Yes. I love reading. I love plotlines and great prose and thought-provoking concepts. I love sitting there for hours writing at my laptop or with a pen and paper and crafting my own ideas for books and blogs and articles and scenarios and letting it all pour out of me without a care for. It can be disciplined or ill-disciplined. The muse comes when it comes.
What I also enjoy is seeing how books market themselves. The cliche, “You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover” is exactly what publishers want you to do. In many cases, the most perverse and scandalous the better. Many publishers, I imagine, use carefully illustrated images with artistic connotations with people adopting curious glances or items or artefacts that belong to the plot. The first hook, so to speak. I don’t know if authors have so much say on it. I can only assume publishers and marketers and graphic designers choose the colour combinations and fonts, etc. After all, book-selling is a highly competitive industry, the experts are needed, meaning book-covers must immediately catch the eye of people like yours truly who would happily live in bookstore scouring every cover and synopsis. It’s true, some books are sold through movie release or word of mouth, maybe due to scandalous content (the Fifty Shades series, por exemplo).
Recently, I have come across many books on the net dating back to the 60s with some beautifully corrupt artwork and retro drawings gracing the covers. Many look like a Jack Vettriano painting, but with more sensational condiments to thicken the narrative’s sauce. A typical cover might consist of a mystious volumuntious lady posing in various states of undress looking conceitfully into the eyes of what seems to be a none-the-wiser oiled man dressed in a suit or tux or random cowboy outfit. They look as though they’re catered for a range of genres, but they feel very much “sexual noir” or “femme fatale”; the female being the villain or anti-hero, but it could be me talking nonsense because I’ve read not one but I feel I need a whole collection, just because the covers are so lustfully retro and cool. One thing for sure, some of Ian Fleming’s Bond books used some of this artwork. You only hope that the quality of the content do the book cover’s justice.
The images provoke thoughts and plot-lines leaving little to the imagination (yet so much more thought-provoking and classy than today’s porn) but make you desperately needing to pick up and read, rather than the glossy photos on billboards where women are photo-shopped to be lusted after and cause I don’t know how many car accidents. This is classy yet sinful advertising causing far less motor accidents unless you’re the type who reads erotica while driving. Yes, this is explicit and direct marketing using the hypodermic needle that blasts metaphorically speaking into the loins of a reader and leaves them in a hurricane of devious reading. In the 60s, I do wonder if this would have been considered porn.
Without further ado, here’s a link to a blog by J. Kingston Pierce, who did a Killer Covers project based on works of Robert E. McGinnis. You can find a lot more by googling his name. Enjoy.