This just in - the cover design for the mass market version of Without a Word, due in your local bookstore at the end of June. The story, like the cover of the hardback version, is dark and gritty, a story about an abandoned child, sullen, angry and mute, who holds the key to a horrific crime. The story, unlike the cover of the mass market version, is dark and gritty... Well, of course, it's the same story, word for word. But this time, there's an adorable Border collie on the cover (no, not one of mine) and a cheerful cityscape replaces the seedy meatmarket scene on the hardcover book. So how do you judge a book, if not by its cover?
Unless you've gone shopping because of a review you read, or an enthusiastic recommendation by a friend who knows your taste, you could always judge a book by the writing. Even in cyberspace, it's sometimes possible to read the first few pages and see if the story pulls you in, if you have to know what happens next. Or, perhaps, it's the writing that pulls you in, that makes you feel you're there, that you know that place, that the writer knows you.
In most bookstores now, you know, in the real world, there are easy chairs, couches, even coffee. You can curl up and read as if you were at home - and then finish reading in your favorite spot, the chair near the window or scrunched down in bed.
You might prefer the gritty cover, the meatmarket after dark. You might prefer the little collie - yes, there is one in the story - or the price of the paperback version. But it's the writing that will determine whether you actually read the book. Maybe that's what should be on the cover - chapter one, page one. Just a thought...