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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Cover Art Make a Difference?

While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. soft cover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?
I can't begin to tell you how many times I have, at least, picked up a book and checked out what was on the back cover, only because it had a great piece of cover art! So.. yes!.. cover art can make a big difference! The cover art is the first introduction to the book. It alone, even if the title were not on the cover will give you a good idea of what you will find in the book..
a good example:

I think Roger Kastel's painting, that became the book cover, pretty much lets you know what sort of book you are looking at! "Jaws" anyone?? heh. When you see a cover like this you will either say, "ohhh, this looks like something I'd like.".. or just the opposite, but either way it tells the first story of the book.
It's not a given that I would buy the book just because of it's cover, but without the cover that attracts me to the book I may never have picked the book up at all. A good cover leads to my picking it up and reading the back, hoping to find out that it might read as well as the cover indicates.
I also enjoy illustrations in the books. It's rare that they are in a book, but when they are I like it a lot. To me it adds to all the creativity of the story... and overall just makes it that much better. Aside from YA books though, there are really VERY FEW adult books that contain art work along the way, it seems they don't want to spend the extra money it costs... but oh how much nicer it makes a book!
As for the fonts.. well.. will eyes that are failing the older I get I can say small fonts are not up there high on the list of things I like. Font's don't have to be LARGE, but even spacing of the sentences can make a big difference. Therefore I do like trade paperback books!
Since my eyes are getting worse and since, over MANY years, I have found that my beloved mass paperback books have all turned brown and brittle, I tend now to buy hardback books, hoping they hold up longer and better. Like other people, I'd rather be reading a paperback, just for the weight of having to handle them, but we all do what we must do in order to keep reading!


Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I so agree Pat, Book Covers and Art Work for Films, etc..ALL are terribly important...And the fonts...INDEED! My eyesight is not very good anymore, so I am very aware of fonts.
I notice that films now use the smallest fonts for ALL the credits. I do not understand that. Back In The Day, they always used really good sized fonts and very attractive ones, too...You could actually read WHO did Everything in films, back then....I am sure it partly has to do with costs of film stock with the length of end-credits now, but I do not understand the beginning credits being so tiny...!
I so agree that the Art work on a book cover can absolutely attract your eye...Of course sometimes the 'artwork' is better than what's!

3:32 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

hi Naomi!.. agreed 100% ! I love good movie posters and book covers for those movies!.. and you are also right in that a good cover sometimes is better than what's inside lol.. thankfully, not often!

7:58 AM  
Blogger animewookie said...

I completely agree, there are so many times I've found myself attracted to a book simply because of the beautiful cover art, and even though I get a better visual of the characters and surroundings through reading it ,( I often find myself looking back at the cover just to get a little extra connection. One thing that bothers me, (and my family laughs at me for this) is when I introduce someone to a new book and the first thing that comes out of my mouth is, "This is a great book but don't look at the cover, the characters don't really look the way they're pictured". It drives me crazy when the cover is absolutely nothing like the character discription in the book.  

I also enjoy illustrations within a book. Two that I especially enjoyed are the Leven Thumps series (Obert Skye) and the Mage Wars trilogy (Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon). Love the gryphons.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

"It's not a given that I would buy the book just because of it's cover, but without the cover that attracts me to the book I may never have picked the book up at all."

Yup, same here. I'm a fan of illustrations too, and it's too bad that they are so rare in books for adults. It's like publishers think that it will make the book seem childish or something. But why can't adults enjoy some eye candy too?

11:34 AM  
Blogger Darla D said...

I love how you put that - the cover "tells the first story of the book." That is perfect, and true!

11:59 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

anime: cover art has come a long way over the years and I think the popularity of YA books has helped tremendously!

Nymeth: yeah, I don't know why they think adults don't deserve illustrations!! I think we do! lol

darla d: well.. it SHOULD tell the first story LOL.. some covers just don't get it lol

4:48 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I hate it when the cover is better than the content. That happens all to often.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Kim L said...

Yup, I agree with you... I've picked up plenty of books due to an interesting cover. I don't always buy them just based on the cover, but it makes a difference. Great answer!

10:44 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Pam: I guess some publishers just don't care or get it??

Kim: If a cover gets the book into your hand it's done it's job, even if you don't buy it. (we can't like EVERYTHING!... can we? heh)

10:51 AM  

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