Friday, April 09, 2010

Making bookstore magic

by Chasya

It’s no secret that one of the most delicate debates between an author and their publisher happens to be over the book jacket (and we’ve been in the middle of many of these disagreements). Sometimes the author has a particular vision, or they just don’t like the cover they’re presented with. The publisher, meanwhile, is getting feedback from many various departments, including the sales team, and there is input coming from everywhere as to how the jacket will most likely appeal to the audience it targets. Overall it takes a lot of hard work to come up with a jacket that will ultimately do what it’s supposed to do – and that’s sell books. Key in this process is the art, the cover copy, the title and various other factors. That’s why I really enjoyed this guest blog by Lindsay Carmichael at The Intern. It’s an insightful look at how all of these factors come together to move a book.

Whether or not you agree with her that it’s a “sad fact” that jacket art is what draws us to books, this is a solid explanation from a bookstore insider.

What do you think, authors? Any disagreements with Ms. Carmichael’s list of how to make “Brick and Mortar Magic”?


  1. Not only did I love this post, but I'm a Canadian writer, so I tracked down Lindsey and offered her an ARC of my book. Thanks for the link! I'm a big proponent of aiming my promotion at booksellers myself. I sent out over a hundred promo packets to indies and a few chains in the Pacific NW (where my book is set) and across Canada. Booksellers are our friends!

  2. I disagree (though I'm not really an author). I think the "sad fact" is that people are hypocrites. ;) I tell my students that they SHOULD judge books by their covers, because with today's books, the cover is a clue to what the book is like (if the publisher did a good job).

    OTOH, I do agree with her about the jacket copy - the only authors who can always go without a synopsis are Shakespeare and Seuss.

  3. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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