Yes, I do think one can tell a book by its cover, and as many authors know the cover is vital to a book’s success.
In 1985 medical textbooks covers were traditional. They were academic. They looked the same. Our cover was different — bold and even brash. It stood out from other well done texts with the more traditional cover designs. Here is the 1985 – 1st edition cover. One might say it was eye-catching.