I'm a bit of a purist when it's about book covers. A cool, pretty and/or fascinating motive, the book title, the name of the author, maybe the series title, that's all I want on the front cover. I can also live with a short blurb (but often appreciate if it's not there), but that's pretty much it. So maybe that's why I was a bit surprised, not in a good way, when I picked up my copy of "Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe" by Benjamin Alire Saenz.
As with most books I read, I ordered the book online and then picked it up in my local bookstore. Online the cover looked all pretty and even though there is a lot going on on the cover, it didn't look too crowded and appealed to me. But when I picked up my copy I saw that there were four additions to the cover, four emblems of awards the book has won.
I recognize the name of one of the awards, but even with this one I'm not sure who and how this award is bestowed, the other three mean nothing to me. And honestly, the four awards pretty much destroy the cool effect of the cover, at least that's what I think when looking at it.
I wonder if this mass of awards does help to sell copies of the book, will people be more interested in the book because of the awards? Even without knowing what the awards stand for? Will readers be drawn to the book who otherwise wouldn't have picked it up?
I have no idea if there are numbers to back the effect of award emblems on books. I personally can say that I'm not drawn to books because of awards. Most of the books I read will never be considered for one of the "important" awards and I couldn't care less about it.
I have read books that won important awards before, some I liked, others I didn't. So in my experience these awards don't help with predicting if a book will work for me or not.
Since picking up the book I have been thinking about this whole award thing and I have come to the conclusion that I prefer my front covers to be free of award emblems, call me shallow because of it, but I like pretty and special covers and emblems of awards often look out of place.
Btw, the awards on the books are: The Lambda Literary Award, the Pura Belpre Award, the Stonewall Book Award and the Printz award, I heard of the last one before, but have no idea what's it about and frankly I'm not that interested in finding out more about these awards, but then I don't care about awards that much in general.
I plan to read the book in a few weeks and I'm excited to find out if I will enjoy it or not, not because of the awards but because I heard great things about the book from other readers. I hope that I will fall in love with the story, but of course can't be sure about it.
Do awards sell books? And do you like them as additions on book covers?