Monday, June 17, 2013

All That Gleams Is Not Gold

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Despite this cautionary adage, we do judge books by their covers just as we judge people by their appearances.
First impressions are powerful and, while not always accurate, they can provide us with vast amounts of important, and valid, information.  Upon first meeting you, I’ll notice your proximity, how you angle your body or face towards me, I’ll notice your posture, eye contact, expression and gestures.  Without even being aware of it, I’ll notice your micro-expressions.  I’d be a fool to disregard all of this information!  Taken together with input from my ears, nose and sense of touch (perhaps we’ll shake hands or hug) I will make complex judgments about your integrity, likelihood of behaving in a predatory fashion and general social compatibility.  Most of us wear our story on our cover.  The book and the cover are all one unit; no more separate than body and mind.  Even when we deliberately change our cover, by learning about and using body language cues, we are changing our interior; our story.
Clothing and grooming, however, are a different matter.  Anyone can change clothes, hairstyle and grooming.  Judging a book by the glossiness of its cover really is a mistake.  How many great books have you read that had horrid covers?  I’ve read many.  In fact, some of the books I’ve read didn’t have covers (gasp) and some were given to me second hand with homemade covers attached to battered copies of beloved books.  On the other hand, how many books have broken your heart because the beautiful cover that you’d fallen in love with sheltered a piece of drek?  If you’re like me, you’ve grown wiser about this over the years.  A gorgeous cover might make me pick up a book but I always try a sample or three before I actually purchase it.
As a human, I try not to make many assumptions about you based on your clothing and grooming, although, I confess I’m wary if you seem particularly fixated upon your own gleaming image.
As an indie author, creating my own book covers, I strive to have my cover images reflect the content.  I want my book cover to tell you as much about my story as the way you hold your arms tells me about you.  Glossy, embossed and sparkling covers are fun, but I propose that they only sell books to young and uninitiated readers.  What attracts a seasoned reader to a book cover?  What attracts you to a book cover?
Before we part, today, I’d like to introduce you to Rudi.
Rudi is 6 ½ months old and she needs hip surgery.  Her mom, Dianna, is a good pal of mine and was the first person to buy a book from me.  Please help Rudi and Dianna raise funds for surgery by donating or helping to pass the word along.  Thank you!
I hope your day is filled with perfect moments!