Why I Love/Hate Jay Z’s Decoded Book Cover by Joy Farrington

As a self-published author, you learn early on that one of THE most important marketing tool in your toolbox is your book cover. It has to stand out against the gazillion of other books out there. Authors know that ultimately our book cover will act as our spokesperson when we are not available to promote the book ourselves. Therefore, we work closely with our cover designer to make sure that our book cover will entice consumers to pick our book from the hordes of other titles on the shelves of their favorite store.

Which brings me to Jay Z’s book Decoded. At first glance, the book covers lacks…something. Where’s the bold colors? Where’s the half-naked woman standing next to a man dramatically staring off in the distance? Where’s the single rose petal falling mysteriously from the sky? Where’s the “You gotta get this book!” cover design that I’m used to seeing on the shelves?!

But the more I looked at Decoded, the more I fell in love with the book cover. I love the cover art and simplicity of the design is amazing. It’s less of a book cover and more of an album cover for a greatest hits collection or an amazing painting at an art exhibit (FYI:the cover is an image of Andy Warhol’s “Rorschach”). The gold and cream design with a simple “Jay Z” and “Decoded” stated above the art work is the only items printed on the front of the book. There’s no list of testimonials from a string of A list stars, no copy writing, no…anything.

 And that’s the beauty of it. When you reach a state of complete awesomeness like Jigga, you don’t need plugs, fillers, or any other promotional gimmick on the front of your cover. Your name speaks for itself. So although the book cover may not fly for a typical author, it’s the perfect fit for a book written by a man who doesn’t follow the rules; he creates them.

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