Cover Story

The book-lovers' website Readerville has an excellent feature called Most Coveted Covers with comments about book cover design along with examples. Check out these covers on modern reprints of novels by Maritta Wolff, originally published in the '40s:

Back then, it would have been unthinkable to show a pair of legs without the rest of the body. Today it's very common and trendy. Bodies pictured without their heads, images upside-down or cut in half, etc. are some of the tricks today's designers play to attract attention. Once a gimmicky new cover style adorns a bestseller, it becomes widely imitated and presto, a cover design trend is born.


A premier publishing services firm Printellectual Printellectual

John Kremerís Marvelous Book Marketing Strategies

Git-er-Done NOW Book Marketing Tip #9 - Scout out related titles
Welcome to Marvelous Book Marketing Strategies, a monthly column based on book marketing expert John Kremerís 24-Point Book Marketing Action List, a list John compiled specially for the participants in his Book Marketing Blast-Off seminars. The actions on the list range from writing press releases and networking, to contacting Oprah and getting to know your bankís president. The underlying value of the list may be that it encourages you Ė the independent author and/or publisher Ė to focus on ACTION. As an independent author, self-publisher, or owner of a small publishing house, it all depends on YOU and your ability to GET THE JOB DONE. Self-promotion, guerilla marketing, and effective networking strategies are all vital elements of getting the BUZZ for yourself and your books that lead to SALES.

Each month we list one of John Kremerís Marketing Action suggestions, and elaborate a bit on why itís important and how to make each action happen effectively and efficiently. Prepare to TAKE ACTION, IMPROVE YOUR MARKETING, and SELL MORE BOOKS!

Book Marketing Action Tip #9:
ďScout out related titles.Ē

"Scout out your competition. Are they already stocked by these stores? If so, how are they getting into these stores? How are their covers? Their titles? Their interior design? Better or worse than yours? How are they categorized on their back covers? What about their size and thickness? How do your books fit in with existing titles? Can you hitch your book to a star?"

The old saying, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," is a common theme in publishing. Authors, illustrators, and designers are quick to jump on trendy bandwagons, knowing that the bookbuying public are a trendy bunch, and sometimes catching a customer requires playing along with current fads and design trends.

Another adage, "Know thine enemy," is important to keep in mind while scouting out competing titles on the bookstore shelves. Learn all you can about your competition, imitating what they do well, and avoiding their mistakes.

Keep this in mind: Competition is good! Being part of a popular trend is a very good thing, even if you have to share some of the spoils with others. So, be glad to be on the bandwagon, and do what you can to make your book more noticeable, easier to read, a better value - and most importantly - quicker to "deliver the goods" than the other guy.

Compare your book with competitive titles and honestly assess whether it does what books are supposed to do - inform, entertain, and fill a need - better than the rest.

* * * * *

Previous Marketing Action Tips:

Tip #1: Develop a 25-Word Key Statement

Tip #2 - Get Testimonials from at Least Three Famous People

Tip #3 - Develop a free report and write a news release for it.

Tip #4 - Write a free report.

Tip #5 - Talk to at least one sales rep.

Tip #6 - Talk to three bookstore buyers or owners.

Tip #7 - Talk to at least one librarian.

Tip #8 - Talk to at least five other retail owners or buyers.

* * * * *

Other John Kremer links:

John Kremerís Book Marketing Website:

John Kremerís Book Marketing Tip of the Week:
John Kremerís blog: