Even more incentive to get the back cover blurb right!
I noticed this article in the Guardian today.
Flipping hell: book designers lament Waterstones' back-to-front displays
Apparently, due to the Covid situation, some reopening branches of Waterstones are displaying the books with the back cover outwards/upwards so that customers can read the book's description without needing to pick it up. If a customer touches a book but doesn't then follow up with a purchase it has to go into quarantine for 72 hours (the book, not the customer!).
As someone who used to contribute to book covers myself, I feel the pain of the cover artists and designers whose hard work will now be hidden away and unappreciated. But I found myself wondering what changes might be made in the long term if this practice becomes widespread and continues.
What will that mean for writers? Will the blurb move to the front cover eventually, perhaps reduced in length and incorporated into the book's cover design? Will the focus of the jacket design change over time to the back cover rather than the front?
Either way, if the back cover is going to be the potential customer's first experience of the book, it makes it all the more vital to get the blurb just right. Something I personally find one of the hardest things. And I know from others' posts on the topic that I'm not alone in this.