I refuse to believe we can’t move past the paperback designs of the past with their jumble of chunky fonts, strange color palettes, and, dare I say, unappealing illustrations of aliens.
I remember, at age eleven, seeing a copy of Lois Duncan’s 1976 young adult horror novel Summer of Fear featuring its original cover art at the Multnomah County Library and knowing immediately that I had to read it. And it wasn’t because I enjoyed the cover design; it was because I could barely look at it.
No matter how brilliant a piece of writing is, if it doesn’t know who the audience should be or doesn’t give enough context about its subject, the writing fails to be read, understood, and shared. It fails to communicate. The same holds true for book design.
Luckily for us in book publishing, we get to use gifs on social media. Even better, we get to MAKE gifs for social media. Personalized gifs of books or events that catch followers’ eyes and get them to stop scrolling and maybe even nurture an interest in reading the wise words of our authors.
In 2016, Scholastic conducted a survey on over two thousand US children ages six to seventeen and found that when it came to reading, boys generally do not like it as much as girls do.
Most often, pain develops in the cervical spine, which is the place—like the spine of your book—holding everything together. How can we promote a positive book culture when reading is associated with a negative physical experience?