Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Book by Its Cover?

I loved Casey's post yesterday featuring a picture of her German cover! (yes, I'm wondering what that skeleton is doing too!) Like Casey, I've also received the preliminary artwork for the new "Jess McConkey" book, LOVE LIES BLEEDING, and as soon as I have my editor's blessing, I'll debut it on this blog.

It's a wonderful cover-all sepia tones and jagged lettering-and it's different from any of the "Ophelia and Abby" covers. My editor made the comment that she thinks the cover says it's "a big book." Now I didn't want to sound dumb, so I didn't ask her what she meant. This is not an unusual situation for me...both the "not wanting to sound dumb" part and the "not quite" understanding what she meant. I've found that the publishing industry uses several phrases like that. Another one is "high concept."

I've also noticed recently, since I've had my Kindle and have been browsing more frequently, that there seems to be a trend in covers to tack on the words "A Novel" right after the title. (Personally my reaction is always..."Well duh! Of course it's a novel; it's under 'fiction!'")

So why do they do that and what do these terms mean? If someone told you that a book was "big", or that it was "high concept", how would you interpret that? When you see the words "A Novel" after the titles, what do you think? Do you assume that those particular books are more worthy of being read than ones that don't say they're a novel? And most importantly, would you want to run right out and buy these books?

Or does it make a difference at all???

Thanks for stopping by and I'll look forward to reading what you have to say!!

That's it for this week-have a good one!

Best,
Shirley

4 comments:

Sharon S. said...

can't wait to see your cover!
High concept? sounds like a buzz word. "A Novel" maybe they are trying to avoid confusion with an anthology or the author is known for shorts. Neither would sway me. I like a good tag line after the title (if that is what you call it). I have never seen a cover that made me think "big cover". I think you need to take one for the team and ask your editor what that means and come back and tell us .
Isn't the kindle a most awesome thing .

SandyG265 said...

I don't know why they tack A Novel on to titles. If I'm reading a novel I know I am without them telling me.

High Concept sounds like some scholarly work written by a college professor that no one except other college proffessors would want to read.

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin said...

"High Concept" doesn't seem to mean anything practical. At least I haven't seen any noticeable difference between the books and stories that phrase gets attached to, and the ones it doesn't.

"A novel," on the other hand, seems to be attached only to books with literary pretentions. Unfortunatley, I tend to lose interest half-way thru the blurb. So I've reached the point where I tend to avoid those. {lop-sided Smile}

I'm puzzled about the "big" book too. I'd like to know what your editor was thinking of, too. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Jes said...

My initial reaction mirrors yours 100%. It seems like the publishers are trying to have their cake and eat it to on a certain level. They are throwing the smoke and mirrors at their readers while, at the same, dumbing things down for those who "aren't all the way with it."
They need to decide whether their readers are intelligent or idiotic. I'm going with intelligent no matter how idiotic I act at times. lol