Promotional stickers on book covers

I am still tweaking my novel but the time has come when I can no longer put off the tricky matter of choosing a cover design. I had not understood the importance of the cover on ebooks when I started writing the story so I’m more anxious about this aspect of digital self-publishing than I had anticipated.

One regular piece of advice is to visit booksellers and see which covers from your genre catch your attention as you walk towards the stands. Earlier this week I went into a well-known High Street shop that sells books, magazines, stationery etc. with the intention of choosing two or three of their top-one-hundred-selling paperbacks  based entirely on my reaction to their front cover design. I have never bought a book without reading the synopsis; this was an experiment to see if the stories fulfilled my expectations created by their covers alone.  My plan was short-lived, however, as every book’s cover was partially obscured by a large red sticker showing the special deal if you bought two books at the same time.  If your book is amongst the top five in the bestsellers list I suspect that this would not bother you, but what if you are a new author whose book has crept into the top one hundred for the first time, someone relying on readers being drawn to their book first because the cover is striking.  I came away without buying any books but will try my experiment again in a proper bookshop where there will, hopefully, be shelves full of naked books for me to admire.

I would like to know how you feel about covers being defaced by large stickers after so much effort has been put into their design so please leave a comment. 

2 thoughts on “Promotional stickers on book covers

  1. I get the point of the stickers, but hate them. I usually check if there is a non stickered book on the regular shelves. If not I usually unpeeled it befor purchasing.

    I assume you are in the UK & I think I know the multiple you are referring to, sadly they have lost their edge in the book market when compared to the time of my childhood in the 70s.

    • Yes, I live in the UK. I am lucky as there are still several independent bookshops in our area although, since buying an e-reader, I buy contemporary fiction as e-books.
      The stickers obviously serve a purpose in identifying a particular offer but these large, bright red blobs were randomly positioned and it was pot-luck whether they obscured the author’s name, the book title, the image or a brief extract of dialogue or prose. Something smaller stuck on one corner of the front cover would have done the job!

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