Book Covers – Which One? (Author’s View)

I have told you in my previous article about the types of book covers, and I have promised to come back with the author’s point of view. I feel the need to emphasize the fact that I am not an author, but I try to express my opinion from the information I have gathered until now.

Well, first of all I want to talk about the process of writing a book. It is a very difficult process that might take days, weeks or even years. I can only say that I respect deeply a person who gives up time in his life, moments with his family just for writing a book.

And for making my point, I would like to tell you about a video that I saw the other day about how did Gabriel Garcia Marquez had the idea of writing “100 years of solitude”. And the story goes like this. He was on a vacation with his family, and while on their way, he suddenly stopped the car and turned around. He had an idea and he had to make the use of it. He gave up any plans for a vacation and just wrote. And this is how the great book appeared.

But getting back to the subject, what I wanted to say is that as important as it is the process of writing, the same as important is the cover. Regardless if you spend an eternity in writing a good book, if the cover is not the most inspired, all your effort was useless. Well if we talk about Marquez, that I have previously mentioned or Schmitt, they already have dedicated readers and they are already famous as good writers. But what would a newcomer do?

I have told you before that there are three types of book covers: paperback, hard cover case wrap and hard cover with a dust jacket. I won’t talk again about the pros and cons of each one, but I will try to analyze how an author should choose the cover.

I think the most important factors for choosing the right cover is the geographical location and the target public.

If your book is written for, say, adolescents, first of all you need to define what will be the purpose of the book. It will be a school book? If so, then it will most probably end up into the shelves of a school library. It won’t be taken up outside so it doesn’t need to be very easy. But at the same time, many students will pass it through their hands, so it must be persistent. I would go for a hard cover case wrap in this case. The dust jacket will be broken instantly and the paperback is very sensitive.

Old books with beautiful, colourful, and decorative bindings on antique wood bench

Another thing you might wanna take into acount is what do your readers like? Where do they read? How much do they read? There are some statistics that the author might wanna take into acount. Usually there are studies made over these subjects, and reading might be one of the most analysed.

The price of the book is also important. The average American adolescent/student lives with his parents or has enough money to have a good life (I say most and not all cause it is never a good idea to generalize). Correct me if I am wrong. But there are countries in which people live in villages, there are adolescents who leave their houses at fourteen for city high schools, or students who leave their homes for bigger cities where they can have proper university studies. In these cases, their money income is pretty low, so the amount spent on books will be accordingly. In this case, a cheaper cover, like paperback, will do the job.

Expenditure on books

How much do European spend in average on newspapers. books and stationary

As you can see from the above graph created based on a study of Eurostat, people have different levels of reading in Europe, which proves my point – that people read more or less depending on the geographical area where they grew up, their culture, their education etc.

Of course, beside the above, I think that a writer should also take into acount the pros and cons that I have mentioned in my previous article.

That is more or less my opinion regarding choosing a book cover as an author. If I missed something, please feel free to make your point.

© picnicontheshelf, September 20, 2018

Leave a comment. I would love to hear your views on this

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