You can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Or so I’ve heard, many, many times.
Sure, you can’t get an indication of the quality of the writing, yet can’t certain other characteristics be more than hinted at?
Take my four-volume collection of Short Stories, each with the common end- name of ‘Life and Love’. Each cover features a scene photographed in Sydney by my husband, the organ-builder Ronald Sharp, set against a white background. The printed words are plain and clear. Does this suggest to you an honest, decent, intelligent read?
Likewise, our newest venture, 60 Questions, Insights and Reminiscences. Again, the same unadorned printing on a simple white background surrounds a photo of a woman sitting, thinking, in a garden of flowers. A selection of topics contained within are noted in an aesthetically pleasing fashion. What do you make of this? An interesting, thought-provoking selection of articles? Something uncommon, different?
So many volumes by other authors have a feel quite different to mine, yet remarkably often of the same flavour as each other. What does that suggest? Popular, commercial images? Mass market strategy? A tried and true formula?
All in all, isn’t it true that, much like an individual’s face, a book cover can actually be a revelation?