Judging a book by its cover

Butterfly book coverWe put a lot of effort into deciding what we put on the front of our books.

Our key priority is to produce a cover with an image that relates to the subject of the book, even though sometimes it can be a tenuous link!

For paperback copies, the cover is an essential tool which helps the book stand out from the crowd on book shelves. With the growth of the ebook market, this may not always be seen as a priority for some publishers.

For me personally whether it’s a paperback or electronic, quite often it is the image that attracts my attention first, and then the title. Accompany a dull, uninspiring image with a long and complicated or even cryptic title, and it’s highly unlikely that book will appear in my basket!

How much do you value the cover of a book? Could you guess the subject of our forthcoming book as illustrated by this cover? We’ll give a copy of the book away to the person, chosen at random, who guesses correctly (or closely)!

Comments (4)

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  • 1
    Kathy wrote on 22nd Jan 2013

    I think the cover on ebooks is just as important as paperbacks. You might not have the book on your shelf to browse, but they're still useful when browsing on the likes of Amazon!

    As for the cover, is it something to do with transformation?

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  • 2
    Graham wrote on 22nd Jan 2013

    The cover is probably a large part of any random purchase for a book store for me. The cover is what draws my attention and invites a closer look.

    However, most of my non-fiction book are purchased on-line after researching which book would be appropriate from online reviews and samples. The cover has next to no impact on the books sale in that case..


    From the sample cover shown I'd guess at a title of something like: "Successfully Managing IT Transformation Projects"

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  • 3
    bob wrote on 1st Feb 2013

    While the principle of "you can't judge a book by its cover" still holds true, it's often the cover that sells the book for me.

    My suggestion for the cover is "Business Transformation" or something similar. ALternatively, maybe it's "Data Transformation"?

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  • 4
    Colin wrote on 1st Feb 2013

    Another benefit I find with cover images, including the mini pics now displayed on many library catalogues, is they can help identify a book read in the past. Especially with academic texts, a book may be used for some months then returned to the library shelf. Titles are not always memorable, authors more so, but the image often serves as a valuable memory jog to pointpoint the book a reader is looking for.

    On the sample cover, three themes strike me: metamorphis, leadership and progression. So my guess it is a book on career development, perhaps titled "Getting Ahead: Developing Your Career in IT"

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About the author
Karen joined BCS in 2008 working in the Marketing Team. Having graduated in marketing in the pre-www era, she has relished the challenge to keep up to date with the latest developments in technology and new media.

See all posts by Karen Manning

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