The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” has been proven to be bad advice not only for readers but also for publishers’ marketing teams. As it turns out, books’ covers are often exactly what they’re judged by.
How does one choose what book to read next? There are indeed a plethora of ways to discover your next literary treasure. Certain authors may interest you, you may be immersed in a genre, you may have been stunned by a book’s reputation, or you may pursue an interest in either something you love or something that is new to you. There is one approach, however, you supposedly should never use to choose what your next literary adventure will be, and that is judging the book by its cover. However, while this rule does apply to almost the entirety of the publishing world, there are always some exceptions.
When you walk into a bookstore, unless you are on the hunt for a specific release or beloved author, generally an enticing book cover will draw you over to a particular selection. Maybe you notice the bold typographical choices, the striking illustration, the contrasting colors. While you’re admiring the feat of creativity in your hands and considering whether you’re willing to invest in the content within, do you think about the human responsible for the interesting cover?
The design department in a publishing press is absolutely one of the most important aspects in the publication process. Design furthers the production of a book by working on its interior as well as its exterior—the book’s cover or, in some cases, a jacket. The cover is the very first thing readers will see as they browse their favorite bookstores in search of their next binge. Although no one should judge a book by its cover, it’s okay (and completely human) to be guilty of this at one point or another. Unfortunately, this can make a designer’s job a little more strenuous as they want to ensure the book’s success and maximum potential—not only for the author, but also for the press. In order for the designers to create a successful exterior, they will need to take into account various characteristics of the written piece.
The more hiking guidebooks I looked at, the more it became clear to me that they had a very defined look; glossy photographs of nature with a solid color band across the top or bottom with the title. With such a rigid look, how would we be able to make our Ooligan hiking guidebook look the part?
During my first term in the book publishing program with Ooligan Press, I was assigned to the Seven Stitches project team. The manuscript was in the middle of a round of editing and was about to go into copyediting. There were still other tasks to do: sending out blurb requests, writing up the press release, […]