Are You Sitting Down? You better….

As you know I received the proof copy of my new book this week, entitled Are You Sitting Down? And of course, there were some problems, which is to be expected since this is the first proof. I have Sally Ashbrook to thank for my beautiful and haunting cover which looks exactly as I hope it would. The book takes place at Christmas so some may do a double take at the bizarre cover and wonder what the heck it has to do with the story. Well, when someone asks you if you are sitting down, in most circumstances they have some bad news for you. In reality, it’s because they expect you might faint.  So, it’s assumed you’ll choose a comfortable chair in the living room or you will sit down at your dining room table.  Yes?

Well, my book is full of bad news, yep, bad news for the two families whose lives play out on the pages.  When there’s bad news (or even good news for that matter), we never sit down in bad chairs. So, Sally’s photo which is called “Abandoned Chair” is indeed a metaphor and serves as an metaphoric answer to the question posed by the title of the book. Would you sit in this chair?

Probably not.

I created the cover myself using a program I invested in back in 2008 called BookCover Pro (or BC Pro as I have called it before).  When formatting a cover, the program shows a dotted line around the edge of the full front and back cover known as the bleed, meaning anything that falls on the outside of this dotted line will be cut off. It’s sort of an outside margin or barrier for you to be aware of.  Then, on the inside of this dotted line is another line known as your firm margin.  The space that falls between these two lines is like a picture frame and you should really be aware of any words or photos that fall between them because they fall dangerously close to the edge of your book and could be cut off as well depending on who your printer is.  The printer who runs my book does cut off the outer bleed, but does not cut off any of this firm margin.

Therefore, when I receive my book this week I immediately noticed all of the words on the front and back cover were surrounded by a lot of blank space.  Probably not something a reader would have noticed right away, nor would even care about.  But of course, it drove me nuts.  So I spent some time this morning moving the text gently away from the spine to eat up some of this outer margin. I also added some other elements, a tree silhouette which appears on the inside on the title page. I thought the back cover looked a bit too blank.  This particular tree represents a family tree, and also just a touch of Christmas.  J suggested changing the blurbs on the back to a black font, which I immediately liked.  It’s a nice contrast between the blurbs and the book description.  Plus, the two families in the book have opposite last names: the Blacks and the Whites.

Here’s hoping the new book cover will look great on the next proof.  At this point, I’m going to study the inside of the book.  Yep, going to reread the whole damn thing again.  And then upload my files AGAIN.  And order ANOTHER proof.  So, we’re probably looking at a November release now.  Sorry!  ;-(

But here’s a peek at the new improved cover:

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