Monday, April 30, 2012

The Reader's Voice: Book Covers

        A book cover is one of the most valuable aspects of a book. This outer material design never speaks however it is the voice and selling point of any book. A readers first encounter is with a cover and therefore must lure a reader into wanting to read this story line and take its journey with the author. In a world where there are numerous choices many authors start to question what do reader's want? What do reader's look for in a book cover that will make them flock to the novel without even reading the books description. It's a game authors must play when designing a book cover and it's called "look at me."

        They say never judge a book by its cover but let's be honest we still do. Readers have the tendency to stare down a cover and wonder if it's worth their time, wonder if the design on the cover which captures the eye is a good representation of what the storyline would be.  Elesha Martinez admitted that she is definitely guilty for judging a book by its cover. Martinez said, "If a cover stands out I usually want to grab the book, read the back and see what it is about." When it comes to a cover it is just as important as the story itself, the two go hand and hand, without a good cover its story won't be read. Denise Gilliam, 44, said if a cover does not catch her eye she won't want the book.

       However within the urban fiction genre there are large amounts of covers with woman posing provocatively. It raises eye brows as to whether or not readers agree with these cover styles since readers are the ones carrying around these books. Terri Linnear, 32, says it really doesn't matter to her whether a book is dressed provocatively on the cover of a novel or not. However Gilliam made it known that she does not agree with the style. "It's not a good look to me. I think you should give a man a reason to want you with your clothes on. I'm against that on book cover really" Gilliam said. While on the flip side, Martinez is not against the covers but she does believe there are other ways to go when selecting a cover. "Women dressing provocatively is bound to get attention, that's a give in, I really don't have a problem with it but I don't think it's always necessary. You can make an attention grabbing cover without always having to exploit women," Martinez explains.

        So what are good, eye, catching covers that readers want? According to these women they do not want to see a cheap looking cover. "I feel if you don't put enough into the presentation the story probably won't be as good either," Linnear voiced. Reader's want a cover that has something to do with the stories topic, they don't want to see animals, nudity, and compromising sexual positions gracing the covers of their read. Originality and thinking outside the box will always give a author points and have them automatically stand out from the pack of authors by doing something never done. Readers also believe it would be nice that if a author has a person on their cover the model  resembles the characters described in the book. It never hurts to make the book come across as more realistic by giving the reader a visual.

         Creating covers is not an easy task, but there are some authors who always get it right. Linnear, Gilliam, and Martinez says authors Ashley and Jaquavis, Wahida Clark, and Kiki Swinson always supplies their audience with great covers. When readers are waiting for a new release they are not only waiting for the storyline but the cover. Readers like to get a glimpse into the authors mind and get an idea of how they envision their novel coming to life through the cover. Covers are more than what you think, it's a huge part of the novels personality. So authors when you're writing a novel remember, readers do judge a book by its cover.


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