickly pass by another?


Bonnie Watson said...

Are you going to change your covers one day?

Bonnie Watson said...

If I change the cover of a book, do I still leave the original out there on the internet? Kindle, print?

p.m.terrell said...

Thanks for dropping in, Bonnie, and leaving comments!
Yes, I am positive that my covers will change. I've had some interesting feedback about my covers from Hollywood and also some well-known reviewers and I can see as books go into reprint, updating the covers is a natural progression. So stay tuned.

My understanding is, the old covers should remain out there only for the used books. The eBooks should also have updated covers, because it's the covers that often grab the readers' attention.

Interesting topic, isn't it?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The one with a wave caught my eye. Probably because I'm from Oregon and it reminds me of the coast.

Wish they wouldn't change the covers. I adore the covers for The Chronicles of Narnia, but those 35 year old covers have been replaced many times and not by better artwork.

p.m.terrell said...

The waves caught my eye also, Diane! I love the sea so I am drawn to those covers. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.