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Many authors that I work with have a hard time with promoting their books or themselves for that matter. I can well understand because I often have a hard time promoting myself and my design services. Whether it’s due to a lack of confidence (I’m really not that good), or feeling “I’m too humble to toot,” or just that we never seem to have enough time, there’s usually something that gets in the way of tooting our own horns.
First of all, if you want to sell that book and get your message out, no one is better qualified to do it than you. Whether you’re an established author, with the good fortune of having the backing of a large publishing house, or an independent self-publisher marketing by grassroots and viral campaigning, you have to toot!
Author Mary DeMuth has a great article on the subject that’s worth the read. Read it and go ahead and blow that horn. It’s okay!
You can read Mary’s article here.
Keys to Living an Uncomplicated Life
“Jayne DeRouin is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life and just like everyone else, she’s had to face and overcome many of the challenges and obstacles of life.”
That’s the beginning back cover copy on my latest book design project, “Keeping It Simple!” by Jayne DeRouin. Jayne lives in my home state of Rhode Island and I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her and her husband David in person. They both have been a joy to work with.
The premise of her book, keeping life simple by finding freedom in the balance of the physical and spiritual, was the very springboard for coming up with the cover. What could say simplicity and freedom better than a child flying a kite at the beach? The color palette was kept simple as well. I dominated it with a soft blue sky to create the feeling of tranquility and the spot of red in the kite gives an active point of interest.
Now we’re working on other materials – a media kit, letterhead, business card, post card, and other items for her to use to promote the book.
I wish Jayne the very best. Both her and David have been helping me with Keeping It Simple!
Update – November 11, 2010: Keeping It Simple is now available on Amazon.com or through Heart & Soul Publishing (where you can get an author signed copy of the book).
Oh, so that’s the title of the book .What in the world is a matryoshka you say? Well, you know those charming Russan nesting dolls, the ones that are usually made of wood and are hollow, and you open one and find another, open that one and find another, and on and on. Yeah, that’s what this is, but they’re usually not as creepy looking as this one.
“The Last Matryoshka” is a suspenseful mystery that takes place in Russia. There’s blackmail, dark prisons, lewd tattoos and lots of bad guys.
So my work is done for a little while on this. The advanced reading copy has gone out and I await the final instructions for the back cover and spine.
The revised illustration - more sinister looking.
It’s been a little while since I revised this illustration (with the “sinister filter” in Photoshop). I am waiting for the final go-ahead to complete the cover of this book so that I can post it in its entirety, but I wanted to show the approved illustration. Definitely more sinister looking. The client, author, and publisher all agreed thankfully, and love it. (Whew!)
Besides the skull face I added texture to the surfaces to give a more realistic feel and move away from the flat, cartoony look that I had before.
Next step will be the back cover, flaps and spine for this one. Looking forward to it.
This is an illustration for a upcoming mystery novel. I had a lot of fun with this, but the client felt it just wasn’t sinister looking enough. So back to the drawing board I go.
Interpreting the wishes and desires for a client is a tricky thing at times. You go over the client’s instructions and suggestions, do your research, and then do your best to interpret it all with the creative energies they’ve hired you for. Sometimes it’s a bull’s eye hit and other times the target is missed all together. All part of the process.
I found out that I’m not too far off from the mark on this one. I’m getting ready to tweak it with the Sinister filter in Photoshop. 🙂
Print designers, especially book cover designers have been concerned over the future of the printed page in light of the growing trend of digital reading devices such as the Kindle and Sony Reader. Perhaps we can worry no more. The new Apple iPad displays images beautifully.
I don’t believe the printed page will be going away any too soon, but Apple has certainly given us a look into a brighter future.
The new Apple iPad – hope for print designers everywhere 🙂