Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Exposed Cover

Yesterday I was at the airport, headed out to San Jose for some meetings. My gate was across from the E terminal bookstore (right next to the Starbucks - nonfat green tea latte = YUM!) A great place to people watch for the half hour before my flight boarded.

What was the general observation? A lot of people browse through those airport bookstores. Whether they buy or not, it is definitely exposure for an author. It got me thinking about these people, browsing through the racks, and the placement of the books. All of them are placed cover-out. In essence, letting these wary travelers "judge a book by its cover."

In about 30 minutes what was the book I noticed the most people gravitating to? It was probably about a 60/40 split on men to women picked up or looked at (it was on it's own rack, so I know they were looking at this particular book) James Patterson and Maxine Paetro's SWIMSUIT.

It's sexy, it's provocative, screaming for attention in a terminal full of bored travelers playing the waiting game. But it DEFINITELY was no magazine with a page count of 416.

So it got me thinking, what makes for a great, jump-out-at-you cover?

I'm more than guilty of judging books by their covers once I've run out of suggested readings. If a cover doesn't work for me (and it varies from book to book) chances are, I'll do little more than scan the title/author info. So what do you think makes for a great cover to pull people in and get us reading?

Colors? Words? Pictures?

Any thoughts? More on this tomorrow!

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