When the Doctors Are Away……

I’ve been going rounds with myself about my book cover. Book cover/editor/book designer/publishing company….these are the things perculating in my brain for the last couple weeks, taking simultaneous priority at times.

I’m not having much luck with the editor search. I’ve found some blogs on other blog spheres that mention beta reader finder groups, which may be an option. But I’m a paranoid writer. How do I know the person on the other end of my computer isn’t going to thieve my words and pawn them off as their own? What if we absolutely hate each other’s stories? What if I read their stuff but they never get around to mine?

As my character’s stalker says, “What if’s are dangerous.”

Anyway, book cover. I’ve been throwing out sketches every couple nights, and as you can see, there’s something of a theme. I’ve had my memory of the book cover from Impossible (Spectacular book! Brilliant and shocking and edgy) in my head, and have been trying to merge it with what mine needs. There has to be trees, there should be snow, and my lead character of course, and then a red moon possibly.

I wandered Barnes and Noble with the boys last weekend purely to study covers (and publisher names and logos and titles). Out of isles and tables, found only one cover that hit me: The Oracle Glass. Enough that I read the blurb, loved the premise, and added the book to my kindle once I got home. One out of hundreds. That’s really not good. The dominant theme of covers appear to be super close up portrait-style things that take up the entire front, so this one- simplistic, with her looking away, and looking more like a painting than a photo- seemed to hit what I was gearing to. Which led to my sketches of my character looking away into the trees.

coverkneel coverhandontree coverholdingbaby

All signify something significant of course: her kneeling on grass staring at her memory of particular trees; and her in her present forest with either her hand on a trunk or holding a baby while looking at a memory of those particular trees. Oh, and there’s the dress thing. Women on book covers are just about always in dresses. While I’ll admit I see mine in a dress because that particular one is a huge big deal (and it’s way easier to sketch), I want her wearing pants and some chunky knit sweater on the book cover.

This morning brought about another round of title doubt. On top of everything else, this plague rears up every now and then. And, of course, I thought of a new one-word title that arrived with an instananeous flash of a cover.

So, surgery today was an all-day endeavor. The docs took a break mid-way and I’m sitting alone in the room, my patient is stable and doing well. There’s nothing back there: no computer, no kindle. What am I going to do for an hour until they return aside from sit on an uncomfortable stool staring off into space while listening to her heart beating (such a good sound, to be clear)? Then I realized I was completely alone for up to an hour (aside from our anesthetized patient). I went digging. Found a small piece of scratch paper, found a pencil (!), and started sketching.

coverreaching

It came out perfect! (Aside from the bad-eraser marks) And she’s facing forward!  She’s laying on grass in a forest, but before her is red-dusted snow, and she’s reaching for it in her sleep. The self-publishing gurus say to keep covers simple, but to show what readers will be getting genre-wise. This isn’t as simple as I’d prefer (like The Oracle Glass and Impossible). I also don’t want people to expect fiction, and then exclaim : “Where’d that dragon come from!”. Or scowl at her stalker- and to be honest, I’m not a unicorn-type person either, but he’s not sweet and fluffy and white so trust me about him, don’t roll your eyes. But here, I found a way for them to be present without really being overly present. They cause her enough trouble as it is.

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