The Adventure in Auntie's Bookstore

Note to Self, Go Lime Green

A professor of mine back in college educated us on how book covers are made in the traditional book publishing industry. It kind of terrified me.


Because the author has very little say in the design and ultimate copy of the cover. Don’t get me wrong, she can have some input, but an author has to be selective with what she chooses to take issue with because the publisher will consider her input, but will, in the end, go with what will probably work best for marketing.

Silverville Swindle, The Editor Connection Blog PostIt’s a business, I get it, but my professor brought in his own book to illustrate his point.

The book was lime green with an alien on the cover.

He hated the lime green. However, when that book got placed on the shelf in a bookstore, mixed in with hundreds of other books, it popped. It stood out amongst the masses, as it were.

You may have seen my recent, probably overly excited social posts, about a couple bookstores carrying The Adventure. (Check out Aunties Bookstore and 2ndLook Books!) I am beyond ecstatic about this next step in the book publishing adventure.

But I definitely see now why lime green is more eye catching than dark blue.

Gah! It’s hiding back there!

With a last name like Zeiger, the book ended up on the bottom shelf. Plus, with it’s dark coloring, it’s harder to see in the first place. (I still love the cover! but marketing might dictate I love brighter colors a little more.)

So, Note to Self for the Future, go with a brighter color or something that will pop against a dark background.

My learning curve continues. =) What catches your eye in a bookstore? I’d love to hear your thoughts.



8 thoughts on “Note to Self, Go Lime Green”

  1. Looking at our bookshelf, we have one pink and one white one that really stick out! Also, there is a purple and white spotted one that is pretty eye catching. 😀

  2. I have a very long (at least an hour) process I go through in a bookstore. It involves many tours through the same section. After about a half hour, a few books will stand out. Sometimes the title catches my eye, sometimes the spine has me intrigued. After another half hour, I’ve kept looking, but the book my eyes keep returning to is what I pick. I try not to judge a book by its cover, so sometimes it’s the title the gets me. Sometimes I just keep seeing the same book, so I have to find out what it’s about and it doesn’t even matter what it looks like. Though I’m sure other readers don’t have this crazy process, so I can see why an author would have to go to pains to pick the right cover.

    1. Love the in depth answer! We all have such personal preferences when picking books that it’s good to hear what draws someone else to something specific. =)

  3. I like your cover too, Jennifer! But I can see how a brighter color might have helped it stand out a little more, especially if it’s on the bottom shelf. I don’t have much input about book covers, since I’m perpetually in the editing phase, but it seems I’ll have a lot to think about when I get to that stage! Congrats on getting The Adventure into bookstores, and good luck in the rest of your self-publishing adventure! 🙂

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