Be the first to know about new releases - and even read them early!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The psychology of book covers

Happy Saturday Aussies!
Or Friday night everone else...erm...should I just say happy weekend?


I was in one of those rare venues called a bookshop the other day, and I saw this book with a crap cover.
Actually it had 2 covers.

Americans might know it with this cover?

Okay, so the images here of the two Australian covers don't do it justice. The font is all embossed and shiny, the white font is the same shade of white as the background and the black is the same black. It's all barely legible unless you pick it up and tilt it to the side a bit so the store's fluorescent lighting doesn't bounce off it.

So I was thinking to myself, GOD. What a horrible cover, and they made two of them? There's NOTHING ON HERE, it doesn't tell you ANYTHING about the book. Poor author being lumped with that. There's no way I'd want to read it from looking at the cover. What the hell is this thing about, anyway?

So I picked it up and read the blurb. And it sounds interesting. And now I want to read the book.

So I guess what I'm saying, is that the incredibly plain, mysterious cover worked (damn it). It was so plain, it made me curious as to what it was about. It got me to read the blurb, whereas other covers that are demonstrative of what you'll find inside, don't always get me to pick them up. I have a bit of an idea what to expect just from the cover, and because of that, I might just leave it where it is, thanks.

But covers that don't actually tell you much about it get TWO shots at wooing a prospective reader toward it. One: The cover. Two: The blurb.

It's a complicated business, cover design, methinks.


Here's the blurb for all of you who are curious now! Dystopia FTW!


Pure by Julianna Baggott

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it’s his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.
When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.


  1. Yea, I see what you mean. Just the mystery would've made me pick the book up for a closer look, and the blurb is intriguing (although I feel like I've read almost the same one before on another book). It's certainly doing the job, even if it's not much to look at!

  2. Yeah, I was really surprised to find that though I don't like the cover, it 100% did the job a book cover should. Something to think about. :)

  3. Yeah, I think I might want to read it now, too...


Thanks for commenting! I love comments. I seriously do. Except when they're spam. I get a lot of spam here so, unfortunately, I had to add word verification to stamp that out. But I don't want to stamp out YOUR comment, so keep them coming, okay?