You know how people say one shouldn’t judge books by their covers? Well, I couldn’t disagree more. I’m “Different in a Different Way”, and I would love for others to understand my thinking behind certain things - including why I believe covers matter!
I like to believe that all of us are creators to some degree. Some of us are content creators, as in, they entertain and/or inform others. Some of us like to only create for themselves, say, in diary form. And others are more of a consumer type - but even they create: They create their selves.
Every creator cares about their creation to some degree. Or at least they should. Some of us hardly care at all, while others care way too much about silly details causing them to lose track of the big picture. And some of us have the gift to care to the right degree.
Any caring creator will put effort into their production - whatever kind it may be of. Whether you produce computers, movies, music, or write - there is going to be a certain amount of effort you have to put into the creation of it. And, most of the time, depending on the amount of effort spend on the production, the output will be better or worse. Better, when you cared and put in thought and effort. Worse, if you didn’t.
But what does this mean for books and covers? The writer of a book is no designer, what does he have to do with anything? The book is his creation. If he cares about it, he will put effort into every bit of it - including the cover! Especially the cover!
A lot of people have great ideas, but out of those people, most don’t know how to market, present, and realize their ideas. Ideas will not grow, when presented to people in an awful way. Likewise, you are more likely to pick up the book with the interesting cover when walking through the store, just like you’re more likely to pick the guy in the suit jacket for your interview, or the nicer looking person to flirt with, when going out.
We generally judge books by their covers - and not just books, everything, all the way to the self each and every one of us creates: Everything is judged by its cover.
But shouldn’t covers not matter? Shouldn’t the covered content matter? Certainly. But if you care about the content, you will care about the cover. If you create something you have faith in, you will want to put a great cover on that something.
If you wrote a book entitled “My Pink Elephant” about yourself and your pink elephant, you better come up with some damn good cover ideas, and then find someone to realize them, if you can’t yourself. If you create a phone, you better make sure it’s the greatest phone you can make inside the most beautiful cover you can think of - and if you’re really exceptional, you’ll think of all other aspects as well. From production to packaging and retail - you’ll control and take influence in everything you possibly can, in order to create the greatest experience anyone has ever had with a phone. (Sound familiar?)
And when you create your self, you should be doing all of these things as well. When you have an idea of what your self should be, and you’re living it - then you, cautiously or not, create your cover likewise. It’s easy to see the things inside from what’s shown outside, if you just take a close enough look.
Which is why covers matter: Covers reflect what is inside. They don’t necessarily show everything, but they show a lot, and only few are able to disguise completely what’s inside. In other words: If you care about your book, you’ll care about the cover, and the cover represents what’s inside!
Thusly, if you don’t care about the cover, you don’t care about the book. And if you don’t care about the book, neither will most other people. Create what you care about, and care about your creations. Take them one step further than you ever imagined you could go.