The Nerd Factor
In a recent interview in Locus Magazine, Betsy Wollheim, president of DAW books, said:
We're also striving to make the packaging more sophisticated, although it's hard because we don't want to lose our core readership. But I'm finding that many middle-aged people still want to read fantasy and science fiction -- they just don't want to be seen doing it! So one of the tricks of the trade is to make the books look a little more upscale.
Do you think it's true that people are judged by the cover of the book they're reading? Is that one factors that hurts speculative fiction readership? Maybe spec fiction would sell better if it was displayed behind opaque covers, like Cosmopolitan in my local grocery store.