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Making a Great First Impression: Guest Post by Clare Davidson

If you’ve been watching the blog anytime over the last week you’ve seen the amazing cover and book trailer for Clare Davidson’s new YA novel, Reaper’s Rhythm. Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00100]Well, today she’s decided to mosey on over herself and share some bits of writerly wisdom, so pop some corn, grab a cola and relax. I’ll let Clare take it away. 

Making a great first impression

First up, I’m going to ask you a question. I want you to think about it and jot your answer down on a scrap of paper, the back of an envelope, a sticky note, your phone, computer… wherever. But don’t peak at the rest of this blog post before you do.


When you meet someone, what’s the first thing you notice?

Remember, no peaking.

Okay, what did you put? Read the rest of this post and then share your answers in the comments. Go on, don’t be shy.

If I were answering that question, I’d probably say clothes. I’ll bet that most of you wrote down something visual: hair colour, eye colour, clothing, shoes, whether they’re smiling or frowning. We tend to take in things visually before any of our other senses kick in (or get the chance to).

Often, we make a judgment on what we see. Admit it, you do, whether you mean to or not. You might think, “nice jeans, I’d like a pair of those.” Or, “the logo on that T-shirt is pretty funny, I wonder where he/she got it?” Or (and I’m a sucker for this one), “I love their hair colour. I wish I had the guts to dye my hair that colour.”

The point is, if people are making judgments about the things they see, it means looks are important. Possibly even more so when it comes to books.

Now, I’m sure you already know that a book has three ways to make a great first impression: the cover, the back cover copy and the opening line (possibly paragraph, maybe even chapter or 10%, depending on how generous the reader is feeling). In my opinion, the cover is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of making a great first impression. If the cover doesn’t grab me, I’m not going to bother picking the book up to read the blurb (or scrolling down, if I’m browsing on my computer).

So, authors need great covers for their book, right? An author being published traditionally won’t get much say in their cover (if any), but indie authors CALL ALL THE SHOTS. This means there’s NO EXCUSES for releasing a book with a cover that doesn’t grab reader’s attention, that doesn’t scream “READ ME!”

A great cover should tell you something about the book’s content, genre and intended audience and it should look good while doing those three things. A great cover has to work hard, for the book and for its author.

So, what did you write down in answer to my question? Make sure you leave your response in the comments. At the end of the blog tour, I’ll get Nic to pick one commenter at random, who will win a key ring.

Thanks for letting me hijack your blog, Nic!

My pleasure, Clare. Now, faithful readers, if you’re looking for a good example of the aforementioned great cover, look no further than Reaper’s Rhythm, now on sale at Amazon. And make sure to visit Clare online for further pearls of writerly wisdom. 





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Clare Davidson is an independent writer, based in Lancaster. Clare is a high school teacher, mother and character-driven fantasy writer. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter, a cranky grey cat and an insane white kitten. IMG_4721

 She published her first novel, Trinity in July 2012. Trinity is a young adult, fantasy novel, which currently has seventeen five star reviews on Amazon UK.

 Her second novel, Reaper’s Rhythm, is due to be released on the 26th July 2013. Also aimed at a young adult audience, Reaper’s Rhythm is an urban fantasy with a dash of mystery.

About nicwidhalm (46 Articles)
Nic Widhalm is a writer based out of Colorado, and specializes in stories of change, juxtaposition, and things that go bump in the night. You can visit him at

10 Comments on Making a Great First Impression: Guest Post by Clare Davidson

  1. jenn morris- duffey // July 30, 2013 at 10:02 am // Reply


  2. Well, I may not be eligible for the drawing, but I’m going to participate anyway!

    For me? Hair.

  3. I work in a shop so I serve all kinds of customers, the thing I tend to notice is how people hold themselves. Do they look friendly or grumpy? Sometimes I am surprised by someone who looks miserable but turns out to be very lovely. I like chatting to people so I try to gage by how they look whether they want to talk or not. I’m not always right 🙂

  4. Tina Brimlow // August 2, 2013 at 5:55 am // Reply

    The first thing I notice is their personality. I can tell by talking to them if they are good people or not.

  5. Amy Chadbourne // August 2, 2013 at 8:13 am // Reply

    I’d have to say the eyes, just because you can tell a lot about a person from their eyes. How are they feeling? Are they interested in you/what you are saying? Are they being honest? Eyes are the window to the soul, right?

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Clare Davidson
  2. Guest Post by Clare Davidson: Four books for authors (and why I love them) | Sorrows Fall

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