Yes, it's all about the content. No argument. I'd rather have a gold bar painted with sewage than a dog turd dusted with gold. Yes, our essence -- who we are, our soul, our integrity and honor and value -- is far more important than the flesh it's wrapped in. Infinitely so.
(Claus: Legend of the Fat Man made infinitely better with Mike Tabor's cover.)
My first couple of novels, I put together decent covers. I avoided the generic label, threw something halfway decent over the top and figured that readers would buy the words, not the picture. Somehow, I figured, readers were like polar bears getting a whiff of dinner a mile away. Only replace seal with words. If I wrote it, they would come.
Just. Not. True.
And I realized this when I finally paid attention to how I judge a book... BY THE COVER!
I zip through a listing of books like Ray Babbit, stopping to read the summary if, AND ONLY IF, the cover is hot. I mean, if it looked dull or homemade then forget about it. There might be a gold bar in there but I wasn't going to scratch away the sewage to find out.
My homemade covers weren't horrible. Okay, some were. One I hardly tried. The Annihilation of Foreverland was dreary and depressing and who in their right mind would reach for that? I hired a graphic artist and, with some input, she created something spectacular. Guess what?
THAT STORY MOVED.
(Guess which cover I did.)
I meditate. I exercise, too. But when there's only time for one, I choose the former.
But I won't ignore the cover.