Sometime early last month, Fog City Diva and author of In the Thrill of The Night (which is on my ‘To Buy’ list), Candice Hern pondered over historical cover designs and illustrated the evolution of cover designs with many good examples. She also asked …
Do these cover types influence your perception of a book? Do certain covers intrigue you enough to pick up a book even by an unknown author? And how do you feel about the fact that even though we’ve returned to pictures of people, they don’t give you a full image with face etc? What does that say to you, as a reader, about the book?
Quite a few readers professed a dislike for clinch covers while some won’t let cover designs influence their decision. I’m one of those who rarely buy books based on cover designs, preferring to rely on synopsis or recommendation.
Still, it’s pretty amazing when I put those three books them side by side. It somewhat tells you what books I tend to pick, subconciously, even though I’ve bought the above three on the authors’ reputation and friend’s recommendation.
I’m wondering if the publishers and designers simply pick up on a trend and follow it, like the recent releases with body parts (e.g. the use of a lady’s hand on Candice’s In the Thrill of the Night and Liz Carlyle’s One Little Sin and Two Little Lies) . Of course, there are slight variations to differentiate the works of different authors. Still, the similarity can cause one to experience a sense of deja vu.
This makes me wonder why must publishers have fixed ideas about what romance readers would like and what they won’t in a cover? Do cover designs always have to follow a successful formula? What would the publishers do when they run out of body parts and other ideas? Rehash old design ideas (God forbid the return of clinch covers!) ?
For example, I like how Piaktus used a black matt background with spot varnish – they give the cover a very nice texture – and stylised font types for Amanda Quick’s Wait Until Midnight and The Paid Companion:
They are a refreshing departure from the covers of earlier prints which depict objects (one’s the bust of a Greek goddess, the other a pocket watch) in a very predictable setting:
It also makes the marketer in me wonder why must books always be promoted in the same way — author signing, book talks, interviews and launches?
As a reader, I would like to see publishers and book marketers push new boundaries in launching and promoting the books. I don’t know what’s being done in the states and elsewhere, but over here on this tiny red dot on the world map, I’d like to see fresh ideas/ methods other than book signing, author appearances.
I thought the Authors at Sea event was one of the greatest idea to come along in a long while. Other ideas could be poetry recitation (e.g. for Teresa Medeiros’ After Midnight, the recitation could run along the line of vampire related ones or others from the Byron’s contemporary since his vampire poem is quoted in the book), a fashion show inspired by Georgian or Regency themes, readers’ art or other talent contribution (song, poem, skit, games).
So there, I’m throwing down the gauntlet and challenging the publishers and marketers to come up with fresh ideas to promote books. If you’ve seen how comic fans (adults included) go to all lengths to dress up for Cosplay, you’ll know what I mean.