How much more likely are you to pick a book off a shelf or table if it is beautiful? If the cover appeals to you? Or better yet, if the whole physical package grabs your attention? The jacket may feature a spot gloss title on a matte finish or have no jacket or even a photo image but the type may be embossed or debossed, maybe dye-cut or silkscreened on a paper-over-board case, or on striking fabric or wood, plastic, leather…you name it. Maybe it’s a three-piece case with rounded corners. Or has gilded edges, or polka dot edges – see Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes From Our Kitchen from Chronicle Books.
Having entered publishing through special markets, more specifically the gift market, I came around to considering books as objects, objects that are potentially as giftable as they are self-purchases.