Judging a Book By Its Cover

Posted on December 20, 2010

Even in the digital age, book covers are crucial in getting a reader interested in a book. So much work goes into creating eye-catching art work that will make a book stand out to the reader.

In this very interesting video, CBS News' Erin Moriarty reports on the design process in creating the art for literature's most famous novels and what lies ahead for the future in the digital age. She takes a peek inside the process at Grand Central Publishing and Knopf and talks to some of the artists who have created memorable covers that really sell.

The covers can often help to greatly increase the overall value of rare books. Michael Inman, curator of rare books at the New York Public Library, told Moriarty, "To give you an idea of how important dust jackets have become, a book collector who wanted to buy a first edition of The Great Gatsby, if he or she bought a copy that did not have the dust jacket, they could buy a nice copy for maybe around $10,000. If you buy a copy that has a dust jacket - even if it's rather tattered - you're looking at probably $80,000 and up."

Unfortunately, the video interview is no longer available but you can still find the transcript online at cbsnews.com.
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