…or in my case, lack thereof. Today’s Armchair BEA discussion is about aesthetics in two different senses of the term.
The Books: How often do you judge a book by its cover? How often are you surprised by what you find? 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? How important is it for the visual art on the outside of the book to match or coordinate with the literature art on the inside?
If I said that I don’t judge books by their covers, I would be lying. There’s something about a tattered yellowed mass-market paperback found in a hidden corner of a used bookstore that just makes me want to bring it home and add it to my shelves, particularly if the cover art is your stereotypical old-school sci-fi/fantasy look. And I’ve got a weakness for Frank Frazetta, and have three giant posters of his cover artwork hanging above my bed. It’s an aesthetic that I enjoy.
Looks don’t mean everything to me though, enticing though they may be. When I’m reading a series, I don’t even stick to the same format; sometimes I’ll have a paperback of book one and then binge-read the rest on my Kindle, and I’m prone to mix and match covers based on what’s cheapest. I do a lot of reading in the bathtub, so I’m kinda like “Eh, it might get splashed, whatevs.”
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 things come together to make the “brand” of your blog – something that makes your reviews and posts and websites, all your 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?
Ah, branding. Otherwise known as “one of those things I really should do more carefully, but don’t do because it takes time and effort that I could be using for reading.” I’m jealous of a lot of the themes and designs that I see on other blogs. I’ve got a very flexible theme here, but my follow-through always feels somewhat haphazard. I know that I’ve come a long way since my early blogging days, but it’s still not the best. One of the things I always have a hard time with is my desire to keep the aesthetics at least somewhat gender-neutral without looking too sterile.