Saturday, September 6, 2008

Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover?

I realize that this week has been a bit "book" heavy as far as my posting habits. Bear with me for one more. I've read two books in a series by new author Deanna Raybourn (side note: she has a fabulous blog, too). These are mysteries with a bit of romance thrown in.

These books are not going to be to everyone's taste and there are things that I don't like in them either, but overall they are fun and good reads. I'm looking forward to the third one coming out next year.

But, and here's the rub, when I first found these books at my library here's what the covers looked like (sorry for the small shot): Intriguing, mysterious, atmospheric... A decent cover in other words.

Now, for reasons known only to Ms. Raybourn's publishers the covers are going to look like your run-of-the-mill Harlequin romance paperbacks, to wit:

This one is actually kind of pretty, although I doubt I would pick this book up at my library. My librarians know me, people. I can't pick up just anything.

The new book cover (Silent on the Moor) is...much worse. Now, this is not the author's fault. Authors have very little say in what their finished product looks like, more's the pity. And these publishers have decided to go, shall we say, downmarket, in an attempt to increase readership.

This may show my ignorance but I can't see the run of the mill romance reader picking up this book and enjoying it. "Where's all the bodice ripping?"

And I can't see the mystery follower (ahem, me) picking up a book that looks like it is a bodice ripper. Which I don't read. And don't pick up. And studiously avoid in bookstores like the plague. (Another side note: that's one of my problems with some Christian fiction. There oughtn't to be a "Christian" bodice ripper and what on earth are those people thinking?!)

Sorry, got a bit carried away there. I guess this shouldn't bother me. After all, that's what Amazon is for: you can order stuff from the UK that looks entirely different (dare I say: better). I could order these from some Australian book store, I suppose. They have cute, vintage looking covers.

Why, oh why, is the American market the "lowest common denominator market"? And what will I do if I'm ever an actual published author as well? I can't imagine pouring so much of my heart and mind into a product and then having no say over what first introduces people to my story.

But that's a long way down the road, so never mind. The only thing I've written lately is some old fan fiction I polished up. My story is languishing. It seems like writing is either feast or famine for me: my story/plot/characters consume my brain or they get nothing. It's no way to finish a book.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I couldn't pick up the second book, only because pats on bare backs creep me out. So this series will have to be a no go for me. That is unless you happen own the vintage looking Austrailian one. :)

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