The Inside Story

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“In all things, preserve integrity.” ~ Barbara Paley 

A few days ago, I talked with author Marl Purl regarding the changes that were made to the cover of her book “What the Heart Knows” to better match what was inside. This morning, I gained a whole new perspective to this conversation while I was out taking my early morning walk. 

I walked by three beautiful little girls standing on the street corner waiting for the bus. I stopped just for a moment to chit-chat with the girls. They told me it was the first day of school. I asked the girls how old they were and what grades they were “rising to.” They were ages 8, 9 and lO – stair step sisters. 

Call me old fashioned! But, does anyone think that a 10 year old little girl standing on the street corner waiting for the bus on the first day of school really needs to be made up with lipstick, eyeliner, mascara and rouge?  

As I began to walk toward home, I began to think about the analogy between the publishing process and a 10 year old wearing make-up. In my opinion, she was wearing a cover far too soon. At 10, she doesn’t even know what her own inside story is all about. The tale of her life had hardly begun to unfold, and she already had decided that she needed to cover up her natural beauty with something that may or may not match her final  internal constitution.  And shame on me, I have drawn my own conclusions based on the girl’s surface appearance before her full biography has even evolved. That’s not right – she is only 10 years old!

This correlation does however, support the importance of having a cover that preserves and accurately portrays the integrity of the book. As an independent publisher, you have the final say in making sure the cover reflects the inside works. As a ” non-traditional publisher”,  you will be fulfilling the role of boss of your own book!

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Books as “Calling Cards”

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Ink surrounds me all  the time, on my bed sheets recorded in rhyme, quills ‘ever scribbling in my head….” ~ Terry Guillemets 

Do you know what I like about authors? You don’t have to ask them to become a “friend”, to “like” you, or become their fan before you have a chance to learn all about them. You can also meet-up with them at anytime.  They leave their “calling cards” on bookshelves, in retail stores, in libraries, in schools and all over the place. Authors “calling cards” can be found on the world-wide web, too.

 Pick up a publication of any author and you will shortly know whether you like their style and whether you share interests with them or not. Fulfill your curiosity about an author, their personality traits and who they keep company with, just by reading their “calling card.” 

  • A fiction writer is apt to be an animated or dramatic kind of person, crafty, dreamy, playful, skillful and probably creative, too.
  • You know from a “calling card” of a mystery writer that challenges, suspense, danger, spooks and sleuths bring out the best in them.
  •  A sense of no nonsense, organization of time and place, facts and references are what “non-fiction” writers are all about.
  • Introspection, concern with one’s own relationship to others and self-importance is what you might find when you meet-up with the scribe of a biography.
  • A poet’s “calling card” often reflects a person who has had unusual experiences, is a divergent and innovative thinker and demonstrates skill in the use of prosaic language. 

What kind of “calling card” do you have in mind of creating? Where will you put your calling card to be discovered by others who want to learn more about you as an author?

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