Friday, June 17, 2011

Can You Judge a Country by its Covers?

Looking For Love -- UK

A Tale of Three Book Covers…

What Do These Book Covers Say About Your Country?

What Do They Say About How the Marketing People View You as a Customer?

All three covers are for the same Liz Fielding book which is reviewed below.
Since the covers are quite different they may have something to tell us. Which cover do you like best? Do you prefer the cover that was selected for you in your part of the world? Do you like another cover better?

I see the covers as saying something quite different. Thus my captions: “Looking for Love”, “Comfortably in Love” and “Newly in Love”.

It seems the marketing people are after different demographics. The UK cover looks to appeal to urban sophisticates. The Aussie cover favors the young, outdoorsy and energetic. The North American cover seems designed to attract the older and more confident.

 Do you think the covers represent the spirit of the nation?  I think I could guess which cover went to which part of the world.  Same book: three different covers. I just wonder if the cover art changes how readers feel about the book as they are reading it. Think about it. It is fun to wonder.

Newly in Love -- Australia

Comfortably in Love -- North America


  1. It is an interesting subject, Vince. Until recently the same cover art was used on all three editions - although the UK experimented with photographs for a short while before reverting back to the US artwork.

    My books have now been moved into a different series in the UK and you're right, RIVA has a much broader range of editorial to include the old Modern Extra titles and is aimed primarily at a younger, urban audience.

    The new RIVA series is all about "voice", with Cherish concentrating more on "home and hearth" stories.

    I don't know why UK marketing resist the larger author name in some series. I'm just hoping that my Cherish readers don't lose sight of me because what's between the covers of my books hasn't changed.

  2. Hi Liz:

    Thanks for coming by and giving us insights into your books. I’d also love to see what covers they use in countries where the book is in translation. It would also be interesting to see how they changed the titles in other languages.

    Marketing can look at selling a book two ways: (1) People are coming in to the store to buy a specific title. In this case the title will appear large. (Of course, the cover art is most important).

    (2) the author has a big enough fan base that it makes more sense to make the author’s name very large. (There are more people looking for any book by a given author than are looking for a given title.)

    I saw one romance line in a used bookstore where all the books of one line were shelved together. Some of the books had the author’s name very large – the biggest type on the cover. Other books, in the same line, had the title big. The authors who were featured in large type were established and the ones with the titles in large type were new authors.

    I believe in romance sales, a small percentage of buyers buy most of the books. These buyers scan bookshelves for their favorite authors. They do this all the time in airports, discount stores, everywhere to learn if any of their auto-buy authors have a new book out. Except for a debut author, I would always make the author’s name the largest type on the cover and on the book’s spine.

    Of course all is lost if the head of the department is an artist. They often do not care or understand how words sell a product. They are more interested in winning art awards at the many shows put on each year.