Whether we think we do or not, we judge stuff all the time. Studies show that we decide within the first four to eight seconds of meeting someone what we think of that person.
The same is true for you and your books. When viewing your book cover, your website, or any of your marketing material, readers will immediately be drawn to your book or turned away.
In a recent study, researchers from the University of Houston recorded the electrical brain activity from 431 gallery visitors last year as they explored an exhibit of works by conceptual artist Dario Robleto at the Menil Collection, near downtown Houston. The results were remarkable.
The study found that the brain is quick to judge. Shown an artwork for the first time, be it a landscape painting, a portrait or an abstract rendering of almost any style, people usually make a snap judgment of its aesthetic appeal. Brain-wave recordings suggest that the neural calculation takes 200 to 330 milliseconds, about as long as a photo flash.
This research suggests that when people view creative work, they know right away whether they like it or not. Your book’s cover is a piece of artwork. People will make a snap judgment of its aesthetic appeal. This quick decision will determine whether they pause to learn more about your book or move on to the next image or book.
Recently, I consulted with a new ministry that is opening its doors in a couple months. The ministry was putting together a brochure about their services.
The prototype I was shown was a trifold brochure that looked like it was from the 1990s. I pointed this out to the ministry and suggested that they use a newer design of a card stock two-sided flyer that is more modern. I knew that many people viewing the trifold brochure would be put off simply by the dated design.
The same is true for books, website, and marketing material. Technology is rapidly changing. With these changes, the design of book covers, websites, and marketing materials is also evolving.
To be most effective and make a good first impression, make sure that all your marketing designs are modern. Remember, no matter how great your message or brilliant your book, you must hook people in the first initial seconds of exposure to win them over.
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