Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How important are book covers?

Very important apparently. And doesn't Honk's cover just make you want to pick it up?

Be sure to head to the MPH Share a Gift carnival in Crowne Plaza Mutiara this Saturday, and in 
the afternoon, Lydia Teh will have the all-important launch of Honk! If you're Malaysian. 

On the subject of covers, compare and contrast Tash Aw's original cover (previous post) with 
the newer cover (the one with the pretty girl half looking over her back). Now, which one 
are you more likely to pick up? Most writers underestimate the importance of an arresting cover, the one that makes you want to drop everything you have in your bag and go, "I MUST ahve that book. Now!"

Seriously though, your cover has to make the reader pick your book up above all the other 1 million titles in the shop. And your back cover has to be equally good, with blurbs that sell and a killer sypnosis that makes you want to read on.

Dark City's 2nd edition will also be getting a new cover plus a lot of backpage and inside page newspaper blurbs. Finally! I know some of you guys really hate the present DC cover and have been bugging me to get it changed.


Yvonne Lee said...

Hi! I'm so glad you took the time to blog about book cover. Lydia Teh's cover is a sure hit! When I first saw it on her blog, I had this feeling, 'sure sell one'!

Anyway, her illustrator is an experienced hand at The Star.

Lest I be called a spoilsport, her panel of endorsees is ohlala...Everyone's favourite actor from Down South. Don't play-play hor!!

Lydia, you've a great cover, great publisher ( MPH means no distro problem lor...and yes, great display space. No need to be like Xeus and I, must go begging for space...)

Meanwhile, for those who have seen Adibah Amin's new book, I wonder if anyone agrees with me that the cover sucks! I don't know who's the publisher but for such well-known writer, Adibah surely deserves a better book cover. Someone is not doing a good job ;) Another thing is the words, 'A novel by Adibah Amin'. I mean why those redundant three words like ' A Novel by'?

Ok, just my tupence. But she's really good writer.

Last note, Yvonne Foong's cover is good too. Her book went on to be MPH Mid Valley's no.2 bestseller for Local books. Good for gutsy girl Yvonne.

Xeus said...

Yvonne, Lydia's cover is nice isn't it? Maybe you should get a newer cover for The Sky is Crazy too. BTW, I went looking for your Malay edition in 1 Utama but don't have. Distributed already or not?

Adibah's cover reminds me of a primary school textbook!

I agree MPH Distributors is a very good distributor. They distribute for me in Singapore and apparently they get all the best spaces. They distribute Yvonne Foong's book too.

Yvonne said...

Hi! Yes, Lydia's book cover is HOT.

My Malay book in the final stage of editing. The cover is very similar but the colour and layout is better.

Hopefully the sale will be better too :)

Lydia Teh said...

Xeus, thanks for blogging about this. I prefer Tash's second cover, the one with the woman.

Yvonne, hope your instinct is right, just as mine was in thinking that your book will be a hit.

I do like the cover of Honk. Hassan is a good cartoonist. And I hope that 'don't play-play' endorsement will help me to move sales.

Hope Adibah can get a new cover when reprinting. (Ted and Sharon didn't think it was very nice either.)

Doey said...

Hey thanks for all the comments. I guess a good publisher should hire good illustrators. In my case, hire a good designer. :P Hey but then for a lot of people, getting published is in itself fulfilling enough. The nice cover is a plus. But as consumers, ofcourse we can criticize. =) I agree very much, book covers play a big role in selling. I also prefer visually appealing books. After all, they'll be sitting on my bookshelf, so might as well look good too.