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Book Store Stroller – Does a picture paint a thousand words?

Article by Louise Phillips © 3 May 2013.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().


putting up posters

I never used to think too deeply about novel covers, or so I thought. Before sitting down to write a novel, I would stroll into a bookstore and browse the shelves looking for my next great read. If I recognized an author and enjoyed their material before, that was a definite plus for me. But you don’t realize  or at least I didn’t, how influenced you are by a cover.

The cover is the first thing you see – makes sense! But what does a cover of a novel give you?  Content? Genre? Tone? Curiosity?  Story?

No doubt when creating covers, designers and sales and marketing people want to create all of the above and so much more. It’s a difficult task – get it wrong and those wonderful words might never be read.

Now that I have become more aware of my relationship with covers, I realize that I’m often drawn to similar ones, although I’m not altogether sure why. But I find them, or they find me, and what happens in the first glance, first date mentality is that I pick them up, turn over to the back of the novel and read the blurb – the next step – purchase:-)

I’m sure greater beings than I have thought long and hard about what makes the ‘book store stroller’ stop and pick up a book. It’s fascinating, and it is something I’ve become more and more fascinated with the more I realize how important a good cover is, and how detrimental a bad one can be.

So with the small paperback release of RED RIBBONS out this week, and a much anticipated cover of The Dolls’ House due to reach me in the next couple of weeks, I’ve decided to share some of the crime covers featured here on writing.ie over the last twelve months – an interesting bunch you must agree!!







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LOUISE PHILLIPS is the bestselling author of five psychological crime thrillers. Her debut novel RED RIBBONS, and her subsequent Kate Pearson novels, THE DOLL’S HOUSE, LAST KISS and THE GAME CHANGER, were each nominated for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year. She won the award in 2013. Louise’s work has formed part of many literary anthologies, and she has won both the Jonathan Swift Award and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice platform, along with being shortlisted for the Molly Keane Memorial Award, Bridport UK, and many others. In 2015, she was awarded a writing residency at Cill Rialaig Artist retreat and she was also a judge on the Irish panel for the EU Literary Award. In 2016, she was longlisted for the prestigious CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and her first two novels, RED RIBBONS and THE DOLL'S HOUSE, were published in the US. She has recently been awarded an Arts Bursary for Literature from the Arts Council of Ireland, and her latest novel, THE HIDING GAME was published on September 5th 2019. It was shortlisted in the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards 2019. Louise Phillips is the crime writing mastermind behind writing.ie's Crime Scene blog.