“How do you know you won’t like it if you don’t try it?”
And she was right many times, save one or two occasions (the most memorable of these two was a rat-turd-like morsel she had once cooked). You never know if you’ll like it.
Which brings us to the title of this blog post. People out there are constantly judging people and books by their covers. If you judge a book or (a person) by the cover, you don’t really know what you’re missing.
For instance; people in Venezuela, particularly women, look at me in distrust on sight. It’s no wonder; Venezuelans are of mixed race but the main roots of this melting pot digs deep into black and native aboriginal ancestry. To see a white dude like me mingling with them will certainly bring a lot of distrust and even hatred. But the local women are the ones that don’t know what they’re missing. I may be a white, ugly mofo, but I’m also a gentle lover and sort of supportive guy; the kind of man that stays home, cooks and does the dishes. I may even change the diapers if there are plenty gas masks lying around.
I, instead, like to hang around people some time to make a judgment.
But let me tell you about the one time I made the mistake of judging something before trying it once, for fairness’ sake.
It was a computer game. Its name was Betrayal at Krondor, a RPG based on the book series of the same name. It was supposed to be a groundbreaking PC game, and one of the mistakes some of the marketing guys behind it was compare it with the Flight Simulator of Computer Role Playing Games. This completely turned me off. And most probably many more people out there. I grew accustomed to the idea of moving square by square in the dungeons portrayed on my PC screen, and the idea of mixing my favored PC game genre gameplay with Flight Simulator mechanics (FS, of all games!) really got me nauseated.
I saw the screenshots, read the reviews and it was true; you moved through the game as the accursed plane in Flight Simulator. So I ended up never playing the game.
Years later, a free copy of that game landed on my lap. I said to myself… “what the heck?”
It was a free game and I was a bit curious. I installed it…. And oh, my… was I surprised!
I recall now that I spent the next fifty hours glued to that game, playing in 8-hour stretches at a time, completely enthralled by the tale it told. When I finished (saying wow! if memory serves right) I replayed the damn thing for the next 100 hours, trying to find every single thing I may have missed during my first pass.
I regretted my original decision, imagining how many hours of pleasure I could have extracted from that game if I had made the right approach the first time, giving it a chance before damning it. Now, talk about making a fantastically stupid error based on the wrong presumption of saying “I don’t like this… even without trying it first..”.
Don’t do that. Many indie writers are being damned just because of a badly made cover or a poorly written book blurb. Don’t be a stupid reader. Give every book its proper chance.
That’s what Sampling is for in Amazon’s Kindle and at Smashwords.
If that doesn’t work, there’s always the “Refund” button…