Drum roll, please. Behold! The draft cover of The Grandfather Clock.
At the recommendation of the gurus at Self Publishing Podcast Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, and Dave Wright (also of Sterling and Stone – www.sterlingandstone.net), and Simon Whistler of the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast – www.rockingselfpublishing.com, I used a website called 99designs.com. In a whirlwind 7 day process I created an online contest with a $300 payoff to the best design.
I gave a few basic ideas and pretty much let the designers be designers. Immediately, concepts started coming in. None were terrible. Designers hailed from all over, including Italy, the UK, and a 14 year-old from Vietnam (poor kid got accused of stealing an idea). Another well liked design had a movie-poster aesthetic and got panned by a friend who is marketing executive in Seattle, “This person should never design again.”
After 4 days, 24 designers were narrowed to 6. It came down to two very different designs. I ran a pickfu.com poll and they were almost dead even. The winner was a favorite of my wife and my editor. Thanks also to Sean and Simon for their feedback. The truth is, several choices were great and I couldn’t go wrong. I’m sympathetic to those designers who spent time and don’t get paid, but some of these popped up so fast that clearly a good designer can put together an idea pretty quickly.
Now the pressure is really on to get my final edits done. Work is going quickly. Then I have to get it all formatted. I would LOVE to finish in October so I can completely devote my November work to National Novel Writing Month (the sequel, which is already underway).
Keep in mind, I do all of this after-hours. Most of my writing takes place from 9pm-midnight. Right now, my wife is watching Survivor, I just put the 20 month-old to bed, and the cat is scratching the window. A rare Friday night at home. The outlining of this book started a year ago and there were days and weeks that it went untouched. I can’t wait to get it published and find that first typo. My editor has to buy me a beer for every typo that slips through. Cheers!
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Next time, Part IV – It’s all back together in one piece. But I have no idea what these extra parts are for.