Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Authentic by Design

I create a flier/poster for the Library each month named "Check It Out". This will usually showcase a few titles (books) that have a similar theme and offer a quick, one or two sentence synopsis of the book. There are usually seven or eight books that are reviewed each month.

We offer this as recommendations for users (Library patrons) that might need a starting point for a new book to check out. An example is last months Check It Out for June 2009;

We have to scan each of these book covers, clean them up a bit and then lay them out in our publishing software along with the textual descriptions.

Mike has been scanning them for the last few months and I do the layout. He showed me an unusual book cover for the upcoming July flier for a book named "9Tail Foxes", a sci-fi murder mystery. The cover he scanned in had a few worn edges and stress folds in it, which Mike started to clean up a little until he noticed that the book was printed that way. There were no folds or worn edges, it was an effect that the publisher had printed on the book to help it appear as if it was an older, worn, used book.

I thought this was unusual, but in reality, its been done before but with a different product. Blue Jeans are almost never found "new", they have been washed, faded and put through a few processes to appear worn-in. Thirty years ago, jeans were dark blue and people would have to earn that worn look, by actually wearing them and washing them several times.

Now we are seeing this with books. An old book, like old jeans, have character, they have been used and enjoyed several times over and this has an implied value, like a worn copy of On the Road by Kerouac.

I wonder if this has translated into a few extra sales for this book?

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