Thursday, May 12, 2016

Armchair BEA 2016: Day 2 Aesthetic Concerns - Books and Blogs

Today is day 2 of Armchair BEA and the topic is aesthetic concerns.

All about the books:

1- How often do you judge a book by its cover?

Now that I've been asked this question, I realize that I do it much more than I thought.  I love illustrations and something the cover is all the illustration there is.  I have to confess, however, that I have been known to order a book from Book Depository because I like the British cover more than the American cover.

2- How often are you surprised by what you find? 

I'm not often surprised but when I am, I'm really surprised.  Sometimes a book will have a really wonderful cover, glowing reviews and I am not able to get into the story no matter how often I try. The latest book this happened with is Anna and the Swallow Man.  It has an aesthetically intriguing cover, outstanding reviews and it just fall flat for me.  I put it away to try again later.

3- Do you strategize and make sure every book in your series has the same cover design (as far as you are able to and type?

I'm a little on the OCD side so you know the answer to this is going to be yes,  A few cases in point are the Harry Potter series,  the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley and  the Maggie Hope Mystery series by Susan Elia MacNeal

4- How important is it for the visual art on the outside of a book to match or coordinate with the literature art on the inside?

There is nothing more disappointing then beautiful cover art and a terrible story, whether it's a picture book, middle grade, YA or adult book.  The cover should be visually interesting so that it says something about the story.  The cover, after all, is the first thing that pulls you into the story.

All about the blog:

As a book blogger, in whatever form that takes, branding is important.  Your colors, your fonts, your style of review, all of these thing come together to make the "brand" of your blog - something that makes your reviews and posts and websites, all you various content, immediately recognizable to the people looking for you.  
What do you do to create a brand on your site?  Do you think about these things?

When I first started blogging, I never thought about branding.  I designed a blog using what I found on Blogger and that was that.  My review style has remained the same and that is probably the most consistent thing about either of my blogs, that and my gravatar.  At one point, I decided to have a professional designer change Randomly Reading and I've been very happy with it since then.  I tried changing the name of my blog The Children's War to Alex's Bookshelves, but no one liked it, so I went back to the original name and gave it a makeover.  One of the things that has really helped me make my blogs seem more branded is learning some html so I can customize certain things.  At the end of the day, though, I think no matter how much you think you have created a successful brand, it ends always being a work in progress.

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