Monday, March 16, 2009

Cover versus Title versus Both

So, a friend of mine and I were talking this weekend about our favorite subject . . . books. Yes, I lead a dull and boring life. I love books. I recently downloaded a book to my Kindle (the book was free - woo hoo) and I made the comment that the book was surprisingly good. It was a book I had considered buying throughout the years, but never did. My friend nailed the reason on the proverbial head: it didn't have a good 'cover' did it? No, in fact, it did not.

I have picked up more than one book for the cover alone. Okay, I admit it, I'm a cover shopper. If the cover catches my eye, then I'm more thank likely to pick up the book. If not, well, then the book will most likely remain on the shelf.

Then, there is the title. A grand title will catch my eye. In the case of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, the title caught my attention, then the cover, and then the texture of the pages. So, it was the perfect trifecta of a book. I'm just saying . . .

My question: how much impact do covers/titles have to do with your book shopping?

My second question: in the age of Kindle and Sony Readers, will authors have to come up with catchy titles more than publishing art houses will have to come up with intriguing covers? How many books will sit unread because the title is just not enough to catch a reader's attention?

Hmmm . . . so many more questions come to mind regarding the electronic age of books. Would I have ever read any of the Harry Potter series based on the title alone? What about The Fellowship of the Ring? The Hobbit? Tigana? Dragonriders of Pern (okay, yeah, dragons, the cover wouldn't matter - ; ))? I guess in this age of electronic books, I'll have to read the descriptions more so than I do right now based on my OMG, I just love that cover, let me see what the book is about philosophy or neat title, let me read a little more. Still, I think authors/writers are going to need to pay more attention to the titles of their books in this age of Kindle, Sony Reader, and beyond.


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