It’s a horrible habit, I admit it. But do I have any other choice? With 95,000 books published every year (in the USA alone), how on earth are you supposed to spend the time to read books with bad covers?
Of course, it’s not just books. We judge magazines, restaurants, even people by their covers. (and especially web sites!) And as a result, we end up skipping great meals, not getting to know terrific people and missing all sorts of terrific opportunities as a result.
So, here’s what I do about it:
1. I try to find things with lousy covers and go out of my way to check them out. If the herd is drawn to the obvious, flashy cover, then I’m not going to find insightful, rare information where everyone else is. The unique stuff is hiding.
2. I try to make covers that don’t sabatoge the work. It’s astonishing to me how many packages, jackets, labels, signs and outfits are chosen because they’re safe, boring and invisible instead of for the only reason that matters–to sell the prospect on finding out what’s inside.