A Place to Start, the cover

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.

APTS cover png

Speaking of exciting events, it’s now up for sale in three places!

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

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?


Filed under A Place to Start

13 responses to “A Place to Start, the cover

  1. CBPen

    It’s beautiful. 🙂


  2. McB

    I LOVE IT!!! That’s fabulous. Definitely makes you think winter without being at all Christmassy!


  3. Thanks, guys, I’m sure Annie will be happy to hear it. I love it too! I just sit and stare at it sometimes.

    It’s been a strange day. Hard to believe I finally published a work of fiction.


  4. FL

    It’s PERFECT! And, congratulations on your ‘strange day’ – your Day of Publishing! So glad you mustered up your courage and shared this with the world – happy for you, and happy for us! Selfish, I know. 🙂


  5. LOL! FL, that’s the very best kind of “selfish” a writer could hear. Thank you. I hope one of those formats works for you (and I did finally put my other book back up at B&N — I’d completely forgotten I told you I’d do that!).


  6. CMS

    Sony and Smashwords. We have a Sony Reader and I do. Most of my buying from Smashwords for my tablet. That cover is a work of art. You should frame it to out over your computer as a reminder that you really can do it.


  7. Thanks, CMS! My daughter and her fiance actually framed the cover of my first book and gave it to me. I was so touched. Might have to do the same with this one.

    Geez, I forgot all about Sony! And I can do Smashwords too. I think they distribute to Apple, so that’s good. I suppose I also need to look into ARE (All Romance eBooks), as they’re usually listed on the reviews over at DearAuthor.

    All these choices are great and we’re lucky to have them, it’s just time consuming to create accounts and upload things everywhere. But that’s part of being your own publisher and I certainly can’t complain about that. DIY is a terrific feeling.


  8. FL

    You are so kind – remembering I buy my electronic books from B&N. I was going to comment earlier and say that I have no way to read e-books right now (long story, but our current operating system isn’t compatible with the B&N download), BUT – just yesterday – I found out I’m getting a new-to-me laptop (from a very kind and generous friend – that simply was not in my budget, and she has one she never uses, so…).

    One of the things I am thrilled about is that I can FINALLY buy and read your books! I am not sure when this gift will materialize, but that will be my first action after turning it on. :o)


  9. FL, that’s great news about the gift of a laptop— but not just so you can read my books! Generous friends are awesome. Honestly, I’d be more than happy to send you a PDF of A Place to Start. I think you could read that on any device. Seriously, just let me know.


  10. FL

    I agree! I am very blessed in my life by the wonderful friends I have.

    Along with the joy of accessing my B&N library, I have been thinking I might also be able to join the ranks of those who play WWF (or WWCBs) or something like that. 🙂 Not sure how to go about that but will figure it out soon enough, I suppose.

    I bought both of your books the first night I got my computer and was able to download the web reader. Your first book apparently is not yet compatible with the B&N web reader, but the second looks like it’s there and ready to go when I get a chance to re-read it. Very exciting!

    Ordered Jenny’s e-book, too, along with a few others. You’re in good company! Your books and Jenny’s books are the first I purchased once I could! Again, very exciting!


  11. Thanks, FL! I’m humbled that you’d put me in such company. I’m sorry to hear the first book doesn’t work with the B&N reader. That’s odd. They accepted it, so you’d think it would work fine.

    WWCBs is horribly addicting and distracting. I’d advise not going there if you plan to write a book anytime soon. Oh wait, that’s me. Ooops.

    Enjoy all the new reading material!


  12. FL

    Thank you for the good advice about WWCBs – it might keep me from my knitting! However, I think I’m ‘saved’ since it doesn’t appear to be available to me on my computer/with my email addresses (not supported, or some such thing – ?).

    Your book is available in most formats on the B&N readers, just not the web reader, it seems. I can borrow someone’s NOOK and read it – or someday I will likely buy my own NOOK.

    School was called off again tomorrow (second day in a row, seventh THIS SEASON!) due to cold/wind chill temps. Minus 50 this morning – don’t you miss the land of your childhood? I will have some more knitting and reading time, I suppose, though it might be good to do some school work, too! Or not. 🙂


  13. I don’t miss the extreme cold, that’s for sure. We got an inch and a half of snow last night, so I’m having my little taste of winter. Luckily it will melt and be gone in a matter of days. And not last until April.