Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's up with that?

If Maggie Kat was an author her glamour shot would take up the entire back cover, and maybe the front as well.

Have you ever noticed how many books have the author's name in huge print but the title is in teeny, tiny letters, sometimes in a lighter color that almost fades into the background? What's up with that? And what about those huge glamor shots of the author that take up the entire back of the book? (Clive Cussler, James Patterson, Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Patricia Cornwell - you know who you are!) What's up with that?

I just read Jane Green's latest book, Dune Road, and had trouble verifying the title because it was hidden under the huge letters of the author's name. When Danielle Steel's latest book, One Day at a Time, is placed on the shelf, spine out, it is impossible to see the title, but you can read the author's name from 10 feet away!

Someday we're going to set up a display with the books facing backward and let readers choose their books from the author's glamour shot. Once upon a time I just passed over these books figuring the authors were on a major ego trip and therefore I wouldn't waste my time, but that's getting harder to do as many of my favorite authors have gone over to the dark side in promoting their work with their huge names and pictures! What's up with that?

Okay. Sorry. Now that I've vented...
What books have you read that gave you a "what's up with that" moment?

Linda K. Readers' Services


Karen said...

I don't read this kind of popular fiction, but I just wanted to say: thanks for a laugh-out-loud post! I have occasionally seen a book and thought, "Oh, _Boris Akunin_, that's an interesting title. Maybe a biography?" and then I find out it's the author's name, completely obscuring the book's title! Welcome to 21st century society, where everyone is a rock star. Fun post, and love the photo of Maggie Kat!

Anonymous said...

Although I follow a couple of popular authors, I generally steer clear of books with the glamour shots and obscured titles. To me, it's the mark of "novels for the masses."

Roberta said...

The new Dune books (prequels, really) by Frank Herbert's son, Brian Herbert. The word Dune is HUGE on all the covers. It telegraphs, "Here! More about that world you loved in the 70s! You'll feel right at home!"

But I judge books by the cover all the time. Who am I to disregard the effort spent telling me what the book is about (vampires) and who it is aimed at (women).

Maggie K said...

I’m going to have to write me a book. Of course, nothing in the life of a cat is fictional. My book will start out dark. I will have to expel invaders from another planet. There will be light moments when I play with white mouse and brown mouse. An (artificial) bug on a string is one of my favorite games. Then there’s a tent that I jump out of. My clever exploits will entertain everyone. Yes, my picture will grace both the front and back covers, and on the inside flap as well. Now, I must get back to writing, playing, and napping. ~Maggie K

Joel said...

My personal favorite author picture is Terry Goodkind. One of his pictures is just a riot: he takes himself WAY too seriously with his crossed arms, hairy biceps, long ponytail and a focused stare containing just a trace of contempt. Also, Stephen King deserves an honorable mention for world's most striking author picture: he's just a scary-looking dude.

La Scorpia said...

Sometimes when I am sad and I need a little good cheer, I wander over to the romance section and look at the pictures of Danielle Steel on the back of her books. My favorite is the photo on the back of "The Cottage" - a large polka dot affair with a giant matching shawl.

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments and suggestions here. Thanks!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.