When I first started writing A Place to Start, I intended to just put it up on my blog. But it turned into a novella and it was cumbersome and irritating to read. I’m hoping that was just due to the format and not the story itself.
So I decided to publish it with all the various online retailers as well. But I’d need a cover for that. So I asked one of my sisters — Annie Gray, who is a graphic artist — whether she’d make a cover for me. To my surprise (and delight!) she said she would.
Why surprise? Well, the thing is, this sister has MG (myasthenia gravis), which makes it very difficult for her to do the time-intensive detailed work of drawing. And since she was determined that there were not going to be any copyright issues, this is not a photoshop cut-and-paste of stock photos. The entire thing is an original hand-drawn creation.
This led to dozens of emails back and forth (because I hate talking on the phone) in which I tried to describe the look I wanted, and kept changing my mind, and saying things like “remember that picture you took six years ago, I liked that colour red, I think,” and generally just proving what a pain in the ass I am to work with.
I had a vague idea what I wanted. You all know this is dangerous. I do not have any artistic talent. I told her sort of Christmassy, but not really. Simple, but not stark. Like winter, but with a warm feel. Red and green and charcoal. No, not that green. I can’t even tell you how many emails went back and forth.
She’d send me a rough draft and tell me to JUST look at the format. Or to ONLY look at the colour. Because it’s a process and you do one step at a time. Like layering. So, of course, I’d email back asking whether we could use a different font.
At one point, she said something like, “Are you sure you’re a writer? You’re not doing a very good job communicating. You know, with words.”
I swear, it’s a wonder she didn’t come down here and kill me in my sleep.
She was doing all this work while I was still writing the story and it turned out to be great motivation for finishing the damn thing. It’s likely she really would have killed me if all her hard work had turned out to be for nothing.
Here it is. It’s gorgeous and I absolutely love it. It’s everything I wanted, only better.
Speaking of exciting events, it’s now up for sale in three places!
I can only list it for free if I publish exclusively with Amazon, and I don’t want to do that. [Sorry! You can still read it for free on the blog.]
So, are there other retailers where I should list it? What other devices do you all use?