Thursday, September 27, 2007

New cover art

Publication still fast approaching

Two weeks ago I posted a promo for my new novel, The Wives of Marty Winters, with a picture of the cover I had just designed, which, BTW, I was quite proud of.

But then my best friend pointed out that the photo I used, which was of me and Gabi, should not be on a work of fiction but should be held to use on the cover of a memoir that we are going to write.

She was absolutely right. So I designed a new cover. This one is based on a photograph by Michael Christopher -- thanks, Michael -- that I radically altered in Paint Shop Pro. I'd love to hear from friends what they think of this new cover. Please post comments or email me privately.

My rant about print-on-demand and self-publishing

The new novel, just like the first two and my book about art, will be self-published using print-on-demand technology, or POD.

POD is a marvel of electronic technology, but it's a last resort for people like me who can't get a "legitimate" publisher to even read our stuff. POD is easy to do and it allows me the luxury of complete control over everything from choosing a type style to designing the cover. The downside is that bookstores rarely stock POD books because people like me can't give them big discounts and guarantee returns on unsold books, and I have to do all my own publicity and distribution, which translates to pitiful sales.

The worst thing is that self-published books carry a nasty stigma. The foregone conclusion is that the writer must not be any damn good or else he could have found a "real" publisher. Never mind that I make my living as a professional writer and the few professional critics who have reviewed my books have given them glowing reviews. Even close friends and regular readers of my columns in The News Tribune and the Weekly Volcano seldom buy my books. They just can't believe they're for real. I've even had a few friends who actually bought my novels say things like "Wow! You're just like a real writer."

Those folks make me happy. That's all that really matters.

Back to The Wives of Marty Winters

I'm waiting for my friend Larry to finish editing the final re-write, which should be any day now, and then I should be able to publish it within a month. If you want a little bit of a preview, I've posted some teasers and a brief excerpt on my website. Go here to read more.

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