Beauty is in the eye of the buyer.
In the article Book Covers: Do They Matter?, Melanie Figueroa from The Poetics Project discusses the importance of book cover design at marketing level, after having stumbled upon some statistics about booksellers’ view on the visual factor. She wittingly quotes Terri Giuliano Long’s article to argue that many readers do factor cover design into consideration when purchasing books online or in a bookshop, and while I agree with her that authors may not always be responsible for the quality of cover design, they certainly should take this aspect more seriously. True, the book writing itself is a piece of artwork and it is a shame that readers would not purchase your book because of the bad cover design, but wouldn’t a good design help you get across your message even more directly and add to the book’s artistic value?
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