June 04, 2016

More on covers and titles, memorable or not?

It has been interesting to come across a couple of articles this week about creating book covers and the fights authors often have with their publishers over titles.

I recently read a new popular fiction novel in which the lead female character’s “blonde-ness” is a major feature of her appearance, yet the cover shows an extreme brunette. Plus the title may seem a little deceptive as to its content and it could be seen as cashing in on the resurgence of interest in a certain Jazz Age author who has nothing to do with the story - he is just a brief allusion.

Here is a piece on Lithub by a New York book designer about his process in creating covers - albeit for more literary works than the one I read. I accept it would be difficult for cover designers to read every book in fine detail, nor should they be expected to if the editorial staff has provided all vital characteristics in their brief to the designer in the first place.

As mentioned in my previous post, another really good novel I read recently has been given the same title as way too many other novels that will make it difficult for buyers to distinguish it. In this Paris Review blog post about titles, I am bemused that a bookstore executive didn’t know what the word “shiftless” meant. Not wanting to sound overly picky, I do notice that the name of the author of the piece is challenging in itself. I wrote about this some time ago and here is another  article on the subject.

Also while on the subject of covers, I have to agree with nearly everything in this post from Bustle.com about second or paperback editions having much better covers than the first.

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