So – something book related that my fellow authors can probably relate to.
Several days ago someone posted in a so-called “indie author support” forum asking those who had a “thick skin” to post their book covers to see who liked them. The rules were simple. If the book cover would make you buy the book no questions asked, give it a “like.” If you wouldn’t buy the book based on the cover, give it an 😠 “angry face.” Here’s what I learned.
First impression – whoever started the thread must not do much reading. As a veracious reader who, at one point in my life, was consuming 1 to 2 books every single day for years, I have never once read a book based solely on the cover. I don’t know of any reader who takes their literature seriously (by that I mean those who are very picky about what they read) who would read a book without reading the blurb. Even when I was carting off 14+ books from the library each week to feed my reading habit, I was still extremely picky about what I would read. I might not have spent any money, but my time was very valuable to me, and I wouldn’t waste it reading just anything that didn’t drag me into the story within a few pages. I understand some people will read anything. I am not one of them, and the readers who read the same authors as I do will not read just anything either.
Second, I felt the “voting” on the covers was extremely biased. People were hating on covers simply because they hated the genre. Of course I’m not going to read a self-help book if that’s not what I normally read, and no matter how great the cover is, it’s not going to make me pick up the book to read it. I had just about as many hating the covers I posted as I did those who liked them, based solely on the fact the ones hating the cover also hated the genre I write in. How is that supposed to help me, or anyone else, improve on creating more market-appropriate covers if you hate the entire genre the book is marketed to?
Third, and extending on the whole “biased” thing. I saw people gushing over covers that honestly looked as if they were tossed together in paint while hating on professional-looking covers. One author who pointed this out actually left the group because they felt they could not get any honest feedback or support based on the snide remarks being made on some of the covers. To be honest, I felt the exact same way. The entire group smacked of a clique mentality.
So, here’s my take away on this. I have only found three “support” groups that I actually feel like they are there to actually support each other. Of those three, there is only one I actually post in from time to time. And honestly, there are ZERO I have found who don’t have some sort of “cool kids” club or something similar. There have been times when I have posted asking for advice and got nothing but snide comments/remarks. Other times I’ve been straight-up ignored. For the most part, I’ve taken a “sit back and observe” mentality to just about everything related to social media. In this day and age, there’s not a whole lot that is “social” on social media, at least not that I’ve seen.