Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Judging a book by its cover

Here it is -- the cover for my second novel.

I’m really happy with it.  It’s creepy.  The girl’s eyes follow you no matter where you go.  The colors are rich.  The lettering suggests someone wrote the words with his finger.  It’s great.

There’s just one problem.   When I was a kid, I was taught NOT to judge a book by its cover.   I’m having trouble reconciling that lesson with my excitement.

To be honest, I had nothing to do with this cover.  Jaime Zollars drew the illustration.  The art director Heather Palisi, my editor Shana Corey and other people at Random House all worked on the design.  I can’t even really claim that I came up with the title.  THE GIRL BEHIND THE GLASS  was pulled from a line in the book.  The original title -- the one I thought of -- was kind of ordinary.  It would never have inspired such a great cover. 

So should you judge MY book by its cover? 

Yes!  And no. 

I do hope the cover makes you curious about who that girl is.  I think she looks scary and sad.  I have no idea how the artist accomplished that.  The expression is exactly right for the girl in my book.  The green eyes are important too.  I hope the cover makes you wonder why they glow. 

But I don’t want you to judge my book by this cover. 

In fact, the more I think about it (and for me, thinking is what blogging is about) the more I think that the saying means we shouldn't judge.  Not books.  Not ideas.  Not people.

I’m not saying we should like everything or everybody.  I’m not saying we have to agree.  Certainly I don’t.  In fact, some members of my family believe I enjoy arguing for the sake of arguing. 

However I really try not to judge.  I can disagree without name calling.  So can we all.

You can also NOT like my book.  Or its cover.  (But hopefully you’ll read it first before you decide.)