There’s really not a whole lot to like about writers, frankly. We tend to self-obsess. For example, try as I might to avoid it, I’ll sometimes wander over to Amazon.com to check out how James Preller, Inc., is making out in the sales ranks.
Then I look for Kentucky’s finest and tell myself that it’s never been about sales. It’s about writing from the heart, it’s about doing good work, it’s about . . . (and around that time I usually push aside the glass and just grab the stinking bottle).
I’m kidding folks!
But on a recent sojourn to the land of Amazonians, I discovered this:
What is it? It’s the German-language, ebook edition of Before You Go. And I have to say: I add NO IDEA there was a German anything for this book. Some people might assume that authors know about this stuff — that we’re consulted — but, nope, that’s not how the world works for most (if not all?) authors.
Mostly I’m just happy there’s an ebook German edition in the first place. That’s the sum total of my emotions on the topic: I’m cool with it.
Also, it’s interesting to see a different cover design. One early idea that I floated for the cover of Before You Go was to do something with real models, very loosely based on the classic Bruce Springsteen cover shot for “Born to Run.” Remember that? It was a groovy, wrap-around, gate-fold deal, and one of the great rock covers ever, in my opinion. Just look:
I saw Jude and Corey filling in for Bruce and Clarence. The black and white thing, the dynamic of friendship, the comfortable leaning on each other relationship, in a phrase: best buds. Another obvious approach for the cover was something with a beach setting. (Supposedly when the designer looked at that approach, it was deemed “too girl” for this book, though I never saw those treatments, and they were probably right, since “too girl” was not what we were going for.) Instead my publisher created something dark and moody with a traffic light, which was pretty arresting, too, and totally unexpected. Then they informed me that it was going to be the cover. The decision had been made. Thinking fast, I said, “Okay!”
I tell you this, Dear Reader, not at all in complaint. I’ve always maintained that this blog was about pulling back the curtain in the land of Oz, showing how it really works for a guy exactly (precisely) like me. There’s not a whole lot of consulting going on. You write the book. And the inside of the book, I think, is yours. But the cover, that’s the publisher’s. And you must trust that everyone working on the book — and there are many smart, dedicated people working on “our” book — will do the best job they can in publishing it. So you say, “Thank you very much,” and in my case, you mean it. You truly are thankful, grateful, happy.
It doesn’t mean that I love everything all the time. It’s not in my nature to love everything all the time. That sounds awful. Making a book is a collaborative process, with the editor as the central person who touches on every aspect. I just write the damn thing.