This might well be bad news for those of us who love beautiful book covers. I keep saying that we’re living in a golden age of book cover design. The Penguin Classic Series alone should satisfy anyone that books — even paperbacks — should be taken seriously as aesthetic objects in their own right, not just for their intellectual value.
But that graph (courtesy of New York magazine)spells trouble. A Twilight-style redesign increases sales by that much? I’m all for more sales of Austen, but I really hope this won’t lead to a homogenization of book cover designs as publishers all fall in line behind the latest blockbuster design. I imagine it’s already tricky enough to not fall into the pattern of repeating the same tropes over and over, as the movie industry does — this sales pattern is a bad incentive.