Are book covers important?

parable-composite_2015

Writing is the most important part of any book.  However, book covers are also important in their own way.

Realm Makers has announced the finalists for the Parable Award in book cover design for Christian speculative fiction.  Speculative fiction refers to stories containing elements that are fantastic, futuristic, or supernatural.  The winner will be announced at the Realm Makers Conference in St. Louis in August 2015.  I’m planning to be there, and look forward to seeing which cover is chosen to win.

Is book cover design important enough for its own award?  Are art and design important?  Yes.

First, any art that communicates truth is innately valuable.  Therefore, any cover that is truthful about the content of the book, has succeeded.

Second, a poorly designed book cover says “unprofessional.”  Potential readers might reasonably conclude that if the cover is unprofessional, then so is the writing.  At a minimum, a book cover should not turn away potential readers.  The professionalism of the cover is a marketing tool.

The cover should invite the reader to ask, “Am I interested in the subject matter of this book?”  From there, the reader can make their own decisions.

I am not familiar with the nominated books; however, my favorite covers are for The Fatal Tree and Dream Treaders.  The cover for The Fatal Tree makes me want to check it out because its subject matter also seems interesting.

Soli Deo gloria.

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