We’ve all been told never to judge a book by its cover but have we all listened? Probably not. At one point or another you’ve probably most definitely judged a book by its cover and who can blame you – it’s hard not to! Whether you’re perusing Barnes and Nobles (or an indie bookstore) or glancing at Amazon Books, chances are you’ve noticed a book based on its bright colors, large font, steamy couple on the cover, textured surface, and so on. That is what the artists and publishers behind a book want – they want you to notice it. I stumbled upon an infographic recently published by Invaluablewhich uncovers key points about the process of creating book covers and offers some awesome fun facts behind 18 famous book covers!
Here are some interesting tidbits and publishing secrets using 18 of the most famous book covers out there!
Joan Didion is more than just an author; she’s an icon. She is an essayist, novelist, journalist, and everything in between. Didion is one of the most famous authors of all time. After the 1968 release of Slouching Towards Bethlehem, she gained a cult following of avid fans that has yet to cease.
And I, personally, am a part of that cult. I love Joan Didion with an intensity I could never begin to fully explain. From the moment I read On Self-Respect, she owned a part of my soul. I collect her essays like they’re going out-of-style (which they never will, obviously). She’s the writer I turn to whenever I feel my own writer’s block creeping in; she never fails to shake up my thoughts and make me see things differently.
Also, she’s taught me so much, and I don’t just mean in the emotional sense! She has taught me aboutwater, about the Women’s Movement, all about the state ofCalifornia (which I will be relocating to for the next six weeks in, like, four days and Didion has helped soothe my very anxious East Coast heart more than I could ever thank her for.), New York City, and so, so much more.
Joan Didion is above all else; she exists on a plane that is entirely her own. Her writing is bold, honest, dry, descriptive-yet-casual; she can make anything relatable, interesting, and easy to understand. She is the Queen of words. And, what better way to honor her ever-growing legacy than with some lesser-known facts about the wordsmith herself?
1. Didion is an insanely killer cook.
While everyone in the 1960’s was wasted out on hallucinogens and party favors, she spent her evenings cooking elaborate meals for dinner parties of thirty-to-forty guests.
2. Nancy Reagan loathes her
After interviewing her for The Saturday Evening Post in 1968, Reagan was less-than-thrilled to find the piece dripping with Didion’s famed bluntness and ever-so-slightly-sarcastic edge, calling her a “bitch” and a “hack”. (Also, how angering is it to see someone refer to Queen Didion that way? Show some respect, Nancy!)
Image Via LGBTQ Nation
3. She told Vogue she spoke Middle English.
In her application to Vogue in 1965, Didion wrote “middle English” when asked what languages she speaks. (Didion’s dry humor has been winning for decades.)
Image Via James Howden
4. Warren Beatty was Didion’s not-so-secret admirer for years.
Apparently his love and constant come-ons to his close (and married) friend were a running joke amidst their inner circle.
Image Via Interview Magazine
5. Harrison Ford was hired by Didion to help renovate her home in Malibu.
This was years before his own fame would erupt, and Ford has publicly spoken about how grateful he was to always be invited to Didion’s house parties, even when he was simply working as her carpenter.
(Can you spot Harrison Ford back in his carpenter days?)
Image Via Gauchazh
6. A babysitter predicted her daughter’s death
In 1966, the babysitter Didion hired to watch over her daughter Quintana told her Quintana had an “aura of death surrounding her”. Quintana passed away on August 26, 2005 at the age of thirty-nine.
Image Via The Cut
7. She freezes her manuscripts
Didion would put her manuscripts in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer whenever she had writer’s block. (Even Joan Didion struggles with writer’s block!)
Image Via Vanity Fair
How lucky are we to be alive at the same time as this literal legend? Long live Joan Didion, huzzah!
Sarah J. Maas is a New York Times best selling YA author with not only a movie adaptation, but also a TV series in the works. She’s currently working on a novel for DC, as well as the final installment of what will be her seventh book in her Throne of Glass series. The people. They love Sarah. So here are eleven fascinating facts about the beloved fantasy queen.
1. She’s a New Yorker.
Sarah J. Maas is a native of New York, but currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and their dog.
2. She studied Creative Writing.
In 2008, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College where she studied Creative Writing with a minor in Religious Studies. 4. Her Throne of Glass series is internationally adored.
The books are currently available in fifteen countries and twenty-three languages, with Maas is set to write seven books in the series.
