Thursday, January 26, 2012

Keep it simple?

Which do you notice more when looking for a book? The cover? The binding? Or do you go straight for the synopsis on the back of the book or for an ebook, scroll down a little?
Personally, if I am in a book store I will scan the shelves for a binding that catches my eye. Scanning for names or titles or even the backdrop on the binding will stop me. Online, however, is completely different. Amazon's "customers also bought" is a infinite yellow brick road that will take you all over a variety of genres but will generally give you things that spark your interest,at least enough to read the whole synopsis.

Now to more to the point of my post title. Simplicity. If the cover is too busy or too graphic novel looking it is kind of, for me anyway, a turn off. When it is too busy the thumbnail view is normally way to small to make anything out and most (not all) are a sloppy mess. Meshing too many topics or characters from the story (that you wouldn't know anything about) and then trying to squeeze the title of the book somewhere into the chaos. As for why I don't like graphic novel looking covers... Not really sure haha. I guess I buy books to read books, nothing but a treasure trove of words on a page, and I buy graphic novels to let the pictures tell me a story with a little dialogue. Basically my reason is rooted in shit but it's only my opinion.

Even my own Inner Horror's cover is a little busy for me. The two ideas I have in my head are much simpler but conveyed everything I want them too. I am just hopeless at any sort of drawing so I did what I could for a cover. I really wish I had that amazing artistic talent, even tried hard a couple times, my mother was a painter in college even! But I still draw stick figures most of the time.

Title is another eye catcher. Has to look good in text, has to fit nicely on the cover, has to be what you want it too without being so long that people lose interest before the damn thing. I find it funnier than hell when a books title looks more like a run on sentence, four word long title with a five word series name right behind it in parenthesis. Really? Keep it simple! I love it when books don't even have a series name, sure you have to do an extra search to figure out which book is first in the series or if the book has a sequel when your done reading it but if your going to put the trouble in then you probably loved the book! Hell, a single word title without an series name behind it is like a statement by the author, "your going to love this book so much you are going to wiki my ass just to find the sequel!"
Case and point for me was David Moody's "Hater." I had been looking around on barrens and nobles website, browsing out of boredom, making a list of books I might buy in the coming months. Stumbled upon a book with a glossy white backdrop cover with beautiful deep red blood splatter on it. Not a whole lot, but definitely enough. And "Hater" written in blood. I barely needed to read the synopsis, I wanted it. It went on my list and went forgotten for a few months until my mother in law got it for me for my birthday, (she saw the cover and the name. It's cool. She knows there's something wrong with me haha.) I read it in two days and the moment I put it down I looked for the sequel. Same cover scheme, more blood with the title "Dog Blood" on it. Bad ass book. Enough said.

Now off of my tangent, I'll continue to the last thing most readers will look at before buying your book, the synopsis. If if I scroll down and there is two thick paragraphs for a synopsis, the cover wasn't that great, and the title didn't light a spark in my head, then I am already clicking the back button. Some people like too know every plot point before jumping into a book, I do not. Give me an outline, If I like it then I will show faith in the author that the book is probably pretty cool. Some authors will just put a few lines. "jack ran from the zombies to find his wife. Jack couldn't find his wife so killed some zombies in a rage. Jack found his wife, she was a zombie, so he killed her too!" hahahaha. A synopsis like that is cool too, short quick and to the point, let's me know enough about the story to decide if I want too spend a few bucks on it. Especially if you have read the author before and like his work.

These three things are the biggest factors on whether a reader will buy your book, sure I left out a few tid bits like adding a word count or having a trademark character name instead of a series name after the title. And all of this shit is just my opinion, but I think most readers would agree with me. People love simplicity when shopping online or in stores. Leave the complex twists and turns for the pages. I've made this post ridiculously long and I'll have to send people donuts or some shit if they manage to read up to this point haha. Thanks for reading,



Post a Comment