Locus is featuring a gallery of science fiction artwork from books and magazines published in 2006 – 528 works in total. Since we had a recent discussion on the blog here about what makes up an effective cover, I’d be interested in doing a little experiment with you folks (if you can spare ten minutes).
Take a good hard look at the list from top to bottom, and make a note of any cover that makes you want to lift the book off the shelf to find out more (the quickest way to do this is to right-click on the image and save it to your computer). You will be impatient and quick; that’s okay (it’s the artist’s fault for failing to grab your attention). I want this to feel just like it would if these were all titles clamouring for attention on a bookshelf. When you’ve finished, narrow your list down to the ten most likely to make you lift the book/magazine, and email this to me privately (address on sidebar). I’ll correlate the results and see if there’s anything to be learned.
Having done the experiment myself, I tried to make my choices on my gut reaction of the artwork. The book title can also be a factor in your choice, but don’t choose based on author; try to pretend you don’t know who wrote the books. That’s essentially the position we indie authors are in. We can’t sell based on fame.