Thursday, May 8, 2014

You be the judge!

Time for a little quiz. 

You get to be the judge. I’m going to post pictures of three books. 

Without searching for them on the internet, I’m curious to know which book you would be most likely to read.

Are you ready?

Okay, here we go:

Which one did you choose? Or would you choose any of them?

Why do I bring this up?

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to show people the cover of my next book, Bring Down the Rain. (It will most likely be out in July.)

The reaction to the cover has been overwhelmingly positive. Comments have included variations of, “Now that’s a book I’d like to read!” and “Wow! That looks really interesting!” and even “He’s cute! What high school does he go to?”

Interestingly enough, these comments have come without me telling them anything about the book. It’s just from showing people the cover.


Despite the old saying of “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” I think it is human nature to do so. (A more correct statement is “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.)

I was having lunch with my daughter Kelley recently. We talked about she and I being picky eaters. She said something pretty profound: “I’m expanding the types of foods I’ll eat. When I was younger, if something looked yucky, I wouldn’t even try it.”

And it makes sense. Even if you tell me octopus legs are the most delicious things in the world, I just can’t get passed that they look really gross.

Because we, as people, are quick to judge things strictly by appearances, I have made it a point to hire professional graphic designers to make the covers of my books.

As for the three covers listed above, what if I were to tell you that the contents inside were exactly the same. The author just used different titles and covers for the same book. And what if once you got passed the cover, you found that it was the best book you’d ever read.

Of course, we’ll never know because I created three covers for a book that doesn’t exist.


  1. This reminds me of a scene from Phineas & Ferb:
    (Candace, a teenager, is looking at a row of books)
    Candace: Boring, dull, stupid, lame— heavy-handed and derivative.
    Linda (her mom): Oh, thank you for those insightful reviews of books you haven't read.
    Candace: Mom, that's why books have covers: to judge them. I mean, why did you choose these books from the library?
    Linda: They looked interesting.
    Candace: So...
    Linda: Point taken.

    Conventional wisdom may say that we can't or shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but really, what else is it there for? That conventional wisdom dates to an era where a book cover usually offered little more insight into the contents than the title and author's name.

    The bottom line, of course, is the same: people do judge book covers; make sure yours is worthy.

  2. I pick number three.
    Your book cover looks great! I'd like to read it based on the cover.