Would you be interested in a book which was plain white with just the title and author? In an article in ‘Psychology Today’ the author writes that ‘The wrappers in which things come not only powerfully affect what interests us but also how we react to the contents we find inside.’
The cover of a book might attract us and generate hope that the contents will be of interest and that the writing will be of a certain standard. Once we open the book and start reading or simply perusing the contents, we can make a judgement about whether the visual expectations from the cover are correct. Just how much does a cover tell you about the contents of the book? According to Wikipedia our title phrase is a ‘metaphorical phrase which means you shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something by its outward appearance alone’.
There is a blog where the blogger writes fake book reviews based entirely on the covers of books. A recent homework assignment for our writing group was to create a story built around the cover of a book we hadn’t read. It produced some interesting results.
As Fay wrote in her excellent piece, the cover doesn’t always match the contents of the book. She used the example of: Our redhead turns into a brunette on the cover and our tall, dark hero, who is well into his thirties, looks like a blond teenager. And we are sure each of us could come up with several examples of where the cover doesn’t match the contents.
We had great fun finding a suitable photograph for the cover of our Astraea Press ebook, ‘Poppy Pops the Question’. After much searching and elimination we decided on a photo of a young woman standing next to her motorbike with her long blonde hair blowing across her face. The illustrator then placed her in front of a hotel where most of the story takes place and added the title etc. We are very happy with the result.
Osborne and Little have produced wallpaper featuring the classic Penguin book covers. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a room papered with one’s own book covers?