Let’s judge a book…by its cover


I just finished reading a book, (so what else is new?) A really good book if I may say so.

It is a Romance novel by a Nigerian Author, Ihunnaya Oranye. I’d never heard of her before last week when a friend at church who happens to be my editing client gave it to me to read. I read it for several reasons, huh? It was in my bag unopened for several days because I was doing hospital rounds seeking help with cervical spondylosis-ask Google. Anyway, I finally picked up the book and finished it in hours while looking for pain-free positions for my aching neck.

Romance novels fall into several categories: the very corny, cheesy type with the tall, dark and handsome hero and the fair, gullible virgin (Danielle Steel, Mills & Boon etc.) and then there’s the not-so-cheesy variety that tends to have more of storyline with romance in the story (Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury).

In my early teenage years it was impossible to find me without one of the former but somewhere in my High school years, I ‘grew up’ and threw them away. Now I read Danielle Steel because I want to be able to say I have read all her books and because I aim to beat her record as a novelist (I will too!)

So this book by Ihunnaya is more of the Mills & Boon type story, cheesy as can be but with a twist, it actually had a story tucked in there somewhere-several stories in fact like every good novel should have.

One of the reasons why I read it was the cover; it was not so beautiful but it was very well done. The physical appearance was attractive and the paper quality was good, very good.  That’s not a common reason to read a book but as a book publisher it is an important factor for me these days. The cover of this book had a fair bride? Walking across a green lawn towards a brick bungalow. After reading the story I went back to look at the cover and decided that I would not have approved of that particular cover if the book were mine but it’s not mine so we’ll accept it. But then again, maybe the cover did interpret the story well but you’d have to read the story and think about it deeply to get the connection, or maybe I’m just slow (blame it on the neck, it’s not balancing the head too well these days!)

The story should have bored me but it didn’t for one principal reason-it has great dialogue. This lady was born to write conversations! It flowed effortlessly and made for very easy reading. As a novelist, my prose is good but my conversations suck, my conversations bore me and send me to sleep so when I see a conversation specialist I fall in love.

Good dialogue makes a book come alive and makes the characters real and that’s what this lady achieved in her book. The storyline turned out to be about a trending topic too-domestic violence and all its associates. Knowing what I know about the subject, I would have written the same story a bit differently but that’s okay, she did a good job.

My fifteen year-old saw me with the book and commented on the good quality of the print.

“It doesn’t look like a book by a Nigerian author”

“Well, it’s an AuthorHouse book and that’s what you get when you publish with them.”

I almost could not believe I was saying something good about authorHouse but I must confess they know how to make a book look good. Maybe I’ll let them publish one more book for me?

judge a book

The Cost is available from www.authorhouse.com.

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