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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