Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Judging a book by its (back) cover

In case I haven't mentioned previously that I'm writing a book, I am. The heavy lifting-est part of the whole thing, the writing, is all done. We're currently editing and doing layout and should be finished soon. Definitely by Christmas. Among the finishing touches is designing the cover and on Monday, I had a photo shoot with Jessie and Pavel Stehlik for the author's picture that goes on the back. In an effort to cram as many fart jokes as humanly possible into the thing, we made a high-concept joke out of that too. Hey, if the stuff inside sucks, at least you'll have funny covers to look at.
In case you've never seen a book in captivity, this is what the back typically looks like:
Our is going to be different. For starters, we'll have more picture than words. The inside of the book is full of words. We don't need a whole bunch more on the back cover. So we'll start with a bigger picture and far fewer words. Our picture will also have a theme. The idea is that this is my first book and there's no reason to think I'll ever get to do another one so let's make this author photo as awesome as humanly possible. The inspiration came from the galleries of awful album covers that are so popular on line. A lot of author photos strive to display an air of affected gravitas and/or barely subdued inner turmoil and angst and that comes off kind of smug to me. Well, nobody does unjustifiably smug better than Chris Elliott so he was an influence as well. Our first idea was to shoot it with me in an overstuffed chair in front of an enormous bookshelf, wearing a jacket with patches on the elbows, an orange turtleneck sweater and smoking a pipe. We scrapped that in favor of posing at a piano with my laptop on it (Get it? Keyboard, keys? Artsy! Creative! Clever!!) with a gorgeous model. This would give me motivation to appear unnecessarily pleased with myself and we could use the gorgeous model to simultaneously contribute to and deflate all that tacky, pretentious nonsense. Now, who would be better suited for that than a drag queen? This was our formula for success: 
With our formula in place, we called our frend Amy DeMilo (who said yes without hesitation, as I hoped she would) and booked the lobby of the opulent Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn and we did stuff like this...

These aren't the ones we'll use but you get the idea. The only problem we encountered was that Amy is such a nice person that she had some trouble displaying disgust or disinterest.
Anyway, soon you can buy this book, read it and when you're finished, flip it over and see the photo we picked to grace the back!

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