Have you ever avoided a book because its title was silly, ridiculous, or even garish? I think we all have. For me, poor titles or poor cover designs save me money–I won’t even pick up the book, much less buy it.
What if a book comes recommended, but the title is off-putting? Depending on who recommended the book, I might check it out. If the author has a great reputation, I’d also *probably* consider the book.
This happened to me recently. I’d seen the book around, heard the raves, and knew that the author was respected. The book isn’t a novel–it’s a book on writing. And maybe I’m the only one that doesn’t like the title.
The book: Yeah, that one. I’ve always though the title was sensational. As if “Writing the Breakout Novel” was a trick that could be taught. I think it was the term “Breakout” that threw me.
Still, I’ve always heard good things about the book, so I finally picked it up.
Wow. Let me repeat, WOW.
Yes, it’s that good (notice all my tape stickies in the book). Not only did I find the narrative compelling, but the organization of material fit right in with my learning style. No extra filler. Just specific actions, with in-line examples, and a chapter cheat sheet at the end. (boy, could I have benefitted from a cheat sheet at the end of every chapter of War And Peace).
So yeah, I judged a book by its cover. And I was wrong. Now, I tell all my writing friends to READ THIS BOOK. No, I mean RIGHT NOW. I think every writer who is seriously pursuing publication, or is already published and is navigating all the hurdles and pitfalls that come along with publication, will benefit from something (and likely more than one something) in this book.
It’s worth your time. I promise.
How about you? Ever had a book pleasantly surprise you? One that you had avoided reading because of its title or cover?
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