The old saying says no—you can’t judge a book by its cover.
Book publishers say yes—readers ought to be able to glean a good deal about what’s inside a book by the nature of its cover. And, for the most part, they live by that belief. The covers of romance novels share a certain similarity. As do mysteries. And science fiction. And thrillers. And fantasy. And other categories of books.
Including, of course, Westerns.
Which brings up the subject of my forthcoming Western novel (look for it in December), Rawhide Robinson Rides the Tabby Trail. While it is certainly a Western novel, you’d have to cast a pretty wide loop to catch it with the usual herd.
For one thing, it’s humorous—something I think is sadly lacking in Westerns. And most other fiction, for that matter. For another thing, while there are a few confrontations where people get shot at, but I don’t think anybody gets shot.
And again, like its Spur Award-winning predecessor, Rawhide Robinson Rides the Range, it’s filled with lies—or, to use more polite language, tall tales.
Or, as Rawhide Robinson would have you believe, the absolute truth.
Those differences are probably why the cover doesn’t look much like a typical Western novel. Still, the cover does tell you something about what’s inside—a book that’s not much like a typical Western novel.
Finally, if the quality of the artwork on the cover is any indication, what’s inside is likely to be pretty darn good.
If I do say so myself.