Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Vicki here. I missed my regular day of Monday so thought I’d slip something in today. I've put up a couple of pictures showing the view from my desk at my new house in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
I enjoyed learning a bit about the business of book covers from Rick. It’s quite a challenge trying to make one book stand out in a virtual sea of titles. Next time you’re in a big box book store, just stand at the entrance for a moment and have a look at what’s in front of you. Pretty humbling, if you’re an author.
I was sitting in my living room the other night, looking happily around admiring my new home, when I glanced at my bookshelf. And one spine absolutely leapt out at me. It was Above Suspicion by Lynda La Plante (of Prime Suspect fame). Her name was in a tall, thin font, coloured bright gold on a solid black background. All the other books on the shelf sort of blended together, but Lynda La Plante stood out as if there was a spotlight on it. I started studying the spines of the books, wondering what works and what doesn’t. On most of them the titles and the authors’ names are unreadable from a couple of feet away. The worst are books with dark backgrounds where the font is a shade lighter than the background. It might be readable if you’re holding the book in your hands, but not from a distance. I could recognize the name Ian Rankin on the spine of Exit Music; it was a thick font in pure white on a dark blue background, but I wondered if I could read the name because I know what it says – the letters were so thick they touched each other.
What is all this observation worth? Probably nothing. Few of us have any input into our cover designs, much less the content of the spines. But it is another thing to consider if you do have any control.
I did up a couple of suggestions for the cover of my new book with Rendevous Crime, Gold Digger. Fortuitously, I suggested a gold font, just to tie into the name of the book. They may not use it, but I tried.
Posted by Vicki Delany at 12:19 pm