Have a dilemma? Ask your Facebook friends for advice! If you’re lucky a few will post an answer. Last week I asked my Facebook friends to choose one of three book covers for my upcoming book “Laughter in the Shadows – stories of courage from 11 Zambian women” – the covers were in red, yellow or grey tones with two distinct fonts. I also emailed my friends and my large family on both sides. The response overwhelmed me. People didn’t just choose a preference; they gave their comments about their choice, and advice on what they would do.
Last Thursday I was part of a large Stamm family event. A niece came up to me and said, “Don’t let people tell you what to do! The yellow one is the only right one!” After the event some of the family gathered at our house for coffee, and the conversation came back to my book cover. Ipads were brought out to show the pictures, and a lively discussion took place.
The intense interest surprises me, besides pleasing me no end! What also surprises me is how people look at me differently when they hear I’ve written a book. It matters not to them if the book is published with a renown company or self-published as this one will be (I did query the Canadian publishing houses first). Books are still special to people. They still read and cherish them. That’s encouraging news for all of us who write or publish books, be it in print or as e-book.
The interest also makes me aware of our responsibility as writers. Good books influence thoughts and ideas. I say good books, because a poorly written book is likely to be put down part way through if it’s picked up at all. I want to do the best job I can to make the profession proud. (Okay, it’s also about my reputation.) That’s why I worked with a good editor and have a professional preparing the book for print.
I still don’t know for sure which cover to pick. It’s a tight race. “Take the one you love,” someone wrote. Shouldn’t I choose the one my potential readers will most likely pick up? I’m a seller here, not a buyer. Oh, the quandaries of choice an author must go through before a book is on the shelf!
New cover options coming…