To ‘spine’ or not the ‘spine’ – Book Spine

To ‘spine’ or not the ‘spine’ – whether it be nobler to just consider the front and back book cover design, or on bookshelves should we be giving emphasis to the book spine so as to stand out from the crowd!!???

In an era of vast competition in selling books through bookshops/stores we all know that one of the important key elements to a book is it’s cover and design.   We together with a book cover designer will consider so many different elements to the overall exercise to include (but not exhaustive) – front cover, image(s); layout, trim size; boarders; type of font(s); font size(s); whether in title in bold, or italic; where to locate on the cover, top, centre, left/right-hand side; where the Author’s name should be; what size should ‘author’s name’ should be in proportion to the ‘title; and where this should be located; whether to add and reviews or renown person’s comments (to give the book more credence), or even a strap line that entices the potential reader and gives them a flavour of what the book is about. Then we move to the back cover of the book which again considers background; font(s)/size(s), content, e.g. synopsis of the book; biography, perhaps author’s photo, (oh and yes, the ISBN or space for the bar code); publishers’ logo and where to locate.

We then come to the ‘book spine’…argh yes, that perhaps less important part of the book where we keep it simple, corresponding background to front and back of the book; spacing between spine folds, book title; author’s name…full stop, job done – not exactly quantum physics – or is that enough?????

We work so hard on this, spend a lot of money, and rightfully receive positive comment on how good it is – in the end the proof so in the selling, and if people buy our book(s) we are naturally pleased – job well done!!!

Unless a brand name or a best seller at the time, the balance of probability is that our book(s) will not be laying on display with the front cover on view but sitting on a book shelf where only the book’s ‘spine’ will be in sight. All that work and all the people see at the beginning is that ‘all important book spine’. There is however is a need to try other advantageous ways to get attention to our books so that potential readers/buyers pick up and look – and with the all important book spine also in mind. Contextually we realise just how important this is.

Given this there is an increasing need to give added emphasis to the design and content of the spine so as to stand out and entice people to pick out/up. Thoughts, ideas, and tried and test ways in which this might be best achieved would make for a good discussion and learning curve – even if we are successful and think we are up there, there is likely still more to learn.

I have some thoughts and ideas but am have sure that they are limited and that the overall experience of others out there will reveal some tried and tested ways of accomplishing effective ways.

Gordon Owen

pp iGO eBooks®



2 thoughts on “To ‘spine’ or not the ‘spine’ – Book Spine

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