On March 19, 2022, Ms. Melissa Klein of the New York Post wrote an article titled New Yorkers flooded with unsolicited book pushing religious change. While I was not a part of the first wave of unsolicited direct mailings, I received a copy of the book in question in July 2022.

The book is titled Changed. The author is Mr. Tom Cantor, a biotech executive. The book details Mr. Cantor’s personal religious journey wherein he sought to “cleanse” himself and achieve “purity” after having been “defiled” in his youth. While this “defilement” sounds ominous, I eventually concluded that Mr. Cantor, 71, slept around with women in his youth (apologies for the spoiler). Mr. Cantor was born Jewish and still considers himself Jewish, but detailed how he found Christ in his account of his faith journey, which both lacked a detailed account of his journey and failed to betray much understanding of faith generally. We also learn that Mr. Cantor was disappointed when his wife, Sheryl, was raped, not because a great evil was done to her, but because it meant that she could no longer cleanse and purify him. The book went into great detail about how Mr. Cantor and his journey to purity were grievously affected when his wife was raped and thus, in his opinion, permanently defiled

But I digress. The purpose of this article is not to offer a detailed review of Mr. Cantor’s book. My reviewing the book would be impossible now because I no longer have the book. (Its contents remain in my heart, however.)

No, today we review the cover design of Mr. Cantor’s book. This is very much in the tradition of my approaching issues from unusual perspectives. I took a picture of the front and back covers before parting ways with the book, which was marred by the tension of being simultaneously introspective and entirely lacking in self-awareness.

Picture of the front cover of Tom Cantor's Changed.
My phone camera did not focus well. I tried to rectify the problem by doing a hack retouching job in Nomacs.

Mr. Cantor, just because an online color guide told you that yellow and purple are contrasting colors does not mean that this text/background combination on the cover works. Please re-design the cover. If I may provide an unsolicited recommendation, I suggest seeing my review of the Simplicable Color Guide.

Back cover of Tom Cantor's Changed.

I will conclude by noting that the back cover design is a bit better but for one issue.

The retail price of Changed is $8.95?

Firstly, the book is only 85 pages. If you are charging $8.95, you need to give it a hard cover or something. Your book is not much longer than my article on the life and death of Otho (given the size of the book and print, it may be uncomfortably close). I give away my content for free.

(I almost started questioning myself when I realized that Mr. Cantor is charging for his book and my articles are free, but then I remembered that the cost of hosting The New Leaf Journal is probably quite a bit less than Mr. Cantor’s direct mail campaign.)

Secondly, how are you charging $8.95 when people know that you may deliver the tome for free? Imagine how upset all the people (or person) who ordered this book at full price must be to know that if they had held off for just a few, they would have eventually received a free copy. I suggest adding some buyer-exclusive content to the for-sale version. (Maybe add a word or two from Mrs. Cantor?)

Use the unsolicited direct mail version as advertising. (Or, in the alternative, write a better book that people would actually spend money for so you do not have to send it to the mailboxes of unwilling recipients.)