Wednesday, June 22, 2011


            We have to make decisions every day. Most of our decisions are routine, but some force us to review our positions on larger issues. I have a decision to make, and it has produced a dilemma.
            I’m moving forward with getting ‘What Rough Beast’ published and available for readers like you (wink, wink). I’m still moving along the route of traditional publishing where a publisher is responsible for the book layout and for designing and producing the book cover, but I’ve also decided to pursue the option of offering it myself through the various online book sellers and my own website. That means that I have to find professionals who can do the book layout and design the cover. Covers are so very important, aren’t they? A cover is the hook that grabs the attention of a potential reader and entices him or her to pick up the book and look more closely at it. Covers sell books, so I want the best cover possible.
            I advertized recently online for book cover design specialists. Because of the economy, there are a lot of talented people looking for work and in three days I received twenty proposals from around the world. Naturally, they provided portfolios of their past work and testimonials from previous customers. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at all the proposals, the examples of past work and the reviews of past customers, and I’ve whittled the list down to two, but now I’m stuck. One lives about a thousand miles from where I live, and the other is much more local, living less than one hundred miles from me.
            Why do I mention where they live? If you will indulge me, let me briefly go in another direction. I’m going to call this ‘economics ala Chris’ and my basic mantra is: wealth grows where the dollar stops. We’ve been sending our dollars away for years and years to buy foreign petroleum, foreign clothing and foreign manufactured goods. We’ve enriched economies in faraway lands. I read recently that the average meal on the average dinner table came from fourteen hundred miles away. So, you work hard and then send your dollar far away where it stimulates someone else’s economy. That produced a second mantra for me: in so far as is possible, buy local.
            Do you see my dilemma? I want to buy local, but the local artist has done only a few book covers. It was good work, but she has done so few. The other artist had a portfolio of more than three dozen book covers he has designed, and his work is quite good, too. Both artists are good, but one has more experience. Do I buy local or do I send my dollar a thousand miles away?
            Decisions, decisions. Any thoughts out there?
            Thanks for your time.

1 comment:

  1. I like your "buy local" mindset, Chris, even if we are in a global economy. But here would be my main reason for giving strong consideration to the local artist, assuming the portfolio she has is strong: The very fact that she is just getting started means her need is greater right now. The established artist has a portfolio and, presumably, a somewhat established clientele. Up-and-coming writers and up-and-coming artists might make a good team. And she might be more aggressive in exposing your book(cover) to the world than someone with dozens of book covers.