Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Have you ever purchased a book because of its cover?
“’Forgive me, sir,’ he said. ‘I had you all wrong. You can never tell a book by its cover.’” ~ Murder in the Glass Room by Edwin Rolfe and Lester Fuller (1946) ~
In May 2008, Random House Publishing commissioned Zogby International to create a survey, The Reading and Book Buying Habits of Americans.
Zogby questioned 8,218 adults not only about their reading habits, but everything from the reasons for purchasing a book, to the respondent’s political affiliation.
What was very telling about the report was the percentage of people who actually made their literary purchase based on a book’s cover.
When asked, “Do you ever judge a book by its cover?” Fifty-two percent of the respondents confirmed they did, and that “younger respondents were more likely to base their selection on a book’s cover.”
(IMHO, maybe this reflects a certain wisdom and discernment that only comes with age.)
However, what is even more telling is that when asked, “When you go into a bookstore for a specific book, do you make additional unplanned book purchases?”
Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed said, “Yes.”
Regardless the reason behind what appears as superficial purchasing, publishers, book designers and graphic artists have their work cut out for them in coordinating a strong first-response-visual that tempts a shopper to choose one book over another.
The video below, from orbitbooks YouTube channel, shows just how much creative work and choices goes into assembling a book cover.
The one minute, 53-second video is a distillation of six hours of Photoshopping –that involve cutting, pasting, erasing and adjusting so that Gail Carriger’s latest novel, BLAMELESS, makes the New York Times Bestseller list.
Of course, I think that Carriger’s fine storytelling and fan following from her previous romance/fantasy/steampunk PARASOL PROTECTORATE series had as much to do with the book’s success.
Have you ever impulse purchased a book because of its cover?