I could see this being a problem. When I first looked at the book pictured, I thought it was aesthetically pleasing. However, I couldn't figure out the title immediately- not a good thing when marketing a book. I decided that it must be "Everything is Illuminated," having not seen the text immediately above it. (Humans scan things more often than we read them.) I then looked at what was written on the fingers, out of curiosity, and assumed up until the thumb that it was a quotation from a review about the book, or words descriptive of the book, but not the title itself. If this was a book among hundreds of books in a store, I might not have looked as closely at the cover as I did when it was a single photograph in a blog entry. Perhaps, then, authors foraying into design, if they are not designers, might be a bad idea for marketing.As a writer, I would love to have a hand in designing my own book. I just don't know if I'm qualified to do so.
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