Sunday, February 13, 2011

Judging a Book by its Cover

 Have you ever been to a store or event when you just wanted to let your hair down and not get gussied up?

I did that this weekend at a APS Stamp Expo in Charleston, SC. I was on vacation and it wasn't a working one. Although I brushed my hair and teeth, and even put on deodorant, I did not dress up. In fact, I was in blue jeans and a flannel shirt.  I really didn't care what the dealers/buyers present at the show thought of me until...I approached one auction company.  I was treated like a small time operator.  He pointed out to me that a minimum lot for auction had to be over $2,000 worth based on current prices. He was actually looking down his nose at me.

I have been a stamp collector for over fifty years and my collection only fills one half of my office. It's value is lower than national debt, but much higher than my yearly power bills.  I guess by my appearance, I could have just been a curiosity seeker off the street, but I wasn't.  I am a card carrying member of that particular organization.There are other more serious collectors who fill up their entire houses, but that's overkill.  I go for quality over quantity.

Needless to say, his commission off any auction lots I would have given his company off the sales were history.  Out of my briefcase I pulled out three Confederate stamps and a couple of other gems I carried with me for possible sale, they were each worth much more than he had suggested.  I showed him the stamps.  His mouth kind of gaped open. Of course then, I took my business elsewhere. I was really irritated and this vendor lost a four to five figure commission plus any future sales.  I ran into two such vendors, but luckily there were others. They were nonjudgmental and respectful.

How many times have we all done this in our own lives?  As a Christian we are told, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Doesn't the above prove it?

In writing, the author has little or no control over their covers. When you walk into a bookstore, what's the first thing you see...covers.  When you buy a book how much impact does the cover have in your purchasing decision.  I know as a previous marketing manager--a lot. Big bucks are spent trying to promote the image of items people buy.

I recently changed the image I created for Escape from Second Eden, since it is an e-published novel, I can do that.  Now that a few days have passed I may create another one.  What I am seeing is not projecting the image I want to convey. Yes, it would be easier to let someone else do it, but then I lose control over what I want to present. It is a dilemma within a dilemma, but exciting too. Eventually lightning will strike and I'll figure out the right design I want until then, it will be trial and error.  Isn't that how we all learn?

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