Saturday, July 18, 2009

You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover?

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by a wide variety of elements that stimulate all five of our senses. Advertisements reach out to us from the pages of magazines, television, and from the Internet. We are constantly surrounded by music, sound bytes from television, and the voices of our friends. What would a day be like if we could not smell the rich aromas from a bakery, the smell of salty air from the ocean, or the subtle aroma of perfume. Each of these elements has a tremendous impact on our senses. I can still remember the smell of the salty air as I read Captain Ahab for the first time. Used correctly, we can stimulate each of our reader’s senses in a manner that will make their reading experience more vivid and imaginative.

Vivid and imaginative are two words that fit together in ways that are beyond our ability to explain. The best book in the world, however, will not sell if we don’t make every effort to give it visual appeal. Don’t let someone mislead you with the old saw: ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover.’ First impressions are important, and most of it comes from what appears on the covers of our book.

Marketing experts tell us that we are likely to be attracted to a particular book because of the colors, as well as the artwork. Red and black are two of the most vivid and appealing colors, but it is a good idea to do your own research. Go to a bookstore and slowly approach the section where your book will be displayed. What do you notice? While a red and black cover might stand out when displayed on a table by itself, this might not be true if you place it among hundreds of other books with a variety of visual elements. Think in terms of a flower arrangement where a vast array of colors and textures are displayed side by side. What are the little things that will make someone select your book from the shelf instead of another? Take some time to carefully consider each element before you give your input to the graphics designer, and take a second look at the books that appeal to you. There is definitely something magical that goes beyond the elements of color, text, or graphics.

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