A word of warning before I begin here: This post is probably going to upset a number of my creative and socially inclined readers. But what you see below must be said.
I will not be holding a “cover reveal” for my upcoming book. If you want to know what the cover looks like, here it is:
There. It’s revealed. And as happy as I am with this cover (isn’t it COOL?), I don’t feel anything further is warranted. After all, the real meat of this work lies between the covers, and that’s where I’m hoping you’ll look when this volume hits the bookstore shelves soon.
“Why the snarky attitude about cover reveals?” you might ask. Well, here’s the thing: I am a husband, a father, a teacher, and a writer. I serve as a community volunteer and as an active member of my church. My weekends are most often consumed with birthday parties for other people’s kids, lawn maintenance, and the peripheral tasks of education — grading papers, preparing lesson plans, and so forth. My time is valuable, and honestly, unnecessary and entangling social engagements are nothing more than a gigantic time-suck.
Now before my readers accuse me of being some selfish, antisocial hermit, allow me to say that I love a good get-together as much as the next person. Just recently (as you may have read here), I hosted my own chapbook launch for “The Boys of Men,” and it was thankfully well-attended. The food was delicious, the company was wonderful, and the reading was fun and interactive. I sold lots of copies, and was able to make a modest donation to one of my favorite charities who helped host the event.
Why, then, am I against the notion of a cover reveal, in particular? I oppose cover reveals for the same reason that I oppose “gender reveal” events for babies that have not yet arrived: It’s one more thing. That’s right — one more space on the calendar filled with pointless banter and oddly colored punch. We’re all very happy you’re having a boy/girl, but isn’t your fourth baby shower (also inappropriate, might I add) enough? Must you subject us to yet another inane occasion to stand about, idly discussing the weather until you drop a curtain or pop a balloon? Seriously, stop. No more, please.
Authors: Please don’t consume the valuable time of those you know with the literary equivalent of the gender reveal. We know your book has a cover. We’re ecstatic for you, and proud to call you our friend. But to hold people hostage while you unveil a placard is both ludicrous and disrespectful, even if you provide finger sandwiches and fruity beverages. By all means, launch your book. Hold readings. Give lectures and seminars. I’ll be there. It’s an opportunity to learn something, hear something new, and culturally engage. Reveal something more than a shiny piece of plastic, some crackers and a “TA-DA!” Give us your words, give us your work, give us your heart.