I recently ran across an old cover for the classic, How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is one of my all-time favorite books.
I immediately noticed something about the cover that unfortunately, has fallen out of favor with more modern publications.
See if you notice it:
What is different about this book cover from today’s book covers?
If you said the insert with the page numbers, you’d be correct.
On the front cover of a book, there are these questions:
1. What are the six ways of making people like you? See pages 73 – 128
2. What are the twelve ways of winning people to your way of thinking? See pages 131 – 209.
3. What are the nine ways to change people without giving offense or arousing resentment? See pages 213 – 243.
Why place this on the book cover when a person could view the table of contents within the book?
Because people glance at book covers. Book covers are a way to entice the potential buyer to take a closer look.
But in today’s market, many book covers have flashy images, sleek typography, and textured paper. But not much else.
For many years, advertisements enticed people to take a closer look at their product. Car commercial announcers explained why you would love the car.
Compare some of these commercials:
With this one:
The older commercials clearly explained the features and benefits of the car. They were helpful.
The ones we see today are all about style and image. They tell me nothing about what differentiates the car from its competitors and the specific benefits I’ll gain from buying it.
Your customer has a million messages coming at her every day, every hour, and every minute.
Why not be helpful?