We’ve so far looked at how technology has allowed writers to self-publish, enter competitions and how eBooks have changed the way people read (or so we think). Today I am going to look at the digital impact of book visuals. Specifically how technology has allowed writers to express themselves and their stories visually.
Interesting visuals can allow writers to attract readers to their books in different ways compared to just reading reviews, blurbs and recommendations from others.
Creative book covers, fonts and illustrations/images attract readers. I am going to share some examples of how has been done. As we can easily take things like this for granted, I think that it is still important to highlight. Even though this kind of technology has been around for a long time.
Book covers are something that we can tend to take advantage of. In the past, books had simple covers with little to no images on them. As technology has become more advanced, book covers have become more appealing to look at. This can be a big factor in boosting book sales as the use of images has made it (as much as we hate to admit it) easy to judge books by their cover. Even though books have had illustrated covers for a long time, I think it is important to mention how digital advances have impacted how we physically look at books.
The digital impact of printing has allowed pretty much any design to be printed on a book cover. This is crucial to creating something that is eye-catching which is important to make sales.
An example of an interesting cover that I have decided to show you is ‘The Snowman’ by Jo Nesbo.
Jo Nesbo's THE SNOWMAN was first published in the U.S. #OTD in 2011.
“I´ve read that it´s the smell some carnivores use to find their prey. Imagine the trembling victim trying to hide, but knowing that the smell of its own fear will kill it.”
―from THE SNOWMAN (2011) pic.twitter.com/ozj3S622tY
— Vintage/Anchor Books (@VintageAnchor) May 20, 2018
I chose this cover (even though it is an alternative to the original) as it shows an interesting image. Even though the title of the book seems fun and friendly, the book is actually a crime novel. This is hinted by the jagged edges of the drawing, the dripping blood and the black background. This draws in the reader as it is different to what you’d expect the cover to look like from just reading the title.
If you’re currently trying to design a book cover yourself, or are interested in what draws readers in, check out this article on ‘Self-Publishing Relief’ entitled “How To Design A Book Cover To Boost Sales’.
As technology and printing has advanced, it has allowed authors to have a bigger choice in what font to use. In the past, fonts that are clear and easy to read, for example Times New Roman, have widely been used. However, as authors have become more creative with their writing, other fonts have emerged. They can be used to make the books seem more personal. Saying this, however, some fonts can be expensive to print so there are certain books that use unique fonts for chapter titles, for example, then a simpler font for the main body.
Fonts are also important in children’s literature. Books that aid children in learning to read usually have a simple font with large spaces. This allows the children to follow the letters with their fingers to spell out the words.
Examples of books that use unique fonts are ‘The Princess Diaries’ and ‘The Secret Life of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾ ‘. Both of these books are diaries so the authors used fonts that resemble handwriting to state the date the diary entry was written. This makes the books more fun to read as it creates a more personal reading experience. It enables the reader to imagine what the writer is like from their handwriting.
Illustrations and Images
Of course, illustrations within books are most commonly found in children’s literature. They can, however, also be found in books for adults.
Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ is about a young boy who discovers a key which belonged to his father a year after he died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This book is unique as they were able to embed real-life photos and handwritten notes within the pages. This is not usually found in novels but conveys important messages about the story. To have a look at some of these images you can look here.
Thank you for reading! I hope this post has given you a new found appreciation (or an increased appreciation) for the simple ways that books have been impacted by technology.
If you liked this then why not check out my last post here. It includes some facts about the sale and consumption of eBooks.