You start to learn a lot about the publishing industry when your an author. I consider myself so lucky to have found such an amazing publishing company who made the decision
to share my life story and mission with the world when they could have easily looked the other way and said, “not what we are looking for.” Little did I know just how dedicated and serious Health Communications Inc. was to helping me reach this platform of breaking the silence of sexual abuse and educating thousands. You know you are working with a wonderful team of people who came together and agreed to publish my story when they receive thousands of manuscripts every year and have to tell many we cannot publish your book. With a subject like sexual abuse it is a more difficult subject to approach but I believe my publishing company saw what I saw in myself and that was a determined woman who has going to do everything in my power to give others their voice and not let anything or anyone get in my way. Publishing companies have to believe in their authors because they are putting so much time, effort, and money into each book that they have to believe their authors are going to be successful.
The process of a book coming to life once a contract is signed is like the process of preparing for a new baby. There is so much time and preparing for its release. CEO, Vice President, Editors, Public Relations, Marketing team, sales team, artists, web design, customer service, all the way down to the men and women who box these books and make sure they get into the stores or readers hands. HCI has a motto for their books and it is “Changing Lives One Book at a Time!” So the next time your looking for a book to change your life or someone else check out their website http://www.hcibooks.com/ I am positive you will find a book just look at the categories on the front page and click on the topic that fits what your looking for.
My second book is in that stage of a manuscript being turned into a book and last week I received five cover designs from the art department. I received many comments here on my blog for people to vote on their favorite and also dozens of emails on my facebook account from others sharing their favorite cover. Little did I know last week that the marketing team wanted something different. As my editor put it they felt all the covers looked like every other recovery book out there and didn’t distinguish itself from the other “survival” stories. They wanted to add a personal touch to the book with a cover that would do that. I was being asked to send in current photos of myself. I will be completely honest had I been asked to have my image on the front cover of a book during my four years of undergrad I do not know that I would be very approving of it. After all I couldn’t stand to see myself in the mirror there was no way I would be able to have my image I was avoiding be on the front cover for the world to see. Now though the images I cannot stand to see of myself are during those anorexic years. When I look at them all I see is how much denial I was in and what I was running from.
What I think is so great about using an image of me on the cover is that it goes so well with the title “Living For Today!” I feel it gives a statement before even opening the book that “I do not allow my past to take my happiness and joy but instead live for every waking moment looking up not down! Living for the present not the past.
I am interested in what others think especially those who had already voted on the five other cover designs and now see this final decision to use my image on the cover.
Now my final note for this post is about the subtitle. I know I posted in a previous post about having the word incest on the front cover and how I am completely fine with that word but I know it makes others uncomfortable and feared people would avoid the book rather then pick it up, but my editor and the sales team at HCI made a good point and this is a statement my editor said to me in an email this week.
In terms of the subtitle, according to sales force, we need to have the
word incest in the title or something that addresses it, and I strongly
agree. Here’s why: This market will be searching for the book by key
words and if they are victims of this crime, they will likely type in
“incest” and your book will come up because it has the word in the sub.
It would be helpful to readers in the bookstore. They will automatically
know that the book is for them because we are using the applicable word
in subtitle. If it takes too long for them to figure out the book
applies to them, we lose them.
They made a great point about using the word incest. After all I am trying to reach incest survivors, sexual abuse survivors, rape survivors and if I do not address it on the front cover I just may lose them to finding the book when they type it in the search engine at the bookstore. After all my whole mission is to break this silent epidemic and get people talking. It may just take having the word incest on the front cover to begin to end the stigma attached to the word. Now we are not 100% positive if the subtitle is going to read exactly as it is stated on this cover my editor is looking at changing the wording around a little. Any suggestions send them my way!
My family all got to see the cover and loved it…my immediate family that is!
My dad’s comment was the funniest when I opened my laptop last night after returning from grad school to show him and he immediately says ” You look so sophisticated in that photo and grown up in it.” I laughed and said Dad I will be 24 on Monday I am a grown up. I sometimes think he will always look at me as being 16 forever. He keeps trying to convince me to stay home after I graduate in May for another year and save up before finding a place of my own. I keep telling both my parents I am packing my bags, dog & cat and moving to New York this summer. 🙂
So comment away and let me know what you think of the cover choice.