Does Size Matter?

Admit it: sometimes, size really does matter... at least when we're talking about the cover design used for novels. And in this case, bigger isn't always better. Check out the covers on these three books, which I now must admit to owning (rest assured, they were purchased, read, and forgotten over a decade ago):

Now, these four:

I've always had a theory: the larger the author's name is, the more horrible the book. When the writer's name is more prominent than the name of the book, or takes up half the cover in some cases, publishers are clearly marketing the text based on a person's name, not the title and the novel it actually represents. John Grisham is no longer an ex-lawyer turned novelist- he's a brand (we'll save the ghost-writing allegations for a different day). The same is true for all of the other 100,000 first run authors like Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steel, and Stephen King. I challenge one of them to use a pseudonym for their next book and see how well it sells- why not let your work speak for itself?

Of course, there are exceptions. Absolutely. There are horrible novels that include a microscopic reference to the author on the cover, and great books that scream the author's name on the front. It's just a theory. But remember, when you look at that next potential read: bigger isn't always better- it's what they do that counts.

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