Occasionally I am guilty of rank hypocrisy.
One of the single biggest mistakes I see in organizations is when someone in charge assumes they know everything they need to know without actually knowing it. They commence to making strategic decisions without bothering to talk to the people who actually do know – the troops in the trenches who understand the processes, and how and why things are done; the people who possess a deep understanding of the myriad details that are only too easily overlooked by overconfident executives.
Unfortunately, I’m capable of the same stupid behavior.
Case in point is the cover of my new book, “Telluride Blood: I, Vampire.”
The artist who designed the cover, Sam McFarland, did an incredible job with it and the chapter illustrations. When I showed the cover to Carol, who has worked for years as an editor and in marketing, she liked it but had one suggestion: The elegant cursive font used for title was a little fussy, she thought.
I ignored her.
After the book had been out a few weeks, I went for beers with two writer friends, Joan Mauch and Kristal Shaff, who has been selling sloughs of copies of her new book, “Powers of the Six.”
Kristal said she loved the cover but the title font wasn’t the best choice. Schools are no longer teaching children to read cursive, she said, meaning that some younger readers might find the title off-putting. Plus, she said, when the cover is displayed thumbnail size, as it often is at Amazon.com and in tweets, it’s difficult to make out the title.
I my not have listened the first time, but at least I didn’t make the same mistake twice.
I asked Sam if she could switch to a non-italic type, maybe something more like Garamond, and make it a lot bigger. I also made what I hope is a good marketing call: I asked her to make the words “I, Vampire” much bigger to make it more obvious to readers that they were looking at a book about vampires. There’s nothing wrong with “Telluride Blood,” but it doesn’t necessarily telegraph “vampire” to readers.
The new cover is up on Amazon. We’ll see how it impacts.
New cover, left, original, right.