That is an axiom in advertising. Packaging plays a big role in product choice.
In like manner, readers do judge a book by its cover. In fact, book covers spell the difference between abysmal and astounding sales. Why do some books fly off the shelf and why do some remain there?
The cover of one of my books, Grace Found Me (365 Thoughts for Busy Women), was changed in time for the Manila International Book Fair.
It was not exactly gathering dust in book shelves, but for some reason, it went out of print. This award-winning book (Gintong Aklat Awards, 2012) occupied a special place in my heart, which ached when it disappeared.
During this time, a friend wanted to purchase a hundred copies for abroad and another wanted it as a give-away at her birthday party. I combed all bookstores to find it, but found none.
“That only means, it was saleable,” Tony tried to make me feel better.
But more than a year later, at the faculty lounge in the university where I teach, I got an email from Yna, publishing director of OMF Lit. “We need your vote to break the tie between these two cover studies for Grace Found Me.”
|(Left: Study 1; right, Study 2)|
Immediately, I downloaded both designs and did a quick poll among female peers and some students. (Yes, advertising taught me that consumers are the judge, not my gut feeling.) Study 1 (left) won hands down.
I asked, “Which one would you most likely buy?”
Some of the comments were:
“This has a come-on appeal.”
“This gives me a nice feeling.”
“This is happy and fresh!”
It was my personal choice, too—my gut reaction was right!
Readers loved the old cover (by Jon de Vera) when the book was launched. But because it vanished from the marketplace, it needed to appear again, not as it was, but in an all-new, attractive frock (by Amor Aurelio Alvarez).
Now that we’ve judged the book by its cover, may I invite you to read (and judge) its content?