Wooing You

A few days ago I overheard a customer telling her friend that she only buys books based on the look of the cover.  She said that if the book doesn’t have a cover that’s appealing to her then it can’t be very good (as in,  to her taste). She reasoned that an author works hard on writing the book and making it great, therefore she believes the cover will be great too.  I guess she found a selection process that works for her but I can’t help but think of all the authors who don’t have a say in choosing their covers or the graphics and feel sad that she might overlook a really good book because the cover doesn’t appeal to her aesthetic values.

I realize I’m asking the age-old question, but it’s relevant now more than ever. It’s not so much about, dare I say it, “judging a book by its cover,” but about how important the look and feel of a book is to you.  How important is it and what do you base your decisions on?

While you ponder that, take a look at this site. (Thanks, Lucia.)

Posted by Donna


Filed under Excuse me. I have a Question.

3 responses to “Wooing You

  1. Sabrina Johnson

    Hi Donna —
    What a great thought to share with a wooing title. Oh I so love that Shakespeare-ian come on of a “woo me” — especially when you so brilliantly use it as bookish metaphor!
    Thank you,

  2. Lucia

    Oh, Donna, I’m totally guilty of being deeply influenced by book covers. I love beautiful book design, and I know how much a cover can make or break sales. We booksellers know how sad we get when a book we love has a terrible cover, because we know it just won’t sell as well. And upset when others are just plain WRONG. (Like the new paperback editions of Raymond Carver’s short stories: SO WRONG!!) So, as strange or scary as it may sound, cover design does influence even my decisions as buyer of books for this illustrious store. And I’ve certainly bought a number of books for my own library based solely on design alone. (That said, I don’t actually believe the cover says anything meaningful about the content inside — it’s just really, really great when it does.) Now I’m trying to think of the many ugly book covers with beautiful words inside…

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