…it takes a l-oooooooooo-ng time for this ol’ Scots Jurassic to adapt to new things… I didn’t start wearing long trousers until I was about 15 years old… when I acquire a new cellphone (I believe they’re called ‘mobile phones’now), it takes an absolute age for me to understand what WURKS differently from the old one… and as for calculators, to this day, I still eschew them in favour of using my mental arithmetic skills, honed at the desks of great Scottish primary school teachers… and I recall when I moved to Hong Kong as a fully-fledged Master of the Financial Universe in 1980, it was all of six months before I dared attempt to eat the local Chinese food (which, of course, is excellent fare, by the way)… little wonder then, that as an Author of some ten years standing now, it has taken until now to embrace…
…it had to happen sum’time, I s’pose… I had a wee inkling recently that certain parts of my body were getting involved in stuff that I had no clue about… those of yeez who’ve followed my ‘Guess what bits of him are falling off, this week?‘ saga of late, will know that so far, since February dawned six weeks ago, upper parts of my inner thigh were attacked by an Angry Alien Abscess, which created the new Black Hole ofGovan, perched on my inside leg… my meagre immune system railed manfully against that onslaught, but succumbed to an attack of the Shingles Squad, converting the left side of my face to a doppelgänger of the Phantom of the Opera, mask an’ all… that fusillade from pain-hell managed to infiltrate my left eye, blurring the vision so much I couldn’t properly see SKYNews on the television (a blessing…
…as many of yeez are prob’ly aware by now, Master Gallacher was born and bred in the slums of Docklands Govan in Glasgow, and I write that with no chip on my shoulder, nor stupidly inverted pride at having come from a comparatively humble background that gave the world so many terrific Glaswegians, including Sir Alex Ferguson (he and I were born in the same street in the same era in what now seems like a thousand years ago)… therefore, I have no inclination to discard one iota of my roots and upbringing, but the life-changing move came when, as callow lad of barely fifteen years, I was transferred to work in a bank as a Trainee Master of the Financial Universe in Tobermory on the beautiful Isle of Mull in the Scottish Hebrides… the transformation was due in no small part to the immersion in the Celtic environment and…
… and still, we all do it, right? I’m not the exception to the rule either. Often I catch myself judging a person I don’t know because I don’t like her jacket. But I don’t know what happened to her that her jacket looks as ragged as it does.
But let’s stay within the literary world. Like so many other writers and readers, I love spending time in bookstores. I browse through the shelves and aisles, and occasionally I pick one, turn it around and start reading the blurb on the back.
My eyes fly over the shelves, and once in a while, they are caught by a particularly attractive and intriguing book cover. If I don’t like the cover, I don’t even bother reading a blurb, means I might miss a few good books, just because my eye isn’t attracted to the books’ cover.
Over the years I saw a few very interesting and eye-catching covers, and by a couple, I was quite fascinated.
Now, these five here, are only a few that impressed me and my eye in particular. To some of you, they might be weird, sad or even boring. This blog post and these covers are my taste.
I love how the designer mixes color and the trace of antique and ancient. It’s not often we discover a new book with an ‘old’ cover.
Cover designer: Peter Mendelsund
I love the colorful simplicity of the book cover. It seems to be one simple compass needle, but I was drawn in when I saw this cover.
Bob Giusti (illustration)
Amy Hill (lettering)
This I call a perfect symbiosis between illustration and lettering. It can’t get any simpler than this, any darker, any more impressive – and any scarier.
Designer: Na Kim
I cannot even tell whether this book cover is ‘intriguing’ or repelling… but it definitely is fascinating. And in combination with this book title it has a lot to say.
Cover designer: Anne Jordan
The cover caught my eye immediately. Why would a reader and writer like me not be intrigued by a turning page? I briefly looked at the book and found that I had to add it to my growing pile of books I need to read.
Are there covers you like? And I know, I got a lot to learn and many people to meet, cover designers amongst them. Who do you know, being a cover designer or illustrator and designed the perfect cover for your book?
Kristen Lamb, one of my favorite writer’s, an amazing teacher, fantastic blogger and wonderful person, writes about current struggles in her writing profession.
The past few months have been tough. I’ve struggled with being down, depressed and stuck in a rut. The writing profession I once loved just had lost its…sparkle. In a recent post, I believe I voiced what many writers have been feeling:
Don’t know about you, but I dreamed of book signings, launch parties, my novels on pretty displays in an actual store. I imagined a real book signing with devoted fans I’d be able to meet face-to-face. Those were the dreams that kept me going in my darkest hours when it made no sense to keep on writing.
I don’t think a single one of us fantasized about favorable algorithms, a massive mailing list with a solid open rate, or a depressing spot for ten copies of our book on a Costco bargain table. And I sure as hell never dreamed of working like an organ-grinding spider monkey for fractions of KU pennies.
None of us did.
I never minded learning and doing the business of my business. I embraced branding, blogging, social media, SEO. But something was just…off. Something I couldn’t articulate. Leave it to my subconscious to kick me in the @$$ and have the answer…in a technicolor dream (okay, nightmare).
Last night *deep breaths* Chef Gordon Ramsay royally chewed my @$$ out at…a writing conference.