WOULD YOU BUY THIS BOOK?Complications Ensue
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Friday, September 30, 2005

What do you think, guys? Would you buy this book?

Please let me know what you think about this cover. Seriously. You like, you don't like... you are my core readership, so let me know your honest reactions.

(And please let me know now, as if there's anything you don't like about it, I have to convince my editor, and she'll have to convince the graphic design people at Holt!)


If that's exactly as the book cover is expected to appear on bookshelves, then my answer is no. Sorry, Alex. I've been a graphic designer and marketing strategist for many years, and this design just doesn't cut it with me.

Be careful with the use of red type and that semi TV Guide-looking graphic. One of my former clients, Larry Brody, was threatened with a lawsuit by TV Guide magazine last year because he used an almost identical graphic and red type.

By Blogger Kelly J. Compeau, at 3:14 PM  

Gotta agree with Kelly on this one. Too close to TV Guide's very recognizable trademarked logo.

Go with something that is similar to your previous book, but geared to TV and in a slightly different color scheme. How about a bunch of folks crowded around the set watching TV? Instead of red, a blue cover? It's going on the shelf next to Crafty Screenwriting so why not make it a companion?

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 4:09 PM  

Funny you should mention that, Bill. My idea was a blue cover, with a TV set, with the words "your name here" on the TV set. I like your idea of people in the photo actually watching the tv. That's even better.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 4:13 PM  

I've got to agree with the others. If this is the final cover art then you are sure to miss sales simply because it is too bland. Red does not mean dynamic if that is all there is to it. The lettering is too stock and reminiscent of fifties' style advertising. The book is about modern screenwriting and not about a history of TV but the cover has a retro feel to it. It will definitely get lost and if I know bookstore staff, mis-shelved.
I would suggest that you keep the basic layout of the first book, use a blue or green screen colour background and have a great big modern flatscreen TV on the bottom with the silhouettes of several heads- (mixed ages and types). The modern big screen TV will mimic the movie theatre frontage of the first cover but with enough difference to make the point. Use "your show here" instead of "your name here" and that should bring the point home.

By Blogger Hawise, at 6:09 PM  

As a business student I have to agree with kelly and bill. You should follow Bill's advice of making it a companion (design-wise) to the first Crafty book. THis will help people associate the two, can help improve the sales between them, and satisfy customers who own both. (People care... just look at the hullabaloo that was caused when fox changed the Simpson's dvd set design... *whew*).

Just like in TV, continuity between the two books will help association... Just my two cents

By Blogger Jason Sanders, at 6:16 PM  

I wish I could buck the trend here, but alas...

Crafty Screenwriting has a great, mass-market cover, but this is too academic. Too technical, more like a manual than an enjoyable informative read. It's almost begging course directors to include it on their scriptwriting syllabi. Suddenly I'm having flashbacks to ten years ago, wandering around university owned bookstores with a reading list of books that have been out of print for decades.

I don't know what the contents of the book will be, but that's at least one highly subjective opinion to consider.

By Blogger Lee, at 6:22 PM  

I concur...I don't like the red against white. Though I will say that I like the fact that your not going for all the flash most "How to" screenwriting books seem to have. The plain type and front make it seem more professional.

When does the book come out?
Hopefully soon.

I've only actually bought one screenwriting book, just read others, but I will defenitly be buying this one.

By Blogger CharlieDontSurf, at 6:39 PM  

Glad to be of assistance.

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 7:01 PM  

I also think the tag-line is weaker than your other book.

"Writing Moves That Get Made" is what grabbed my attention on your cover

but "a working writer's guide to making it in television" seems wordy and bland, far less exciting-sounding than your first cover...

By Blogger Larry Fouch, at 8:59 PM  

I'm going to have to keep it unanimous.

In this case, the angry red on white is a turn-off, not an attractant.

By Blogger Mackey, at 11:32 PM  

I agree with Hawise's opinion of what it should be, but want to add why the present design sucks.

It obviously resembles TV Guide, but TV Guide answers the "what" of TV: i.e. what's on.

The book, however, answers the "how" of TV: how shows get made and how you, the reader, can find a place in the biz.

Even if you get away with the TV Guide rip-off, it doesn't represent the book correctly.

By Blogger Webs, at 1:52 AM  

Still unanimous.. I don't like it either.

Why? What they said... all of it.

By Blogger writergurl, at 3:48 AM  

I thought that right away, too close to the TV Guide logo. Glad to see that great minds think alike.

By Blogger PJ McIlvaine, at 9:10 AM  

I agree with the others Alex. Ditch it. I worked for 8 years in a major bookstore and that book would not sell itself.

You need to tie it in with your other cover. The Crafty Screenwriting cover is a winner. If I was making the decision I'd make it the exact same, change the top color to a nice blue (like you get here on the links for people's names in the comments section) and then do the idea you had about the image of people watching television with the 'Your Name Here' on the screen.

It needs to be the exact same. The last cover was a winner and you need to tie this one in to make them a pair.

By Blogger Bryan N., at 9:44 AM  

I can't read.
You people are so cruel.

By Blogger DMc, at 12:15 PM  

Dude, doesn't Larry Brody already have a book with a cover like that?

But seriously, it scared me....

By Blogger madscreenwriter, at 12:58 PM  

Hideous is the only word I can think of for that cover. You want a cover design? I'll give you a cover design. Just check out a sample of what I can do at:


You'll see it right away at the top of the page.

By Blogger Uniquester, at 1:51 AM  

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