The Evolution of a Book Cover/Update

 

Welcome and Happy Freaky Friday, my friends!

I’m writing this post in a zombie-like state.

(Now, before some of you comment, “That’s nothing new,” please hear me out.)

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I met my editing deadline on Wednesday night, and I swear I felt like I had a baby. I’ve never worked that hard on something before, with the exception of labor. I was so exhausted that I actually slept well. (
My fellow insomniacs will get the significance of such an event!) I’m slowly coming back to life…

I look forward to reading your blogs again and replying to your wonderful comments.

Some of you have seen the current cover on the Facebook page (please “like” & share the love!) and Twitter. It’s available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon  (woo hoo!), and the Kindle pre-sales option will come this summer. It’ll be out October 10th.

A week ago my book got posted on Amazon, and it was SUPER-exciting! It went to #20 on Bipolar Book bestsellers for an hour! 😉 It was the #1 Hot New Release in Amazon’s “Pregnancy & Childbirth” category for an afternoon or so! 
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But yesterday I had a little surprise!

My publisher asked me to consider changing the front cover title font from cursive to regular. (Regular…schmegular…whatever that word is! I told you I’m a zombie!)

Although I’ve disagreed with them before on other points, I was okay with this suggestion. More than okay. But I don’t like the all caps element. (You’ll see what I mean when you look at the 2/16 image.)

Some backstory you should know is that I negotiated with my publisher to handle the cover design, but they would get final approval, of course. And they did approve what I submitted. (Hope that makes sense.)

Moving on…

Here’s how the cover came to be:

My daughters and I thought of an idea. We created this mock-up. (Sorry for the terrible picture, but you get the idea…) The title, subheader, bylines were black on the mock-up, but we wanted our designer to use a sparkling white color instead of black.

Avonlea wanted the title font to consist of stars (and those fonts exist), but that didn’t quite work out.

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We gave that mock-up to our remarkable graphic designer Vanessa No Heart to play with. Vanessa sent us a bunch of ideas that boiled down to this image with three different color palettes:

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I liked this one the best:

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My publisher prefers this font. They have a very good rationale which I’ll paraphrase below.

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2/16 Image

I’m down with the publisher’s font, BUT I’d like “Birth,” “New,” and”Brain” to have the first letter capitalized.  I’m really hoping they’re going to be honky dory with that feedback!

Here’s the loosely paraphrased rationale:

“Dear Dyane,

We think the design you submitted will hurt sales. 

Readers use visual elements to identify the book’s topic, and this process happens super-fast

Usually, script fonts signify humorous topics, light topics

Your memoir covers a serious, important topic. Our font makes it look more serious, not like a Harlequin romance novel

When you look at books online or in a store, you spend a fraction of a minute looking at a cover. Cursive is harder to read. Many readers pass on the book ONLY because they don’t want to take a closer look at the font!”

Okay, that all makes 100% sense! Like I mentioned, I just don’t like the all-caps version. It’s too stark and I don’t feel the magic! 😉 

The publisher also wrote they wanted my approval on the suggested font, which was very cool of them to do. Technically, I think they could have insisted that I had to accept the new font. At least they are being respectful.

In the big picture of worldly events, this is a very, very, VERRRRRRY minor situation, and I’m not going to freak out. But I do love nice book covers, and I’d like to be proud of mine, you know what I’m sayin’? 

Stay tuned…..let me know your deep or shallow thoughts on the matter, and if you don’t like the cover, I understand – it’s not for everyone…& most importantly, have a GREAT weekend!!!!!

XOXO

Dyane

Dyane Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October.

It’s now available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link!

 

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Cover Reveal Coming….I Miss You All!

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Dear blogging friends, hello there!

I know, I know….I promised I’d do the exciting cover reveal yesterday, but I lied. Just kidding. The truth is that I’ve been TOTALLY flipping out about meeting my Feb. 15th deadline. (It’s nothing major…it’s just the deadline to submit my revised manuscript to The Great and Powerful Oz.)

 So please, I beg of you, give me an extension! The truth shall be revealed!

Speaking of book covers, some of you have seen the following image, but for those who haven’t had the, um, experience yet, I’ll reveal what the cover is NOT going to be.

The cartoonist Chato Stewart generously submitted this artwork pro bono for my consideration. I was grateful, but after careful consideration, I decided to take a pass.

Mental Health Humor and psychological disorder humor and cartoons by Chato Stewart
Mental Health Humor and psychological disorder humor and cartoons by Chato Stewart

The cover won’t be this:

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This is picture of a bona fide mountain lion who lives near me! Photo courtesy of the Santa Cruz Puma Project

The cover won’t be this either, primarily because it’s my husband’s book’s cover:


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It won’t be this:

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(courtesy of Bookshop Santa Cruz)

On the other hand, THIS could work!

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Have a great Valentine’s Day! I send you each a virtual tray of calorie-free pastries from the glorious heaven known as the Ben Lomond Baking Company.

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Sending you lots and lots of love,

Dyane

Dyane Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October.

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In Literary Limbo……….

 

 

Chips’s lively, off-the-wall presentation made me laugh out loud. Even if you don’t give a hoot about book covers, publishing, or the like, please watch his short talk. I guarantee you’ll find it fascinating!

 

What’s literary limbo? 

It’s not a West Indies-originated exclusive dance for men. 

(I always learn something new when I blog!)

I’m using another definition of “limbo”: a transitional state. I’m waiting to hear from my editor for the first time.

