Judging a Book

Seth Godin, marketing maven and author of Small is the New Big, posted an interesting item on his blog today. He wrote, “Tactically, the [front] cover sells the back cover, the back cover sells the flap and by then you’ve sold the book.”

Do you agree? I really do think that a lot of books are sold by marketing rather than by their covers. That is, you read about the book in a magazine/heard the author on the radio/saw it on your friend’s shelf, and that’s why you want it. I’d agree that a poor cover can prevent a casual browser from picking up an unknown book and learning more, however.

What do you think? Weigh in in the comments, please.

Thanks to the Book Cover Archive Blog for the tip.–David E

One thought on “Judging a Book

  1. I think Seth is also saying marketing is what sells books. His post is a bit of a ramble, like he's about to knock off early for the weekend. Maybe he's speaking of the figurative front cover/back cover/flap i.e., NPR story = friends discuss = see it in the bookstore?

    To his point about “generic” (in the genre sense) book covers, what do you think it means that the cover to “Drink, Play, F**k”'s cover looks like “Eat, Pray, Love” — so much so that friends actually mistook the former (which I've read) for the latter (which I haven't). Bet some people haven't been so surprised since they mistook that “Henry” slasher movie for Ken Branagh's “Henry V” which was out at the same time.

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