It’s funny how things work sometimes. As I was sitting here at my desk, working on Out Running Perdition I started to laugh. Some of you may say that that is the sign of an unhealthy mind. Others will say that I’m just weird. Probably both are true. I actually did have a reason to laugh this time.
As I mentioned Out Running is a book I am co-writing with my friend Steve. The funny part of this is that when I first met Steve, I thought he was an arrogant POS who I would never get along with. While it is true, and he will back me up on this, that he is arrogant, I’ve come to learn that he is also a pretty good guy.
For far too many people the first impression is the only impression they will ever have of someone, because they will never give the person another chance. To me that is sad. I know that I fairly seldom make a good first impression on people. I can be brash and loud, I am Italian folks. I’m also a fairly nice guy who actually cares about others, though I rarely show it.
If I would have judged Steve, just on the first impression he gave me, I wouldn’t be writing what I think is going to be a pretty awesome book.
There’s actually a reason other than to say not to judge people so easily for writing this post. I want to talk about book covers, yea, I know, I went a long way around to get here.
The old adage is, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But people do. We have gotten to the point that if the cover isn’t pretty or sexy or exciting, we won’t buy the book. How smart is that? We pass up some incredibly good books, because of a cover? Really? Are we getting to be that shallow?
Most authors talents lie in their writing ability, not in design. I do not have a artistic bone in my body. People will say, hire an artist to do the cover for you. That costs money that a lot of time writers do no have. They do the best they can with the ability they have. They have jobs and families and everything everybody else has. They don’t have extra money though.
When I was trying to figure out the cover for The Forgotten Edge I could have gotten someone to do it for me. I could have used a stock photo. What I did, however, was use something that had sentimental value to me, a painting my father painted before he passed away called, The Path to Nowhere. It isn’t the most eye catching cover. It isn’t flashy. What it is is something that means a great deal to me. I could change it, I had to with the paperback edition, because of something to do with pixels, but I won’t change it. That cover means more to me than any monetary gain I might have by changing it.Is that smart business acumen? Not at all. Sometimes though, doing what is right and good doesn’t always gel with what the world expects.
The point in all of this is, don’t look at a cover and say, “This book is going to suck, look at the horrid cover. Instead,read the synopsis and see if would actually be something you would enjoy. If it is, buy it and read it, you might just be surprised at some of the great work you are missing.