It’s an old saying, it’s applied to many situations, but does anyone take this good piece of advice? Our first judgement is always based on sight, until we can explore the ‘object’ of our interest further. Even if our other senses first experience the ‘object’ we still form a mental picture in our mind. Imagine the smell of freshly baking bread on a Sunday morning, a golden loaf crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. But what if there is something unexpected inside the loaf? Disappointed, upset and angry that life has cheated you out of an enjoyable breakfast you wouldn’t eat bread for a while.
With the increase of self published novels and ebooks, authors need to make the right first impression with the right book cover for their novel, something which stands out, grabs the ebook reading populace while still conveying the essence of the story. A friend of mine recently read a self published novel which he had chosen because of the front cover, a woman waving a sword above her head. He thought it was an action-packed vampire story, it turned out to be more a love/drama vampire romp. He was disappointed because it was not what he had expected, and although he did not rate the book as bad, his disappointment reflected in his review. Self publishing authors need to pay as much attention to their book cover as they do to the blurb and the book itself, otherwise they may attract the wrong readers.
But sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the essence of your story in one image. I did an interesting writing exercise with my local group this week. We each wrote a single sentence to sum up a short story we had been working on, another member then read the story and wrote a sentence which they thought summed up the story. The result was surprising for me, my ‘reader’ saw the story in a very different way. This was a short story of 1500 words with three characters, a full novel with all its complexities is open to many interpretations.