How does a good book look?, Uncategorized

How does a good book look? #2

This month has already been a weird mix of good and bad books but all of you avid readers will know, sometimes the bad ones are inevitable. Sometimes, though, I ignore the red flags and go ahead and read anyway. I am. Just. That. Addicted.

I am definitely guilty of that in the last few months and I’ve made a pact with myself not to give in and overlook the red flags. From now on, I’m stepping up the quality control!

I know we did a red flag last week but I wanted to talk about another one this week just because it’s both obvious and really not. Sometimes we need reminding that we need to avoid:

Books with unprofessional looking covers

Now, I was going to say “bad covers” but that’s not really the right term to use. Good and bad is subjective and we need the concept to be a bit more tangible. “Unprofessional” covers it.

I’m not saying that books with unprofessional covers are bad, that’s a sweeping statement that is probably wrong. But in my experience, if a book has an unprofessional cover, there’s a chance the manuscript hasn’t had the attention it needs.

Unprofessional book covers aren’t hard to identify and I find they tend to fall under two categories:

  • Minimalist
  • Enthusiastic

Here’s what happens with the minimalist category. These covers are usually a scenic picture of a beach, a forest or a mountain and will have the book title and author name plastered across it in white or black Comic sans text.

As for enthusiastic, this is where lots and lots of pictures of things from the book have been squashed onto the cover. They are busy covers that often look a bit strange to look at.

If you read many indie books, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, it’ll probably happen one day!

Here’s the thing. An unprofessional looking book cover isn’t a reason to not read a book, because it actually might be fantastic and the author just didn’t have the money for a professional cover or the info as to where to find good but cheap covers. But, it’s a red flag. It warrants a good look at the blurb and a peep into the “look inside” option before buying. In some cases, a lack of effort on the cover means a lack of effort all round.

Our book funds are limited and we need to have a level of quality control. One day, when we have our own Beauty-and-the-Beast-style libraries, it won’t even matter.

Thank you for reading!

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