How to Sell a Book by Its Cover

Posted Thursday, January 14, 2016

How to Sell a Book by Its Cover | H&H Graphics

Despite all the warnings to do otherwise, we still judge a book by its cover—nearly 80%—according to a reader survey conducted by In fact, 62% of respondents regard book covers as the artistic representation of the content they will find inside.

Book Covers as Packaging

This is an indication of how big a role packaging—in this case a book cover—plays in the psychology of a consumer's purchasing decision. It may also help explain why printed books continue to outsell digital. After all, print can convey a deeper sensory experience through its integration of texture, dimension and even scents, inviting the need to be judged... favorably. This is especially true when printed material takes full advantage of current specialty printing techniques to enhance the sensory experience.

These are the same techniques that make books even more likely to be regarded as objects worth owning. As Julie Bosman, observed in her article, Selling Books by their Gilded Covers, for The New York Times, when book buyers select a printed publication over or in addition to the digital version, it's about the "...physical beauty and the pleasures of owning, not just reading."

Special Effects Printing for Book Covers

We serve publishers small and large with high-gloss UV coatings and a wide range of special effects printing. We even won the Gutenberg Award for printing glitter on the Dork Diaries. We also printed both glitter and gloss on Kylie Jean Soccer Queen (pictured top right).

Special effects printing can be applied over the entire book cover (flood) or on a spot printing basis. Gloss coatings are often used to bring life to the author's picture and other images, but getting creative with other techniques will attract even more attention on the shelf both on the spine and cover. Special effects printing can also protect books from fingerprints and wear and tear.

Contact us to learn how you can use specialty coatings and inks to entice more readers

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