Here at Lerner, we talk a lot about the importance of cover designs in attracting both fiction and nonfiction readers. One of my favorite recent TFCB covers, for example, is Mass Extinction (Discovery! series, cover below).
The cover hits all the key elements of a stylish design: elegance, simplicity, and what fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent referred to as “good grooming.”
Just this morning I checked my favorite opera blog to see what she had posted: vintage LP record designs like the one at right. Wow, thought I. These are cool.
If I were a young listener, and I knew nothing about violinist Jascha Heifetz, would I choose a Heifetz recording with the wordle-style vintage “violin cloud” cover (above right) or would I go for the more current recording with a cover based on an institutional illustration (above left)?
It’s basically the same question we ask ourselves in publishing just about every day. (And I’d say the answer to the question is the violin cloud image. If you disagree, let me know.) Images draw us in, and that’s not always a bad thing. Make a list of all the great books you’ve discovered based on cover design alone.
My favorite story along these lines is about my brother choosing a book for my sister’s birthday when he was only five years old (she was a teenager at that point). He and my mother went shopping for the gift, and he pointed to a book with a pony on the cover. He said, “This is the one I want to buy.” Title of the book? The Red Pony by John Steinbeck.
Check in next week for more from TFCB!
[photo credits: top/Lerner website; center/operachic.typepad.com; bottom/amazon.com]