5. Maas began writing the first book in the series when she was just sixteen-years-old.
Image Via Sarah J. Maas
She published the first several chapters on FictionPress.com where it became one of the most popular stories on the site, however she later removed it when she decided to attempt to publish the book.
6. She’s a huge Harry Potter fangirl.
Image Via Sarah J. Maas
Maas told Mashable, “I think of myself as a reader and fangirl first and then a writer. I grew up the biggest Harry Potter fangirl, so I remember what it’s like to wait for the books to come out, to be that into a book. I try to remember what it feels like to be on the other side of that table.”
7. She writes in a ‘Gollum cave.’
Maas told Mashable, “I write my books in this cocoon, this Gollum cave basically, and when they finally come out in the world I want my readers to love it as much as I do. I think every writer probably feels that way.”
Catwoman: Soulstealer imagines Selina Kyle returning to Gotham City as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees, two years after she escaped the slums. Meanwhile, Gotham City is vulnerable with Batman off on a vital mission, and Luke Fox wants to prove that as Batwing he has what it takes to help people. Selina’s left to balance a threat from her past, her growing connection to Luke, and the heist she still hopes to pull off.
9. Her books have gotten so popular that people have begun naming their children after her characters!
“People have named their babies after my characters! Aelin, Celaena, Nehemia, Elentiya. No boy names yet. I’m holding out for a Manon, like Manon Blackbeak, but I don’t think anyone is going to name their sweet innocent baby after a hundred-year-old witch.”
10. Her character-naming process is intense but often a little nonsensical.
“I’m pretty sure Tolkien thrashes in his grave at least once a day over my fantasy naming methods. I’ll go on baby name websites and I’ll have a vague idea of the culture I want it to sound like, like an Ancient Greece or Persian type name, so I’ll go and look up huge charts until something connects in my brain… I don’t even know where Galathynius came from. Again, I started writing this when I was so young, some of the creation process early on was completely lost in the black hole of my mind … [Or] I’ll do little inside jokes like… Dorian Havilliard. In earlier drafts it was De Havillard, which I think came about because I liked Olivia De Havilland. I‘m a huge Gone with the Wind fan and I liked the way her name looked, so I just swapped the n for an r. This is my really creative process.”
11. She was genuinely upset when, on her sixteenth birthday, no fantastical creature appeared to tell her she was magic too.
“On my 16th birthday I was really actually depressed because no magical cat showed up to say ‘you’re actually the moon princess’ or ‘you’re a secret witch, and all these real things you felt your whole life, they’re true.’ I was literally depressed the whole day because I wasn’t magical and special. So now I write about magical and special girls.”
So, we all know reading is the greatest hobby there is. It allows you to escape into other lives, worlds, and galaxies, but it also allows you to learn new ideas, facts, and ways of interpreting and understanding the world around you. Not to mention it allows you to touch, smell, hold, rub your face on the beautiful, fragrant capsules of wonder known as books.
2. The word for loving the smell of old books is ‘Bibliosmia’. Similar to carbon-dating, scientists can analyze the chemicals responsible for “old book smell” to determine the age of a book. The process is called “material degradomics”.
3. The three most read books in the world are The Holy Bible, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, and Harry Potter.
4. Nevada, Texas, and Mississippi have the highest ratio of customers to bookstores in the United States.
5. Dr Seuss invented the word ‘nerd’, using it in his 1950 book ‘If I Ran the Zoo.’
6. 68% of books sold worldwide are bought by women.
7. The term ‘bookworm’ originates from insects who live in and feed on the binding of books.
8. The most expensive book in the world is the 1640 Bay Psalm, which sold for $14.2 million.
9. The largest book in the world is The Klencke Atlas,which measures 1.75 meters tall, and 1.90 meters wide when open.
10. Fools Of Nature by Alice Brown was the first book to be described as a ‘bestseller,’ in 1889.
11. 1453 saw the first ever book published: the Gutenberg Bible. It was printed by the inventor of the printing press, Johannes Gutenberg.
12. Longest novel ever written is Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, containing an estimated 9,609,000 characters.
13. Tsundoku means “to let reading materials pile up in one’s home and never read them” in Japanese.
14. Charles Dickens owned a bookcase which functioned as a secret door in his house, and was populated with fake books bearing amusing names including Jonah’s Account of the Whale, The Lives of a Cat which came in nine volumes, and The Art of Cutting Teeth.