We cover how books cannot necessarily be judged by its book cover. How can we get passed looking at the cover? Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover

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Rachel: Welcome back to another amazing episode here on Marketing Whisper Podcast. I am your host Rachel Calderon, and I’m your co-host Kathryn Calderon, and today we’re going to be talking about something quite interesting. I’m not a reader. And you know that I don’t like picking up a book. My library consists of no books. Very few I can’t say any books that would be incorrect. I have a few books, I flipped through them every now and again, but I’m not a reader because I’m an audible kind of person so I, do audio, but what I have found is that even in the audible sometimes I’ll flick through, audibles. Not sure about that one and I just kind of flick through them.


Kathryn: And why is that?

Rachel: The cover. The cover sometimes has me stumped like the. See I’m more of a visual person, and I know that that’s probably not good.

Kathryn: No, it’s very good. I don’t believe in the statement. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Maybe like back in the nineteen-hundreds when it was books like Wuthering Heights and Dracula, don’t judge the book because those are great stories, and the covers obviously weren’t, eh, they were so, so, but nowadays there’s like no excuse, you’ve got illustrators, you’ve got graphic designers, you know, somebody in your life who can design you an amazing book cover. It falls to the publishers. So this isn’t really at self-published people because they have less money, you know what I mean,  so they’re hiring, sometimes, technically out of pocket, but even still they even get some great because I know some self-published authors that I’m friends with and they still have great covers, but ones especially backed by publishing houses, those are the ones that disappoints me the most, and it’s really not the authors fault because the author actually have no say in how a cover comes out.


Rachel:   I have a question for you, I wrote this book, an amazing book, OK? This is me thinking as an author and I’m the author and I’m thinking like the author and I have like this whole story painted out. I’ve written this amazing script and you botch it up by putting a blue background, and white letters, like not even the font, pulls me in. Why is that?


Kathryn: I’m not in the industry, I don’t know the ins and outs, but I know that technically it’s when they sell the rights to their books, to the publishing house, they technically have the rights to all that. So, they’re the ones who hire like the cover designer. And usually lots of times they do get it right. They do have there are gorgeous covers, but then there are lots of times where there’s not. And sometimes the cover so gorgeous and the inside’s not that great. But you sold your book because your cover was gorgeous. So, at the end of the day, you still made money. Even if I didn’t enjoy your book because I have a couple of books on my shelf that I bought because the covers were fantastic. And I thought there were going to be great ended up hating them, but I still kept the book because the cover was beautiful, and I would take a thousand pictures of the book. Why? Because it’s beautiful and I may not have enjoyed the story.


Rachel: Well at that point I think it’s personal preference because that’s a movie, a movie sometimes the title and the Little Synopsis that they put out there, and even the trailer is like great to see the movie and it’s like you saw the entire movie in that little five-second clip and there was really no real meat and potatoes when you watched it. So, I think it would be the same thing with a book. 


Kathryn: That just really shows you how the importance of a book cover. Because even if preference wise I didn’t like it and somebody else loved it, that author still made that money. Because their cover sold me. So that whole don’t judge a book by its cover is bogus. You need to make sure that your cover to whatever type of book you’re making, whether that be fiction or nonfiction, your cover needs to sell. You’re covering because that’s the first thing people see. They don’t; nobody has the book backward where you see just a synopsis, and nowadays a lot of books don’t even have the synopsis on the outside anymore. Sometimes it’s in the dust jacket. So, like in the inside of the dust jacket. So that’s not the first thing we’re seeing.  The first thing we’re seeing is that title and the cover.


Rachel: Which I think are the most important pieces of that sale. So, it’s like that book, the new psychology of persuasion and motivation in selling. Good grief. This old book, I think it’s like the seventies or the sixties kind of book. And the actual book is Tan with green and burgundy lettering. Absolutely no visual for this book. Like the persuasion is definitely. This book does not persuade me in any way, shape or form.

This book does not persuade me in any way, shape or form.


Kathryn: And that’s not to say guys, that your book has to have a visual because it actually does, and I have some gorgeous books with the type, but it’s all on just how it is designed because you can make the type absolutely flawless because there are some books that literally just type but they’re done well.


Rachel: Well, that’s what I was going to get at.  But what pulls me into this book, even though it’s 2018 and I’m looking at a nineteen-seventies, sixties book, was the fact that the font, the new psychology and then of persuasion and motivation in selling like that title is what pulled me in. But now otherwise this book would have been. If you look at, if anybody’s seen the original of this book, it doesn’t even look remotely pretty. It looks like one of those lecture style college books. Very boring looking.  And it doesn’t have any appeal to it. But the text itself, like you, said, first of all, the title I think I know is what pulled me into this book. And I was like, you know what, I’ll get that book, and I’ll get it on Amazon because the titles what, caught me.


Kathryn: I have a couple like that. The covers are nice, they’re not the greatest, but they’re nice covers.  But it was a title that really like got to me. Like there was one called history is all you left me, and I was intrigued. Then that same author, this title is going to sound crazy to you, but it’s so interesting that I just, I had to put it on my list of books that I wanted to read, and it’s called, they both die at the end.  And it was such an interesting title because I was like, that’s so in your face. And that’s so like Bam like that’s what this book is. No, but what you’re actually for me, like how I thought about it was that it was like, do they both die at the end? Like is he being that literal with us or is he messing with us and it’s going to be like a complete switch, like you really don’t know, somebody spoiled the ending for me and I’ve found that they really do both die at the end, but she didn’t mean to me because she was like, oh my God, it’s right in the title. And I was like; I didn’t know if that was a metaphor or something like that. I had no idea, but I still want to read it because it’s like that title is just so intriguing. Like they both die at the end. Like, wait, what did you give us the ending like that? You see what I’m saying? It’s like, how did he, how did he give you the actual ending yet still draw so many people in.


