Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Importance of Titles and Covers

In an effort to get myself blogging again, I've come up with a few ideas for picture-rich and reader-interactive posts that I think will be a lot of fun for me and for any folks who still bother to check in here. :) I know it's been rather dead lately...sorry. Life has been a wee bit hectic!

Anyway, at the moment I am working as a temp at a very cool book store in Seattle. It's a used book store where most of the store's inventory is purchased from customers for resale. This, as you can imagine, provides the store with a more unique selection than your average store that sells only what's available currently from publishers.

While shelving fiction yesterday I noticed myself setting books aside that I wanted to read myself. Idly I asked myself why I was choosing these particular books. After thinking about it (while still working! I am a busy bee!) I realized I was attracted to either the cover art or to the title. The author had little to do with it, as in most cases I'd never heard of these particular writers before.

I've always sort of known that I am more swayed by title and cover than other factors in choosing my book purchases. In fact I've always thought MOST readers are swayed this way, but of course such a cliche admission (don't judge a book by its cover!) sparks debate on forums and at writers' group meetings. But still I stick up for the importance of quality (and genre-appropriate) titles and covers, and try to encourage my fellow would-be authors to put a lot of thought into titles, even if they think their titles might be changed later by Higher Powers, and to kick and scream if they don't love their cover art. Sometimes I've received the internet equivalent of eye-rolling for my crusade for better titles and covers. Since seeing first-hand just how much these things do factor a shopper's choice in what to read, I feel justified!

So I thought it might be fun to examine what I pull from the shelves for personal reading every week, and analyze what about the cover and/or title draws me to make that purchase. And of course you, my few readers, are welcome to join in the discussion! I hope you will, in fact. I hope to have it up and running in the next couple of days.

In other writing news, as the writing world now knows, the amazing Natalie Fischer announced a few weeks ago that she is heading over to The Bradford Literary Agency. After discussing my writing and where I see it going over the next few years, Natalie and I decided to part as client and agent; we both agreed that Dijkstra Agency was a great match for my potential career. I am now represented by Taylor Martindale, and am very happy about it! After a lengthy phone conversation with Taylor, I feel great about our working relationship and she feels like an excellent match for me.

I really enjoyed working with Natalie. She's a sharp editor and has a ton of enthusiasm for what she does. Her input made my two historical novels much better books, and I am so grateful! I'm sure she'll find lots of success with The Bradford Agency. :) Thanks, Natalie, for everything!

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