Judging a Book by its Cover

Last week, we wrote a blog about some “Great” lessons that can be gained by looking at how we should define success, inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s experiences with The Great Gatsby. But we wanted to bring to your attention another lesson that we learned from the same NPR piece – the importance of cover art.

In the broadcast, book critic Maureen Corrigan calls the cover of The Great Gatsby that was displayed at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair in 2013 “striking.” She even goes on to say that because of the cover, if that book landed on her porch amidst the more than 200 other books that she receives in a week, she would pick it.

It’s this statement from Corrigan that clearly shows just how important cover art is for the book itself.

You know the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Though that sentiment has been communicated time and time again, when it comes to cover art, people do in fact judge books by their covers, just as Corrigan would have done with Gatsby.

The aesthetics of cover art is an important piece of the book publishing puzzle, as the cover is often the first impression made on a potential reader. If your book is on the shelf at a bookstore, the cover will catch their eyes before the words of the book do. If your book appears online in a list of available titles for consideration, the cover art could entice people to click on the “what’s inside” option to read more about the book.

With the right cover art, an author can convey without words the basis of their book. Through the colors, pictures and text, cover art can give a potential reader a glimpse into the world that awaits them in the pages of your story.

Let’s say that you have written a book that is filled with a gripping plot that pulls a reader into a journey through the words in your book. Though the content is interesting, the cover is, for lack of a better term, “blah.” So, this great book with boring cover art is displayed next to a book with an eye-catching image and text on the front of the book, but with very bland content inside.

Which book do you think a person would likely gravitate toward? More often than not, the cover with the eye-catching graphics acts like a magnet to draw readers into wanting to learn more about the story, even if the plot that lies within is sub-par. In short, a great cover can make a book easier to market!

At Dorrance Publishing, we understand the importance of cover art and that in order for books to compete in the marketplace, a well-thought-out, professionally designed book cover is necessary. That is why we offer an array of design services, including cover design. Our authors collaborate with a talented cover designer who will work hard to make the essence of your story come to life through an eye-catching cover on your book. Though the design will be in the hands – or in this case, the pens – of our Dorrance designers, the author’s input is crucial to the successful creation of the cover. Our designers are here to make your vision come to life!

All in all, cover art makes a first impression on the reader and has the power to draw people in to pick up your book and read more about the story. As the age-old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and this notion applies to your book cover, because it should speak to the reader before they even open your book. In short, cover art is almost as important as the words of your Dorrance-published book!

Copyright Dorrance Publishing, 2014