23 April, 2011

Books By Their Cover

So, I've been thinking a lot the past few days about titles to things, specifically titles for books and my books in particular.  Of course the adage, 'don't judge a book by its cover' comes to mind.

It is an oft repeated phrase, usually used to warn people against judging others unfairly and to give things a chance, be it a new haircut or your best friend's new boyfriend who looks like a total jerk/dweeb/moron.

I, however, have had reason to doubt this well-verse phrase.  I have judged a book by its cover.  It looked totally awesome.  The cover art was cool.  The bit on the back made the plot sound exciting.  The reviews had the appropriate number of stars/thumbs-up/etc, with some high action verbs and adjectives thrown in, such as "Riveting!" and "Intense!"

Thus swayed by these readers' opinions, I shelled out 9.95 and downloaded it to my reader device.  I planned to read it on a plane trip I was taking, a disgustingly early flight across the country.  One where I was super nervous about the interview waiting at the end and needed something to take my mind off how I couldn't sleep and felt queasy.

In short:  The book sucked.

It was really bad.  Like: holy crap, I'm going to skip a chapter or two and see if it gets better, oh no wait, it doesn't, I can't believe I just spent ten bucks plus tax for two hundred pages of this garbage, I'm deleting it now and would rather spend the next three hours reading the in-flight magazine cover to cover, sort of bad.


This book had a super cool title.  One I thought was wasted on such bad writing.  Well, I won't say that.  The writing was fine.  All the verbs were in the right spots and there were even some crafty prepositions sprinkled over the lot.

I know I like a certain style of writing and I am dubious of modern fiction in general.  Ironic, yes, as I write modern fiction, but I was willing to give this one a shot, just to see if I could stumble onto something new that I loved.  Not so much.

But, that title was so cool, I think I'm going to write a book for it.  I'm going to write a story fit for that title.  It deserves a complex and interesting plot to back up the awesomeness that was its cover.

I won't be using the same plot, of course, because that's illegal and it's cheating.  And I won't tell you what the title is, because someone did work hard on it and this is all my own personal opinion.  But I am going to redeem my favorite part of this book, the cover, by making its insides worthy of its outsides.

I might even write a few fake reviews with little clip art stars underneath to reinforce how terrific it is.  I don't think I'll even let anyone else read it, let alone publish it.  It will be just for my satisfaction.

Now I'm the dweeb.

E. T.