When was the last time you judged a book by its cover?
And by judging a book cover, I am talking about books, and books only.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”. This is a popular idiom that is so deeprooted in our minds. Its origin dates back to a 1944 speech named “You can’t judge a book by its binding”. Later, the idiom became a common notion when it was used in the mystery novel “Murder in the Glass Room” by Lester Fuller and Edwin Rolfe.
Somehow I don’t accept this notion. As far as people are concerned, it may work. But to books, book covers are significant.
Speaking practically, book covers are important because-
- It is the first thing a reader sees, so has to be attractive.
- It should convey the genre or category of the book plot.
- It should be able to connect with the reader with very little words: Title, a subheading, author name, etc.
- The book blurb should explain the plot in as few as about 200 words. This is one of the deciding factors for the sales of the book.
You see, the human psyche is primitively based on making judgments. Fonts, color, texture, and many factors play a role when we perceive an object. These factors, sadly, cannot be diminished and rejected completely, if the reach and exposure of a certain product/idea are concerned.
Despite the age-old idiom, one cannot let loose the hold of a good book cover. I do judge a book by its cover.
I remember buying the same book for the third time just because the cover was alluring. That might not change the plot, but it sure does change my perspective towards books.
Now similarly, we can look at writing content.
Like a cover is for a book, similarly, the headline is for content.
- Both need to be express the message in short and concise.
- Both need to attract the reader and make them open and go through what they have to say.