I’m fortunate to live in Philadelphia where book stores, big and small, are plentiful. Plus, we have a gigantic central library and more local branches than I can count. Wherever I go, I'm surrounded by books!
One day last week, I was browsing in one of those stores when I was distracted by the manner in which the romance books were shelved. All of the book spines, with title and author, faced me as I browsed. None of the covers were in my direction.
I was a little frustrated over this. I felt that as I approached each new book selection, the cover of the first book offered should be displayed. Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive because I’ve received so many compliments on Magic Moment’s book. But, I think a book cover has a lot to do with selling a book. Many times, when I’m scanning the shelves, I’ll pick up and check out a book because I’m intrigued by the cover.
I approached the sales associate and suggested how she should turn at least one copy of each book offering so that the book cover faced customers. She smiled politely, said she’d take my suggestion into consideration and went back to stacking shelves.
Simply shelving the books in author alphabetical order, I was bypassing any author who wasn’t already known to me. Whereas if the book’s cover had intrigued me, I would pull it off the shelf, give it a look and perhaps purchase it. Not only would I have discovered a new book, but a new author. I doubt if I’m the only book buyer who purchases in this manner.
So, today, I’m asking for comments and opinions. As a book buyer, how important do you think a book cover is to a book?