Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why Beautiful Covers and Good Books Are Like Potato Chips

The Kentucky Vein is getting even closer to being on shelves and in hands! My cover designer, Julie, has done a gorgeous job with some photos by Kentucky native and excellent photographer (and former student employee of mine), Erik Tuttle.

Right now I'm cooing over Julie's designs as I try to decide which I like better, and finding it difficult to choose just one - sort of like potato chips, only not as fattening, and far more compelling.

Another way book covers are like potato chips: it's rare that they're shared. (What? Am I the only greedy lout around?) In this case, I got lucky with some very generous folks. Punkin House Press (namely Amy, who has been my primary contact for big things; Cheryl, editor and fixerof-things for the text; and Julie, my designer for the cover) has solicited my input in a number of ways. I have heard stories from established poets that an unknown writer should not expect to get any input on anything regarding their book's cover, and changes to the text are mandated rather than requested. My experience has been quite the opposite - everything has been a conversation, I feel like my opinions and input have mattered at every point along this book's journey, and that in addition to writing the book, the rest of the work that goes into making text into a book has my name somewhere in it as well. (Given that it would be much easier for the Punkin team to just do as they wanted to speed things along and avoid any possible disagreements, it really is a testament to how this press treats their authors.)

So, Punkin is the type of place where they share their potato chips. For a fluffy lady like me, it is one more sign among many that this is the right place for my work.

Okay, so admittedly the potato chip metaphor is a little bit of a stretch. On the other hand, I do hope when you read through The Kentucky Vein, you find that you can't stop at one, and want to re-read it again and again. (With potato chips, if you like.) It's coming soon...are you ready for your copy?

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