This post is dedicated to my Mom who there’s hope for yet. 🙂 Don’t worry. I can talk about her because she never reads my blog. Trust me on that.
Anyway, Mom and I had gone to the mall specifically for Cinnabons yesterday. Where the delicious goodness sits, you have to pass the Barnes and Noble (my favorite one) to get there. She wanted to stop to pick up a magazine and I wanted to look for book. When you walk through the doors of my B&N, the sci-fi/fantasy section is one of the first sections you come to. I stopped there to see if they had my book. What came next left me doing a double take.
You see, my mom doesn’t read genre fiction. Just not her thing, and I’m not out to convert her either. It’s her prerogative. The most she’ll read is a magazine or a newspaper. She loves articles because they’re short, sweet and to the point. Even with her bird books, they had better have plenty of pictures and information about the size of a People Magazine article.
I expected Mom not to follow me into the sci-fi/fantasy section. She did just that and ended up taking a moment to take in the fabulous covers. Startled, she said, “Wow. These covers are amazing! They’re the first thing you see and the main thing to get you to buy the book. I’d buy some of these for the artwork alone.”
SAY WHAT?! Was that my mom talking? The same chick who says Unstable Environment is too long to hold her short attention span, but buys my books anyway to support me?
Nevertheless, I played it cool and decided to share my experience with how book covers come about and how all of it plays into marketing. Even though Mom doesn’t read sci-fi/fantasy, she said I’d buy some of these for the artwork alone and that’s what marketing is hoping for. That’s what we authors are hoping for. That’s what the publishers are hoping for. People like her who are in awe of book covers so amazing that it’ll convince them to part with some of their cash and take a chance on something different. That’s why I can’t stress the importance of cover art.
Before you ask, no. She didn’t buy a book. She bought an astronomy magazine instead. 🙂 But it helped her understand what had drawn me into reading and eventually writing my own. Who knows? Maybe next time she’ll actually take that chance and part with her cash.
I’d be lying if I said book covers aren’t the first thing that catches my eye when I want something new and different to read. They are. Other things come into play like the blurb and the title, too. But when it comes down to it, ask yourself. Which book would you pick up first, if you knew nothing about the author and why? As for me, I’m definitely reaching for A. Book B will only get a WTF from me as I continue to pass by.