Should Books Just be Books?

Two excellent articles on book classification. The first one, by Rosy T is up at Vulpes Libris and the second, by Rosy B is on her blog. And it’s an interesting discussion. I mean, when I walk into a book shop I like to know roughly where I can find what I’m looking for, but, as Rosy B says, that can end up being restrictive for those writing within genre as they often have to be written to a set of ‘rules’. Anyway, have a read and decide for yourselves.

0 Comments on “

  1.  by  Lexi

    I am fretting on this very point myself, Nik, and may blog about it shortly…(Btw, word verifiction – is there a reason why you have it? I don’t, and have only had two odd Spanish spam-type comments).

  2.  by  Nik's Blog

    I’ll look forward to it, Lexi. The whole self publishing thing is something I find really interesting, even though I know truly bugger all about it.And yes, I have been spammed. And I really don’t have the time to sort it out after it’s occurred. And I know typing those word verification thingumies is a pain in the bum – thanks (all) for doing it. I just wish there was a ‘no’ box to tick so I wouldn’t be offered ‘chance to have an F cup’ or a ‘guaranteed iron rod’ you know?Nik

  3.  by  Fionnuala

    Sorry, came on to talk about the post but ended out laughing at your last comments. Er, where was I? Oh yeah….books, book shops, genres. I HATE the idea of plain book covers but readily admit that this is becasue I already have an image in mind for mine. Now all I have to do is find another agent, get a publishing deal and one that likes my image.Howzat for positive thinking?!

  4.  by  Nik's Blog

    Yes, I know what you mean. The cover(s) is part of the whole package, isn’t it? Best of luck with the agent hunting!Nik

  5.  by  the mock duckling

    Thanks for linking to those, Nik. I was reading through the comments and wondering how many authors actually imagine their own cover-design and know exactly what it should look like.

  6.  by  Nik's Blog

    Good thinking, Rosy. I think I’d bet that a good many authors have an idea of what they’d like (want) their covers to look like. As I said, I think it’s a part of the whole package, and quite an important part at that, at least to a lot of people. Maybe similar to marketing and/or on which shelf your book sits in a shop. I think a good cover does help to attract people to, categorise, and sell a book. Whether that’s right or wrong or not is another issue!That said, I must confess to quite liking the idea of a plain cover. But I think that would have to suit the book. Books are what they are, I think. So, most importantly, Miss B, do you have an idea of what your cover should look like…?Nik

  7.  by  The Mock Duckling

    “But I think that would have to suit the book. Books are what they are, I think.”That’s key, isn’t it? I think RosyT added in comments on the Vulpes piece that the trouble is that plain covers now scream “literary”! So there is really no getting away from it.In answer to your question I love visuals so I want a lively cover – though I wouldn’t mind a plain cover if it was a plain vivid colour like red. I might have to answer this question more fully on my blog as yours in for children 😉 Although I’m not sure if I’ve been sworn to secresy about yapping about my book til it comes out. Not that I know what the cover will be yet. Very exciting. And scary! Did you have an image of yours in your head beforehand?

  8.  by  The Mock Duckling

    And just an added thought about covers and kids – as you write for children – covers were very important to me as a child. I had two versions of Watership Down with different covers, one of which I loved and one of which I didn’t. And I would be horribly disappointed when favourite books I’d read in the library had horrid new covers when I bought them.I think my main problem though was with photographs on the cover when I had very strong visual imagination and knew what the characters looked like in MY head. For example, if they stuck on photos from TV adaptations or something and they didn’t look like MY version. Hated that. Preferred drawings as they never looked quite so specific…

  9.  by  Nik's Blog

    Yes, I can see what Rosy T means. Isn’t I Lucifer’s cover a very plain grey one? Not that I’ve read it.I love the idea of a plain, vivid red cover; though I would worry that it would suggest erotica (not that there’s anything wrong with that – it’d just be a pain if it was misrepresentative).With regards mine, um, no I don’t think I had a clue what it would look like until I was asked to provide illustration briefs and actually had to think about it. Which probably says a lot!N

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