Ripping the covers off covers

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BOOK TALK

Ripping the covers off covers

Book covers are important when enticing buyers, so why are some so boring, others so beguiling?

Sunday Times Book Editor

The saying should be, “It’s OK to judge a book by its cover”.

I have to make snap judgments on some. Self-help malarkey, with its rah rah How To Survive/Thrive/Strive blah blah in bright yellow or orange type I toss aside quickly so as not to contaminate other books. Anything with a spacecraft on it, stars, planets and so on is a big no, thank you. I might look at a cover with a cat or a dog on it, but will I read it? Probably not. Babies, not for me. Any brownish cover — I always ask myself just what were the publishers thinking! I wish someone would enlighten me on the thought processes behind choosing a dull, brown cover to sell a book.

What confounds me though are the differences between UK and US covers. We mostly get UK covers here, but a few from the US do sneak through. It’s one of the few battles left between the two so-called superpowers. It is a “who-wore-it-best competition” for nearly every international best-seller...

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