Throughout much of last night, I was quite the subject of snobbish behavior. Because I had not spent $400.00 on a garish piece of graphic art, and therefore my book covers (Nikon), sucked; to put it mildly.
This is my view of a book cover, if displayed on line, then obviously you will see the front of the book in full. However, a hard copy book displayed on a traditional bookshelf; you will only see the spine and not the rest of it. Nor does a cover however stylish, tell anyone about the contents of a book. Rather, the graphic art that looks more suitable for framing, doesn’t necessarily add to a book. I think if anyone wishes to spend $400.00 on graphic art, had best have a book worth reading. Otherwise, the “art” only serves to mask the content of the book.
Next was the complaint (jeers really) of my over use of commas. I suspect I always did have that problem, and it is not likely to improve now with age. It could be worse, I could write much like Henry David Thoreau. Where his paragraphs would be all of two or three sentences and sprinkled heavily with “out of place” commas. And yes, Mr. Thoreau was college educated, circa about the mid 19th century. I will grant that styles of writing can be taught differently depending on where you live, and how you were taught in public school. I haven’t seen the inside of such an institution, since my late twenties or early thirties. Or I could write like Cassandra Clare. Presuming she has a good editor,I could critique her work as having a dangling participial here. A lack of commas in all the right places, to make it harder to read, there. From that perspective, no editor is 100% perfect. So far, if the only argument my (LOL!) detractors have, are the commas; then I must be doing pretty good.
Finally, what sparked the “outrage” on the comments thread, was a singularly useful cover concerning a book, written by an AIDS victim. Thus the title of this blog post, “Vanity press.” I saw a full frontal display of garish art, like you would never believe. I am only going to be “nice” on the comments thread. Because otherwise, you wasted $400.00 on that? “HIV in the Eye,” had a perfectly satisfactory cover. The majority of comments however were, acts of oneupmanship (Oh, I can do better than that!), with the intent of various authors attempting to out-impress each other. Then comes the pop-psychology, I am passive aggressive. Or I am “coming across” in a manner, that no one else likes. Excuse me, but that is bullying folks. Nor are you going to have provided a useful criticism, by jeering and laughing.
Yep, as a senior citizen; I believe I have seen it all and heard it all, for close to the entire sixty years of my life. And likely by my personal experiences, I have a different perspective from the people I am blogging about. What impresses me about a book: there may be no cover at all. An author whom I am familiar with, it will be the first reason I reach for that book. His or her other books were good, the one I purchase should be just as good. The title, it is a new title. Of least impression to myself, is the cover art. No, the cover art tells me nothing of what is inside the book. Nor is it expected to, that’s why you read the book.