Judge This Book By Its Cover
Dec 02, 2011 Clay Johnson

The Information Diet is now available for pre-order on the Amazon Kindle. Get your copy before they run out! Be forewarned though, you may want to buy the hardcover version of this book. It's cheap on Amazon and the cover alone is as cool as what's inside. It's a book you can actually judge by its cover.

The cover is actually an infographic of the actual contents of the book. Designed and conceived of by O'Reilly's Mark Paglietti, it's a nutritional label of what's inside -- an idea that I've talked about before and one that seems to be picking up some steam.

When I got the mockup of the cover (which is actually still used for the front page image of InformationDiet.com), the question was, do we make the label about the diet, or do we make it about the contents of the book. Going full fledged with the information-as-food theme, we decided that nutritional labels describe they don't prescribe. It was better for the cover to actually describe the contents of the book.

So I started to categorize my words around the basic themes of the diet. How much was my opinion? How much is science? How much is anecdote? What parts come from a professional, ideological, or experiential bias? All of that got broken down and represented right on the cover.

The result is the first book you can (and probably should) judge by its cover and a cover that clearly expresses the values inside of it. It took a lot of hard work, but there's likely no more interesting or well thought out book cover on the planet than the cover to the Information Diet.

Information Diet © 2011 Clay Johnson