Remember reading? That’s the thing people used to do before funny cat videos took over. The average American reads about four books a year. In Brazil, the number of readers is even smaller.
There does, though, seem to be one thing that interest people as much as a cat riding a robotic vacuum cleaner – sex. The current Kindle Store best-sellers list is full of erotic romances with suggestive covers. They feature bare-chested, muscular men – and it seems to be working.
We were always told not to judge a book by its cover. But it seems that is exactly what people are doing exactly that when it’s time to pick a book. Book publisher, e-galaxia, is hopeful that the tide is turning on reading – a hope that’s not entirely wild. Book sales increased in both the UK and the US in 2018. So ad agency, Africa, and e-galaxia decided to use people’s predilection for judging a book by its cover to entice a reevaluation of people’s relationship with literature and get them to give classic books a chance.
But, the new bookshelf stars are not the great classics, with timeless stories and unique narratives. The current Kindle Store best-sellers list is actually full of erotic romances with suggestive covers. They feature bare-chested, muscular men – and it seems to be working.
So the partners looked at dozens of best-sellers and analysed their covers to find the most common features: strong male upper body, very defined muscles, usually no face in frame, heavy font with a powerful, attention-grabbing word highlighted. Then, with this data collected, they set out to redesign the covers of classic works of literature – like The Picture of Dorian Gray, Robinson Crusoe and Moby Dick.
The Judgeable Covers Collection had a budget of virtually zero dollars. And, without changing a single word from the originals, the new editions stood out immensely from their books’ usual covers, appealing to a whole new demographic – and reaching the #1 spot as Amazon’s best-selling Romance in English.
Maybe it’s not for the purest of reasons, but by changing the covers of masterpieces to a more – let’s call it, marketable – format, they have now become enticing to readers who would not have given them much consideration before. And, if this ended up landing a good book on the hands of someone who judged it by its cover, e-galaxia’s work is done.
Chief Creative Officer: Sergio Gordilho
Executrive Creative Director: Sophie Schonburg
Creative Director: Bruno Valenca
Copywriter: Daniel Ogawa
Art Directors: Rick Garcia & Ricardo Montes
Content Director: Filipe Botton
Director of Institutional Relations: Raphael Vandystadt
Special Projects Creative Director: Monique Lima
Special Projects Manager: Juliana Leite & Fernanda Segura
Special Projects Producers: Julia Newman, Isabela Levy & Fernando Alonso
Client Services: Fernando Alonso
Media: Rodrigo Famelli
Planning: Rafael Camilo & Iago Santos
Agency Producer: Rodrigo Ferrari
Editors: Cadu Silveira & Marssola Rodrigues
Motion: Lucas Fuse & Lucas Candido