About Me

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cover Me

Because of the importance of the book’s cover for both marketing and sales, Arcadia Publishing reserves the right to make all final decisions regarding the book's cover. The author can submit between 5 to 10 photographs, but it is ultimately the publisher's decision.

I sent 10 images for consideration as potential cover art for Images of America: Rock Springs Park, including the carousel, the Cyclone roller coaster, and Virginia Gardens, but only one image fit the list of specifications – the Casino dance pavilion circa 1910.

The Casino should be fairly recognizable to area residents as it has been featured on dozens of postcards, newspaper articles and calendars. I have to admit, however, that I was a little disappointed when I gave my first book talk at Fox’s Nursing Home in November 2009, before the book came out, and the very first question from the group was “What’s that building?” in reference to the cover art. At that time it was too late to make any changes and besides the picture had started to really grow on me. I liked it!

Certain milestones in having a book published legitimize all the effort that goes into it. One is seeing the book on a shelf at a chain bookstore. Then there’s the thrill of seeing that first, albeit modest, royalty check. I even got a kick out of seeing my book in a stack of reading material in someone’s bathroom. Of course holding the book in your hands for the first time is very exciting as well, but for me, receiving a pdf of the cover proof was by far the most thrilling moment in the whole experience. I was so excited to see the cover proof that I didn’t notice one small problem with it, but my then seventeen-year old son did.

If you look closely at the two cover proofs below, you will see a slight difference between the first one and the second.

Here’s how I explained it:

Is it possible to move the picture over to the right a bit so that the three women in the foreground are completely on the front cover? It looks like it cuts off at an awkward place. It would look better if it could go just a little more to the right, because the part of the picture which ends up on the front cover looks cut off the way it is cropped now. I don’t think we would want to move it too much to the right, because I like how the trees frame the title art, just a little to the right to bring the woman on the left of the group of three onto the front cover.

It is highly unlikely that any of the folks shown on the book cover in 1910 are alive today, although just this week the last known soldier who served in WWI passed away at the age of 110, so I guess anything is possible, but the woman on the left owes my son, Christian, a thank you for saving her face from a book spine crease for the rest of history.

• sharp, clear, and of high quality
• wider than they are tall, with neutral space toward the top for your title
• vintage original prints, OR professional-quality photographic reprints, OR scans that meet specifications
• clearly historic

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