November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment
They say to never judge a book by its cover. But in today’s tech-savvy color-savvy entertainment-savvy age, why shouldn’t we? Whoever writes, publishes, and markets a book is trying to get people to buy it and read it and recommend it to friends. The cover is the advertisement for the content within. With this in mind, shouldn’t the book industry be making their book covers as appealing as possible?
The cover isn’t the most important part of the book, but its up there; if a reader is turned away by the unappealing cover, you’ve lost another buyer, no matter how good the content is. The first step is to get them to open the book. In fact, the cover the hook as much as the title is. A poorly designed graphic interface can oh so poorly represent the material which it is meant to advertise. There is a reason why magazines use bright, flashy colors and that Times Square uses bright, flashy lights and the reason people who want to be seen wear bright, flashy clothes. Eye-catching advertisements are used because they catch the eye. It works.
Authors have a choice to give their book a pretty or dull cover. I am more inclined to buy a piece of literature that is cleverly and artfully presented than a book that looks boring. Because if you can’t even be original on the cover, what makes me think the inside will be any better? True, it is the actual words inside that count at the end of the day when separating the good writers from the great. But the cover is no lesser matter. It may be unfair and immature to judge a book by its cover, but the cover is the advertisement for the book. If its ugly dustjacketed self never gets off the shelf, what good is it?