I sat for this painting in my teen years.
I recently read two books which were like reading my own personally owned piece of art. The lush covers and color art reproductions within Sacred Bleu by Christopher Moore and An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin screamed that the publishers knew these books would sell. The publishers would never considered them if Moore and Martin had been first time authors and unproven to deliver sells.
Christopher Moore made his fan following with such titles as Lamb and You Suck. The first book I read of Moore’s was Coyote Blue. Fans of Christopher Moore will buy his books without even reading the back cover because they know he is a wordsmith that delivers. Sacred Bleu’s cover of a blue naked women lounging on an artist's palette with the Eiffel Tower and a man in the background would definitely warrant a pick up, back cover read, and thumb through from many bookstore patrons including a few middle school boys. If you thumb through it, the art reproductions and the blue type would, most likely, intrigue you further.
The initial whiteness of the cover of Steve Martin’s An Object of Beauty would attract a bookstore patron. The second impact are the large letters revealing bits of a red painting. When you pick up the book the tactile ridges gives the feel of canvas invoking a reader curiosity as to its contents. If you didn't know that the comedian, actor Steve Martin writes, you might question if this was that Steve Martin. If you knew Steve Martin authored books then you probably had read or at least watch the movie, The Shopgirl. The cleanness of the type and modern art reproductions within would indicate further what the book could be about without reading the back cover.
These two book covers and a quick thumb through tell a potential buyer about the book. The object gives you the sense that its contents are worth your time. The popularity of the author names guarantees the purchase of the objects will be worth it even if the buyer couldn't handle the books because of looking online. The publishers probable didn’t even blink when handed the manuscripts containing color art reproductions.
As an artist and an author, perhaps, I am jealous that my first book could not be a printed piece of art, but neither of these books are the author’s first either. The business of publishing is exemplified by these two books. Once proven that your books sell then the level of expense to produce a book becomes a non-issue. These books suggest it is not just the author’s name that sells the book but cover art is a big part of marketing a book.