Perusing through a quaint bookstore in Bellingham, Washington last week, several book titles caught my eye. (I tend to pay attention to ones that are unusual in some way, either by font, color, or wording.)
However, this time what caught my eye was the size of the authors’ names. Some were downright HUGE—much larger than the titles.
Hmmmm. Authors like JAMES PATTERSON, MARY HIGGINS CLARK, AND TOM CLANCY have enormous audiences who are lined up to buy each new book as it comes out. Their readers follow their NAMES.
I asked myself this question: Is it the quality of the writing that makes certain authors “worthy” of elevating their name to a print size larger than the title?
After all, it seems that the author’s name in large print is akin to having one’s name in lights on the Las Vegas strip or a theatre marquee or a highway billboard. So, wouldn’t it make sense that the writer has achieved some sort of writing status?
Are the days gone by in which clever titles and unique covers draw the reader in?
If the author’s name is LARGER than the title, should that be a clue to the reader that the story is just incidental?
Are big name authors counting on FAME, rather than quality of writing, to sell their books?
Is the size of the author’s name a fair judge of how well their career is going? Or have they simply found a clever way to make readers THINK they are better writers than the actually are…
I wondered if there could be some “rule” about font size.
Researching the subject, I have found no evidence of any such rule. Size seems to be totally unregulated and, thus, completely arbitrary.
One thing I do know is this: if you want to promote your writing, make the TITLE the largest print on the cover.
If you want to promote your name—or have a recognizable name, already—perhaps you’ll want to use a larger font for it.
Understand that you are in the business of selling books.
Turn the consumers’ attention to that aspect of your book cover that will boost your sales, whether it be your name or the title of your book.