Judging a Book By Its Cover
"Various parties—including the author, the sales department and chain buyers—couldn't agree on an image. In an effort to please everybody, the jacket went through 41 versions. The final design was intended to appeal to the broadest possible readership, says publisher Martha Levin, whose imprint is a unit of CBS Corp.'s Simon & Schuster Inc. But as a result of all the compromising, she believes, "we may not have reached any constituency." "I saw this as a book directed at women," she says, but a respected colleague argued that "there would be a big male audience who would feel excluded by a jacket that was too female oriented."
Amazon.co.uk) completely misrepresents the novel with a tag line change and relies on female stereotypes usually reserved for cheap historical romances. I wouldn't think alienating would-be readers with such a cover would drive sales either, but what do I know?
Now, I will openly admit to being persuaded by a book's cover when I'm browsing shelf after shelf of potential buys. There are so many books and only so much time to peruse that an attractive cover will draw my attention. However, this does go both ways, and I am equally likely to be turned off by a bad or offensive cover.
Although, with the decline of brick and morter bookstores and libraries and the rise of e-readers is a cover even necessary? The NY Times did a story about a year ago called "In E-Book Era, You Can't Even Judge A Cover" addressing such an issue. One solution has been the upcycling of covers from older, bound for the trash books into e-reader cases. I've seen many on Etsy, including the awesome ones by Rookcase.
Even with such beautiful cases, the questions still remains: Can those wonderful, organic connections made through finding a like-minded bibliophile exist anymore with e-readers? Have you ever started a conversation with a stranger just by seeing the cover of the book in their hands?