One Picture (on a Book Cover) May Be Worth a Thousand Sales (I Hope and Believe)

September 2006
by Ron Lovell

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Before I became a book
publisher last year, I didn’t think much about the importance of book covers.
As a reader, I concentrated on whether I wanted to read what was inside the
book. Sure, I knew about magazine covers because I had spent 10 years as a
journalist, and I had even taught a course on the magazine business at Oregon
State University.


After I became a publisher,
however, I quickly focused on the fact that cover image and style could do as
much for book sales as they do for sales of magazines. Especially with mystery
fiction, which I publish, readers choose a book for two reasons: they are
attracted to the front cover, and they like what the back cover tells them
about the story. Drawing on my journalism background again, I decided that I
would use photographs on the covers of the books I published.


Although an illustration or an
abstract design might be more appropriate for some books, I like using photos
for several reasons, including:


Photos signal realism, partly
because readers are accustomed to photos in magazines and newspapers and to
film footage on television.

Photos can be free or available
for nominal fees. You can find many good images on the Internet, and, as I
discovered, some photographers who display their work …IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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