I love good book covers. I adore good record album covers. I love great art.
The Beatles were geniuses in creating great music but they also created great album art, advertisers know that great images sells products, If I see an advertisement featuring a beautiful woman or another desirable image, I will look at that advert more than a plain simple one.
I have been thinking about book covers recently. Soon it will be time for my debut novel, THE BOMBER to have a cover designed for it and I am anxious to ensure that the cover is something a person would happily look at for at least thirty seconds before they begin to read it.
It is something I love to do. If I buy a new book I like to sit on the train heading home and spend a few moments looking at the cover and if it is interesting enough it will engage me for the small amount of time I spend looking at it before I dive into the words within.
A book cover has never influenced me to buy a book alone- but it has made me feel better for buying a book. I buy books because I am interested in what is between the covers, but if the cover is spectacular I feel much better about the money spent. What I mean by saying that is, if I am looking for a book and I find two of the same novel BUT with two different covers, I will go for the novel with the cover I prefer, even if it is about two or three dollars more expensive. (Any more expensive than that and I will buy the cheaper copy.)
A beautiful cover on a book makes me feel happier to own the book. However if I do not like the story within no cover could ever be good enough.
So look at these beauties….
Oh yes beautiful design, is it a novel of terror? Is there love and sex? Who is that beautiful woman and why is she being watched?
I know all about Moby Dick, but this cover transcends beauty and gives me the direct truth. The lonely sea, the hunting vessel, the giant god-like white leviathan… yes I would pay extra for this book and it’s cover (although I own three copies of The Whale already)
Light of my life, fire of my loins… These covers are beautiful and shocking, perfect for one of the greatest novels of the century…
I much prefer the first on the left however.
And then suddenly No. Horrible. Misplaced covers. Nothing to do with the work, reflecting nothing of the literature within. Who are these grown women and why are they naked on the cover? Lolita is the examination of a man- a monster- and the tragic and abused butterfly/child that is Lolita. These covers would have made Humbert put down the book and leave the store. Wrong.
Books covers of course are as open to opinion as anything else. What I like may not be what you like. Perhaps publishers like penguin have it correct with their simple paperback design with no picture, perhaps all books should be plain to give the reader no images at all. If you have any views on book covers or on what I have written above please let me know in the comments.