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Jan 18, 2011

Guest Post: DJ @ DJ's Life in Fiction

Last week, I asked a few people what was their take on book covers. Here's what DJ @ DJ's Life in Fiction had to say! Thank you DJ!

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Book covers are one of the most discussed aspects of a book in the blogosphere, the stores, and probably even in libraries. (I wouldn’t know, though, because I actually don’t spend a lot of time in libraries…) When you walk into a store, you don’t look at the inside text first, do you? No, of course not! Haha. You look at all the pretty images displayed in front of you—at all the cut off faces, shirtless men, scantily-clad women, apples, and teen lovers who make you feel bad about yourself because you’re single. A person’s first impression of a book is almost always formed from the cover. And that’s okay because there’s nothing wrong with liking some good eye-candy. :-)

I’ll admit I’m a cover snob. I like to stand in the store and look at the covers, and I’ll even take a break from reading and look at the cover. Also, if I know a book is going to get a better cover for it’s paperback edition or something, I’ll wait and buy it then. Plus, I save money by buying the paperback rather than the hardcover. It’s a win-win situation, haha. Now, this doesn’t mean I base my purchases solely on the cover image, but a good cover does attract me to a book if I don’t already know something about it. Even if a cover isn’t the loveliest, I’ll still pick up a book and take a peak inside if it’s something I think will interest me. And besides, the inside of a book is the most important part. That’s where the words are, where the heart of the book is. Some books have amazing covers, but poor writing. Being a writer and reader, I’d take a well-written story over a beautiful cover any day.

And let’s not forget about the title and how the cover should complement it. If the cover for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater illustrated a sunny day at the beach, readers wouldn’t know what to think of the story! The image would also conflict with the story’s setting and overall tone. Thankfully, I haven’t come across any head-scratching covers, but I do think the cover and title should tie together to represent the book, it’s story, characters, and tone.

So, my overall opinion on book covers is this: a cover should attract readers, but represent an accurate image of the book at the same time. I may not particularly be proud of being such a cover freak and hopefully everyone doesn’t think I’m shallow now, but covers do play an important role in helping a book sell and garner readers.

Before my post comes to a close, I would like to thank Momo for having me and for letting me blabber about book covers. I’m honored to contribute a guest post to such a wonderful site and I hope you all enjoyed reading what I had to say.

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