“Terri Lynn, don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Growing up in the South, that was one of the many clichés and pearls of wisdom that my Nanny imparted to me. It is one that I have tried to live by when it comes to books or people.
When you see those covers on Amazon, what is your first thought? What type of book would you expect?
Would you expect the guys and girl walking on the beach to be a poly family? Would you expect the heroine in Solid Ground to be a BDSM switch with some serious kink?
The expected or maybe accepted protocol is half-naked, young, and buff models on the cover. So, why don’t I give people what they expect?
Stubbornness? Maybe. A touch of stupidity? In terms of good business and marketing, probably. Arrogance? Intellectual superiority? Perhaps, a bit.
Being autistic, rules need to make sense to me. They especially need to be fair.
One of my biggest pet peeves then is, as my Nanny said…judging a book by its cover. Whether that is an actual book or people.
My life partner is Linux guru, Alan Cox. When we first started chatting online, he told me, “If you google me, you will discover, I am a bit famous in my little neck of the woods.”
I told him, “I don’t do that shit. It ain’t right to google people before you meet them.”
We had been dating for weeks, practically living together, and planning a future together. One morning, I was hinting that PanKwake’s laptop needed a bit of tweaking. He told me, “Sweetie, you probably know as much about Windows as I do.”
In utter innocence, I respond, “So, you are one of those techies that think Linux is better than Windows.”
He leaned over, gave me one of those heart-stopping forehead kisses, and said, “You really did not google me, did you?”
I shook my head as he proceeded to explain his background. I turned fifteen shades of red. After he left for the office, I did google him.
The thing is…if I had googled him, I probably would have never gone on the first date him. I had prejudices about what certain types of people were like. He is none of those. He is neither arrogant or posh. But to think that I could have missed out on my soulmate because I could not look past preconceived notions is a sobering thought.
Even now, we do not fit the mold that society has for us. He is t-shirts, long beard, and hair. I am what PanKwake describes as ‘old woman hippie.’ When he took a trolley of donations to the local food bank, they asked him if he had been before. Thinking he was there as a client. When I go to the local shops, one security guard follows me around. And don’t get me started on what the neighbors think of us.
I tell my friends that I am like my apple pies. I may not look purty, but I sure am sweet and tasty.
What does that have to do with book covers though?
My writing, like me, does not fit into any neat little boxes that you can tick. It is not merely one thing. So, I don’t want people looking at those covers and thinking…hot sex, light weekend read. Yes, there is plenty of kink, but all of my books go much deeper than that.
I don’t want people to just judge my book by its cover for the simple reason they will either be pleasantly surprised or deeply disappointed with what is inside. I want them to read the blurb. Heck, if they still aren’t sure, I want them to read the first chapter. Amazon makes that easy. Since all of my books are FREE to read on Kindle Unlimited, it is not even a risk for many people. That is honestly how I select my own reads.
So, the next time look at a book, I challenge you…don’t judge it simply by its cover. Go a bit deeper.
I am glad that I did with Alan, with the books I have read, and with life itself.
And coming soon: my exception to that rule and why…