I’ve had nightmares about our first interaction. In my most vivid dream, the editor emailed me and tersely stated my manuscript needed a lot of work. To add insult to injury, I was told I had to change my title from Birth of a New Brain to BRAIN HAMMER! 

The title BRAIN HAMMER! reminded me of the Beatles’ Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. I couldn’t help but think of this classic song which ain’t exactly about peaches & cream.

 

Well, I couldn’t blame my disturbing dream on a spicy Mexican dinner. Once again my writing insecurity was surfacing from my murky subconscious to say BOO! At least I was able to laugh about it later. Much later.

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Hemingway was such a salty-tongued fellow! 

Of course, I can’t leave out Anne Lamott, or I risk getting trolled by an excessively ardent Anne Lamott fan. unknown-2

Believe me, they exist

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Book Cover News 

My book cover design is done, and it’s beautiful! Thanks to the brilliant book cover designer Vanessa No Heart for taking the concept to a whole new level. I’m not sure when it shall be revealed, but believe me, I’ll let you know as soon as I can. I’ll probably get it tattooed on my face.

A Cool Resource for Writers

I spotted the Publishizer link on Twitter and I was intrigued enough to take a look around the Publishizer site.

I encourage those of you with writerly aspirations to check it out.

The premise is this: You write a proposal and sell pre-orders, and the Publishizers query it to publishers for you. They even guide you step-by-step through writing a book proposal. Nice! (I’d also use agent/co-founder of the San Francisco Writers Conference Michael Larsen’s book as a reference.)

Publishizer queries a variety of publishers at pre-order “milestones.” If you sell 500 pre-orders, they personally query 20 publishers for you. There’s an extensive list of the publishers on the site.

Then you’ll arguably get one of the best problems of your life: you must select the best publishing offer for you. You’ll receive different kinds of offers based on the interest in your (fabulous) proposal.

After all that you shall select the best publishing offer and receive your payment!

Doesn’t it sound so easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy?

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Anyway, I thought the section showing how many agents were interested in each proposal particularly interesting. Please keep in mind that this is my rather poor paraphrasing of what Publishizer’s all about, so go take a peek!

Here’s A Memoir I Recently Enjoyed

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I like the publisher’s description, which I’ve edited quite a bit so this isn’t a 3000-word post. 

“The remarkable story of rising to the top of the music charts, a second act as a tech pioneer, and the sustaining power of creativity and art. Thomas Dolby’s hit songs “She Blinded Me with Science” and “Hyperactive!” catapulted him to international fame in the early 80’s. A pioneer of New Wave and Electronica, Thomas combined a love for invention with a passion for music. But as record company politics overshadow the joy of performing, Thomas finds a surprising second act.

Starting out in a rat-infested London bedsit (I must interject: “GRRRRROOOSSSSSSSSS!!!!!”)  a teenage Thomas Dolby stacks boxes by day at the grocery and tinkers with a homemade synthesizer at night… with a bit of luck he finds his own style, establishing himself on the scene and recording hits that take MTV  by storm. The world is now his oyster, and sold- out arenas, world tours, even a friendship with Michael Jackson become the fabric of his life.

But as the record industry flounders and disillusionment sets in, Thomas turns his attention to Hollywood. Scoring films and computer games eventually leads him to Silicon Valley and a software startup that turns up the volume on the digital music revolution. By 2005, two-thirds of the world’s mobile phones embed his Beatnik software. Life at the zenith of a tech empire proves to be just as full of big personalities, battling egos and roller-coaster success as his days spent at the top of the charts.

(I snipped quite a bit off at this juncture – they gave too much away in their mongo-blurb.)

Thomas Dolby has been named Johns Hopkins University’s first Homewood Professor of the Arts, where he will help create a new center that will serve as an incubator for technology in the arts.”

Now that’s a class I’d love to audit! 

As a longtime fan of Thomas Dolby’s music, I was caught up in his incredible story. The only portion I found challenging was the uber-Silicon Valley techie descriptions, but that was to be expected. I was also very moved to learn about Dolby’s transgender child Harper, and Dolby’s ultimate acceptance and support of his  on. I was plain-old-sad when this memoir ended; I wanted it to go on, which is the sign of a truly awesome book.

The catchy, witty song Close But No Cigar is one of my favorite tunes from Thomas Dolby’s Astronauts and Heretics album, complete with a rip-roaring guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen. Avonlea and I got to see Dolby perform in Santa Cruz; she was in utero at the time. (And unfortunately she doesn’t care for his music or any other “80’s music nightmare artists” for that matter!) 

The Lose It! Update

My friends Bradley (Insights of A Bipolar Bear), Marie Abanga (Merry Marie) and I are using the Lose It! app & website to get healthy. Thanks to Lose It!, I lost 40 lbs. – the equivalent of a small child or big carp fish! However, maintenance is tough, especially because I still struggle with compulsive overeating. I’m sticking to LoseIt! so I don’t yo-yo as I’ve done in the past.

You can sign up for free at www.loseit.com to join our little group; search for the Wondrous Writers group at the Lose It! site. It’s easy. Not peasy-lemon-squeezy. (Sorry.)

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It’s raining cats, dogs, and banana slugs today. The power could go out at any minute, so I’m pressing “publish” before checking for typos. I used my new BFF, Grammarly Premium proofreader, as I typed along and it caught some nasties, but not all of them. I’ll take a chance of offending the typo police. 

I hope you have a good weekend, a happy Halloween on Monday, and I’ll see you next Friday with tales to tell.

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love,

Dyane

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October 2017.

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