Rachel: See that’s exactly what we’re talking about. If you’re not going to visually make a statement, at least with your text, it should still visually pull you in.  There’s got to be something, especially today in age with, that everyone has something to say and every, there’s so much content out there. See, you have to take a good look at what you were going to put out there so that you can attract that person or that that audience.


Kathryn: The thing is there’s something for everyone like if you’re somebody who’s like, I don’t want this illustrated decorative book. There are still minimal style books that always draw you in and because they’re minimal and they’re done, right. Like you can have your whole book completely white and then like the title tiny. But that draws me in. See now I’m wondering about this book. This blank book with just the title or there’s like, there could be kind of an irony to your book like there’s this one book that it’s like this, like kind of yellow sunshiny book and it’s called the female of the species in all on the cover.  There are different species of animals with like a word underneath it. Some are crossed out, and now the actual book is a gritty and twisted and dark and fun, but the cover does not suggest that. So, it’s like, that’s like an irony type of thing because when you read the synopsis, so when you read the book, you’re like, where did this cover even come from? It’s like all unassuming you’re thinking, OK, this is some light, playful summer read by the end of the book, you’re like sobbing your eyes out crying. I’m like, oh my gosh. This book like hit me right in the heart. It talked about so many emotional things like really powerful story. But the covers what drew me in because I was so intrigued by this, like unassuming cover with such a dark like synopsis that I just had to see how this, how this meshed and I ended up loving it.


Rachel: And it’s like, that’s those series of books that I have here on my shelf. It says no BS if you can you pull one of those books right there, because I have to just read one of them. Dan Kennedy has kind of coined in the no BS. He has several, No BS books out there. Now this one is direct marketing. The other one is No BS Price Strategy and so on and so forth, and if you look at the covers, covers are to me not very appealing, but I think what pulls me in, what is said, no BS and then in the no I see the little bull and I was like what is this about? So sometimes, I mean if you look at it, it’s definitely in your face, but there’s a lot of content here just on the front cover, so I find it very confusing and a lot of things going on here.  You have some illustration, you have a bunch of colors, and then you have a ton of colors.


Kathryn: But it grabs the eye because you want to figure out all the stuff that’s happening.


Rachel: The no BS is what I was like, who would call it no BS and I’m like no BS. That pulls me in. And then I started. Obviously, it pulls me in enough to say, OK, so let me read through some of these. And again, I’m not a reader, but I do have some things that I, enjoy reading. So, if it’s not going to be visual, and again I’m a visual person then at least it has to pull you in with the text has, to me, I think of if I’m reading, I remember when I was a child, and they used to read in kindergarten to me, they used to say, OK, I want you to know as we’re reading, I want you to paint a picture in your head.  So that’s how I look at these books. So, what is the picture? What is the picture that you’re painting your head when they put just text?


Kathryn: What’s cool about it though is the fact that there are so many different types of covers you can have. As I said, there’s the cover of using a model, which I tend to not, I wouldn’t recommend covers that have people on them, people shy away more. Unless you’re a romance story. Those covers are whack. But then there’s, you know, you can have all text, you can have like a photograph, like there was one that it was just, it was like a mystery thriller and had the title, good size, and it was just a knife with a drip on it, and it was a photograph of it.  Really beautiful cover and simple. Then you have the minimalist style book covers, then you have the illustrated book covers, and sometimes you have a mix of both. So that’s what’s cool about it is that you can have so many different types of book covers out there and so many different variations. And really what you have to remember at the end of the day is that it’s really important that your cover, matches your content. If it’s an amazing book and you want people to get this, your cover needs to scream, read me.


If it’s an amazing book and you want people to get this, your cover needs to scream, read me. Fabulous-Bookcover-ACE-of-SHADES (Photo Credit: Kathryn Calderon)

Rachel: That’s what I say. And your title. Absolutely. Now an author has authority to create their title or no?


Kathryn: Yeah, they create their titles.


Rachel: So, they do create. OK. So at least they have that much.  I mean if they take it to a publisher then that’s up to the publisher, but who doesn’t want to be published by a publishing house to do all your marketing and all that fun stuff. But I say that if they get to choose their title at least.


Kathryn: But they do get in on the process of the book cover. It’s just like the final say so usually is not up to them. And I say usually because like I said, I’m not there, so I don’t know all the ins and outs. Some authors may have had, but like I know I’ve seen a lot of the times authors complain about people getting angry at them for the book covers in there. Like I had no say in my book cover, don’t yell at me and they still love their book cover, but they’re like, but don’t blame me.  Like I don’t have the final say.


Rachel: And you actually, that’s because you’ve spoken to authors.


Kathryn: Yeah, I mean I just see on twitter.


Rachel: There you go. So again guys, you have to understand that we can’t always judge a book by its cover, but at the same time sometimes you have to kind of judge.


Kathryn: ninety-nine percent of the time people are going to judge a book by its cover.


Rachel: So, you know, make sure that if you put anything out there, especially if you self-publish, at least find a person who would at least take your vision with your title and to display that on there, to really, really, really take the time to display it in a way an illustrated in a way where it can be appealing to the ideal audience. So today I want to thank you for being on our show and listening. I hope you took away a little nugget today to judge or not to judge. That is the question of the day. Bye guys. Bye.

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