InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames 10,000 Words FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

How to Judge a Book By Its Cover (and a few other factors)

“People send me lots of books,” writes 43 Folders editor Merlin Mann, “so I have to decide rather quickly whether one should be added to the ambitious pile of stuff I already really want to finish reading.” GalleyCat has the same problem; fortunately, Mann’s got a checklist of questions readers can ask themselves, whether they get books in the mail or have to look at them in a bookstore, to make the yea-or-nay vote “easy and obvious.” Some of the highlights:

⇒”Is the author’s large, whitish face the primary feature of the cover?”

⇒”Can you find the word ‘secret’ anywhere on the cover of the book?”

⇒”Does the book suffer from the overlarge margins, giant type, two-paragraph pages, and ‘inspiring quotations’ that often suggest a rushed, shoddy, or lazy manuscript?”

Perhaps most important of all, “can you imagine a future in which closing this book on the last page will make you angry that you didn’t just go back and re-read A Confederacy of Dunces instead?” But those are just Mann’s criteria—how do you make these decisions?

Mediabistro Course

The Art of the Book Review

The Art of the Book ReviewStarting August 4, learn how to get paid to write reviews that will influence the publishing landscape! Taught by a Publishers Weekly book critic, you'll learn how to recommend a book to its audience, write reviews of varying lengths, tailor a review to a specific publication and more! You'll leave this course with two original reviews and a list of paying markets for book reviews. Register now!