By Jennifer 8. Lee | February 19, 2008
Why do fiction books get all the glory? In my experience non-fiction is often more of a challenge to design than fiction. I guess it has something to do with the freedom that novels allow. With a novel there is a great deal more latitude with subject matter, tone, feeling, etc. But, with non-fiction, it is tight. Non-fiction deals with facts and with readers who want to know those facts. Making those kind of books look good and still retain the credibility that the book demands (how-to books, biographies, religion, etc.) is not easy. On one level you run the risk of making non-fiction look dry, academic and boring. On the other hand too much “creativity” might damage the very credibility that the book is trying to sell. Such a dilemma.
So, in honor of those designers who pull off non-fiction cover design successfully and get no respect, I thought I would start featuring some of them on this blog: the Non-fiction Cover Genius Awards. I hope to present good options. And, of course debate is welcome.
For those who wonder: Anne Twomey designed my book cover. One of the best parts is actually the spine (which you can’t see, but features chopsticks like at the top of this blog)
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