While I was away (from the blog space) news hit my inbox. What’s the news? Wait—for those who are joining us mid-blog (is that a term?), I’m documenting the production process of getting the next Karen Vail novel written and into print. So scroll down (or look to your right under “Prior entries”) and read the other postings. (If you’re reading this on Amazon, the prior postings are available on my website, www.AlanJacobson.com. Click on the “Blog” tab. I know, kind of obvious, but…)

So I’ve now received the cover art for Crush. I suggested minor changes/improvements/ refinements to the art and my publisher agreed with my thoughts. It evokes the same feel as The 7th Victim, which, as we’ve been told many times over, was a winning piece of art. A great many people loved it. The cover for Crush is clean, classy, and eye-catching. As soon as I get permission, I’ll post it to my site…probably in May, I would guess.

People have asked me if I design the covers for my books. The truth is, I don’t. The cover of my first novel, False Accusations, arose from a design I’d created. The publisher’s graphic artist added a very cool graphic that involved smoke that blended from gray to red…and embedded in the smoke was the image of a woman. It was pertinent to the story, creative, and catchy. In that case, it was a collaboration. But for the other covers, the artist read the novel and then created a graphic that considered the story content, but, most importantly, was driven by marketing considerations—it had to catch your eye and stand out from all the other covers staring you in the face.

My publisher then sent me the cover for comment, and I provided feedback, as mentioned earlier. Bottom line is it’s crucial that the sales reps (who sell the book to the buyers for the bookstores) get jazzed about the cover (and the novel). If they’re excited, that emotion will trickle to the buyers and their “sell” is more passionate. It’s not unlike me, when I’m writing my novels: If I’m not “into” my characters, and if I’m not writing a story that gets my juices flowing, you, my readers, won’t feel the excitement and it’ll be a flat experience.

While the artist makes those minor revisions to the cover, I sent some thoughts to my publisher regarding the design of the internal pages. Basically, at the start of each chapter, there’s sometimes a graphic that accompanies the chapter number. (The design also encompasses the fonts used for the chapter headers, the title page, and the layout of the author name and title at the top of the book pages.)

In the meantime, a Project Editor was assigned to Crush. This person will oversee the editing and production schedule and ensure all the deadlines are met by the copyeditor and proofreaders (I’m also involved in both of these editing rounds). She will also oversee the typesetting and printing of the galleys and the finished books.

Galleys are unbound page proofs that show exactly what the book pages will look like. I’ll talk more about them when we get to that point in the process. At present, the copyedits just arrived (3/2). I have two weeks to get them back to my publisher, so I’ll end this here and so I can meet my deadline. Till next time…