(This expands on a post I made on Facebook.)
Sometimes it’s the small things that make a big difference. Consider these two variants of the Steampunk World cover:
The original one, on the right, made sense at the time. I wanted (rightly so) to showcase James Ng’s artwork. And anything that people might end up getting from the title – it’s steampunk, and global in scope – is something that you’ll be able to see from the image.
But it’s a year later. And there’s two big reasons I moved the title location.
First, people have heard about the project. It’s not an unknown thing, and even if you weren’t a backer, you probably heard something about it. And so the title alone might get someone to pick up the book now, when they hadn’t before.
Second, the title is more clearly visible when it’s in a book rack. Check out that photo of my display when I was at a local event this year. I’m reaching the point where I will have to have a book in every row… which means you’ll not get to see the full cover of each book.
This is not a problem I’ve had before. I either had digital books (where this isn’t an issue) or I had books laid out more like the displays in the background in the photo. But now, I simply can’t do that anymore with printed books. I have over a dozen titles in print, and they take up a lot of room – especially when I only have half a table.
Putting the title at the top suddenly means the difference between a title getting seen or being ignored.
So which of the two variants do you like better? Does seeing the title on a display make a difference for you? Or do you judge a book by it’s cover alone?
And don’t forget – you can pre-order Steampunk World right now!