The Importance of a Good Spine


You might think I will now lecture you on the importance of good posture for a writer when sitting at her keyboard and typing away. Sure, that’s important, however, I would much rather talk about book spines.

The other day I had the extreme pleasure of spying my book on the shelf at a local bookstore; a very exciting moment, until I realized why it had taken me a while to spot it.

The spine doesn’t jump out!
There it was tucked in between a couple maroon colored spines and some black and brightly colored ones. I’d never given much thought to color or font use on a book spine, but suddenly I found it very important.

When I came home the first thing I did was browse my own many bookshelves (yes, way too many. How am I ever going to move all those books to Colorado next month?) to explore the spine issue in greater depth.

What I found is that most of the books on my shelves had clearly readable words on the spines and most made good use of font size, contrast and/or color. Some even have a small picture of the front cover on the spine. My Terry Pratchett paperbacks immediately spring to mind, or popped off the shelf if you prefer.

Even the Penguin classic paperbacks stand out with their old orange spines and more recent versions with black and yellow spines.

It’s given me something to think about as I progress on my journey as published author. In particular, what information and color options to give to the cover artist.


Getting a book on the shelf in a store and then having it get picked up by a reader requires a true synergy of talents. So I’d like to give a big ‘thank -you’ to everyone who helped make that happen for Out in theDark.