I love wrapping presents. Once a year I take out my glue gun, find all kinds of three-dimensional objects to affix and go to town. If I did my job right, the inside of the package will meet the expectations the outside created.
But honestly, once I jazz up the outside I lose interest (a little) in what’s on the inside. Will my husband appreciate the golf shirt as much as he appreciated the awesome ribbon and pinecones glued to the perfect wrapping paper? Suddenly what’s inside doesn’t seem as important as what’s on the outside.
It is not that way with books.
Right now I’m working through manuscript revisions based on feedback from beta readers. For this story I have seven readers: four successful authors in my genre; one who could be an editor if she didn’t manage a small real estate empire; and two readers who practically begged me to allow them to participate in this process. As of now, I’ve completed just one set of revisions. That means I have six potential revisions to go before I send it to my editor… and get involved on an even larger scale.
Soon it will be time to get on the schedule for my cover designer. I’ll give her a couple of highlights about the story and she’ll get out her glue gun. We’ll go back and forth until I have a cover I love. With luck it will fairly depict the story and be good enough to attract readers who aren’t already supporters.
With books it’s what’s behind the wrapping that counts. But the wrapping can make the discovery of the gift easier.
Readers, what attracts you to a cover? Have you been disappointed because the “wrapping” was better than the “gift”? Have you read a book you liked that had a so-so cover? If so, what in the world made you read it in the first place?
It’s all better with friends.