This week’s musing…
"I read an article, this past week, about book covers, and the difference between print & digital covers; about how the digital covers have almost disappeared entirely, while publishers decide to just skip right to the content.
What do you think about this? Do you think the book cover is “dead”? Do you care whether the “covers” on digital books exist or not?
If you have the time, read the article and then share your thoughts!"
Oh, tell me it's not true!
I love my covers!
And yes, I admit it, I do judge a book, it least at that first look, by it's cover. Isn't that the point? You go into a bookstore and there are thousands of books. Why do you pick up this one instead of that one. Well, for me it comes down to three things. Author. Title. Cover.
If it is by and author I love that is enough right there. Karen Slaughter has a new book coming out this summer. If it had no title and no cover, I would buy it. And say am author I do not like...hmmm...maybe Dan Brown..had a book out with the most lovely cover, I would pass it by. It is beyond my believe I would like it. And so many books, so little time.
But a beautiful cover, an interesting cover will grab my attention. Sure, a seaside scene, a lighthouse and I will take a peak. On the other hand, a shirtless guy, moving along.
Yep, in most cases that cover art is what would first grab my attention. Sure, then I read the blurb, maybe read the first couple of pages. But that won't happen if I don't pick it up first.
But here is the problem and no doubt something that is contributing to the death of covers. I admit it. I shop for books almost exclusively online.
It is not my fault. Border's closed, out local chain bookstore closed. I have no choice. And online, cover are not much of an issue. But also, I am not browsing for books online. Does anyone really?
OK, I am not actually browsing at all. I go to buy a book knowing exactly what I want to buy.
I go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble knowing the book I want, just looking for the best deal. I read a review in the NY Times or on one of the many blogs I read and going to that web site is just to make the purchase.
But I will admit that covers still do make a difference when I read those reviews online. There are many blogs, many reviews and I can't read every one. So those three things, author, title and cover make a difference as to which I read and which I at best skim.
And that brings us to e-books and the role of covers. It is not a pretty subject.
If you have an e-ink reader at best you will get a B&W version of the 'real' cover, more likely some B&W generic patterned 'cover' with the title . Yes, with an I-pad or a color e-read you will get a look at the color cover, a tiny look at a tiny copy on your library page and maybe one glimpse when you first open the book on the device e-book. From there on, you will be taken right to were you left off. Efficient but lacking, colorless.
Because to me, a great cover is part of the book reading experience of a great book.
You pick up the book and see that nice cover, hopefully one that really speaks to what the book is. You open it and start to read and are transported, for a time, to another world, a world the author created, full of these new people and an interesting setting and a great story.
Sure e-books can do that but it just that little bit harder. There is a sameness to e-books. You don't see that cover again, the pages all look alike, same type, same pages. Same..same.
And that has lost us something.