See Yellow book covers to attract online buyers


Amazon’s sway in the publishing world now extends even to the design of the books themselves. The company now accounts for about 45% of all books sold in the United States, according to Peter Hildick-Smith, president of industry researcher Codex-Group, LLC.

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As Amazon’s importance as a bookseller has grown, publishers are pushing their designers to create brighter, bolder covers that appeal to online shoppers. This led to a series of brightly colored book jackets, with bright yellow covers now appearing in profusion.

“There’s a sort of maximalist attitude towards color, I think mainly because we’re making the chilling assumption that nobody’s going to look at the book unless they’re yelling at you,” said Peter Mendelsund, director associate artist at Knopf and author of ‘Cover’ and ‘What We See When We Read’. traditional dark thriller hues.

“Everything is simplified to what the eye can see at a thumb. It can be the size of the graphics, the colors, the amount of detail,” said Robbin Schiff, executive art director at Random House. highlight a cover, but the most contrasting combination – black and white – may put off publishers, who fear that without color the book will stand out. other online retailers.

But yellow skips inline pages, and it can support both dark and light characters and graphics. Additionally, it carries no gender associations and can mean anything from sunshine and optimism to a warning of danger, making it a solid choice for a variety of genres and topics. “A designer will do what they think works, and then we’ll show it, and if it happens to be on white, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, can we see it on a color?’ Rather than changing the whole design, it’s easier to just go ‘OK: yellow,’” Ms Schiff said.

The eye-catching jacket from Marlon James’ 2015 Man Booker Prize-winning ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ has been a frontrunner in the recent yellow blanket invasion. This year, disparate works like Sunil Yapa’s literary novel “Your Heart is a Fist-sized Muscle,” Tim Dorsey’s serial killer comedy “Coconut Cowboy,” and Lauren Weedman’s memoir “Miss Fortune ” were all coated with 100% yellow, the most basic yellow of printing inks.

Ms. Schiff used Pantone 108, a warmed yellow with a hint of magenta, on Charles Duhigg’s 2012 non-fiction bestseller ‘The Power of Habit’, an early boost to yellow’s recent popularity. Random House just released the author’s next book, “Smarter Faster Better,” but felt he couldn’t own the yellow anymore. The publisher opted for fluorescent orange.

Write to Lucy Feldman at [email protected]

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Appeared in the print edition of May 27, 2016 under the title “To attract online shoppers, book jackets scream for attention”.


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