Welcome to the Bold and Blocky Instagram Era of Book Covers

Excerpt from this article:

Books that are designed to render well on digital screens also look great on social. Let’s return for a moment to our avatar of great publicity, Marlon James. Black Leopard, Red Wolf’s publisher, Riverhead Books, has an Instagram account so pristine, so archetypical of contemporary design, that you’d think its jackets were all designed explicitly to sit there and rack up likes — likes that ideally convert to sales.

It’s a classic rule of marketing: The more touch points a potential reader has with a particular book — the more times they see a cover posted by an account they trust — the more likely they are to buy. Consider a fairly recent Instagram success. “Alex Chee’s How to Write an Autobiographical Novel is a book that people posted pictures of so many times that word-of-mouth became word-of-eye,” says Straub. “Not only would someone come in and say, ‘I’ve heard about this book,’ but they’d know what it looked like.”

In a marriage of irony and logic, a book that pops in a filtered miniature Instagram still life can declare its presence just as loudly from across the room, particularly in the boutique environment of the modern independent bookstore.