Updates

Status: Releasing Entranced on February 17!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Books and Presentation

Today is the last day of my contest! If you haven't entered, you can do so here.

A few weeks ago I ordered the book Ghost Waves, also published by WiDo Publishing.

I was very anxious to get this book because I wanted to see WiDo's publishing standard. Right off the bat, I was pleased. I opened the package and took the book out and said, "Oh, wow." It's beautifully done. The hard cover binding is durable and aesthetic. I opened the book up and the chapter headings are gorgeous. The font is lovely.

The jacket cover has bright, brilliant colors on it. The pages were evenly cut, no jagged edges and no pages that poked out further than others. All in all, the book was beautiful.

This pleased me. As my book will be released from WiDo in a few months, I wanted the presentation to be awesome. I don't know for sure, but I suspect my book will be released in paperback first, not hardcover. (It's a YA thriller, after all.)

We're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but let's face it, we do. If I open a book at a bookstore and don't like the font, the book goes back. Or if the layout is all squished in the middle, I'm done with it. If the binding looks cheap or like it will fall apart, or the jacket feels like tissue paper, our relationship is over.

And that's without even reading a word.

I never thought about how important the actual book binding was. Selling book is hard enough; make sure the publishing company you choose can put together a pretty presentation.

What makes you put down a book without even reading anything?

20 comments:

David J. West said...

That's what I noticed right off the bat with it too-very handsome beneath the dustjacket.

Now what makes me put down a book that had a cover catching enough for me to pick it up in the first place? I look at reviews and blurbs-but these are only a so-so thing for me I'm kinda looking for spoilers that give another look at what it is about besides the standard paragraph it already has.

Then I open it and see what I think of the chapter contents (if there are any-I'm a sucker for catchy chapter titles) then I look at the opening paragraph-if its good I'll go one more and look at the middle and see if the center of the book has an interesting random piece.
If it does I will almost certainly buy it-but I have bought books just because I liked a cover and subject too.

Of course these are more like guidelines than hard set rules.

Jen said...

I pick up the book first by the appearance, if I like the cover it gets my vote I read the first line of the synopsis and if I'm not caught that quickly it goes back in place. I think it's because there are so many others out there to choose from I would hate to waste my time on something I'm unsure of!

MT said...

I didn't realize until your post, but I don't pick up a book with tacky artwork on the cover. By tacky, I mean the soap-opera look. No offense to soap-opera lovers. I guess I can't take the story seriously if I can't look at the cover without laughing!

Jemi Fraser said...

So true. I'm drawn in by covers - and repelled by covers :) I enjoy reading a wide variety of genres, but there are some authors I'll never read because they get such horrible covers (I'm mostly thinking romantic suspense and fantasy here). Sad, but true.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I agree wholeheartedly! Covers are important to me, but the overall presentation of the book is, too. I suppose I like to feel like I'm getting my money's worth. How wonderful for you to go into your publishing experience feeling a little more confident!

sarahjayne smythe said...

If it looks like no one cared about how the book looks I put it down. It's good to know that your book will be cared for by your publisher.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

David--I totally agree with you. The cover etc. is like 'test #1.' It has to pass that one, but then I have to like the 'pitch.' That says a lot about the author, the writing, the book. If that doesn't catch me, it's over.

Jen--Yeah, there are so many books to read. I'm not going to waste my time trying to get into one. That's why I use the library so much.

MT--I'm just laughing, because I can't stand those kinds of covers! I scoff, snort, laugh, and put it back. No way! I'd be embarrassed for anyone to see me reading that!

Jemi--how sad that fantasy often gets yucky covers too, but it's true. Fantasy often gets a bad rap.

Carolina--see we're paying for the book, we ought to get something that's durable! We expect the publisher to spend some money on the binding, etc. That's what makes it professional!

Sarahjayne--absolutely. It's a relief to me to know that my publisher prints out nice books! It gives me great hope that mine will be very nicely done.

elizabeth mueller said...

It's beautiful! I love the rich colors and the telling story of the simple picture. I go by covers as well for the most part.
Thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving your comment! :D

Jen said...

I have an award for you over at my blog!

Amy Jo said...

It makes me wonder where the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" originated since so many people do just that (me included!). We're lucky there are so many talented cover artists out there. :)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I am originally drawn to a book by it's cover, then I'll read the blurbs, the back and the first few paragraphs. If any of those don't keep my attention, I'll put the book down.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

That's a very good point, Amy! Okay, let's all think. What book is really good but has a horrible cover?

I'm pretty much exactly like you, Terry Lynn. It's got to get me somewhere in there.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

btw - I did the same thing as you, ordered a few books from my publisher and imagined what mine will look like. Good for you, from the looks of this book, think you'll be happy when yours comes out!

*LLUVIA* said...

Lots of clutter on the cover!! Too much writing and too many pictures. Sometimes, they try to be cute and do collages...I hate it. too much stuff going on on the cover turns me off!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Really, LMJ? I'd never even thought about clutter. I'll have to pay more attention to that!

Stephanie Faris said...

Congrats on your upcoming release. Covers do tell a lot about a publisher and, especially in the case of small publishers, people are more likely to invest their money into a book if it looks professionally put together. Such things shouldn't make a difference but they do. But I won't even pick up a book if the cover doesn't grab me for one reason or another. It's all personal preference...but if the characters are poorly drawn or the book has a historical look to it, I won't even look at it. I'm just not into historicals. I prefer contemporary, fun, upbeat books.

Julie Dao said...

Congratulations on your upcoming book! :) I try not to judge a book by its cover, but the cover is usually what pulls me in. I like simple, compelling covers that aren't too busy. The one you posted is great!

T. Anne said...

I can't wait for your book to be published so I can get my hands on it. Make a big deal over it on facebook/Twitter/ blogger so I don't miss the moment. I really am SO happy for you!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

T. Anne, I'm so glad you're excited! So am I! Every day I want to check online for reviews, etc., and then I remember it's not out yet! I can hardly wait.

Thanks, Julie! I can't wait to see what my book is going to look like. I'm absolutely confident that WiDo will do a fantastic job!

Elle said...

I too am primarily drawn in by the covers. If I'm shopping online, I usually go by Amazon recommendations (though the covers do have some say in this) and books that sound fun. However, if I am out shopping or browsing wesbites, the cover is the first thing I scan for.

I love chick-lit but I'm not a fan of the overly-romantic kind of story so I tend to avoid the generic flowery covers. Though saying this, I have been sent quite a few books (I run a chick-lit website) that have turned out to be hilariously funny, yet with covers so floral and boring (not at all matching the style of the book) which I know I would have avoided had I passed them in the bookstore. I know that the majority of the time the author has no say in this but this is my biggest peeve when it comes to covers!

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