ART +

Last week I wrote about the importance of the many forms art can take and how one form can never be held higher than another in terms of being a medium to convey meaning between artist and the rest of us.

This week though, I fancied discussing the way different art forms can collide.

‘You can’t judge a book by it’s cover’.

We know the comment and it’s something we have to be aware of in life. We have to be able to maintain a mindset to look beyond the surface and see what may be beneath.Stopping at the top as being all there is is a path to greater disappointment. That’s an important point when actually considering books. An amazing flashy cover won’t be the be all and end all of a book. It’ll certainly help but when the reader then scratches away at that surface, you have to make sure they find more than just more surface.

But.

Now way back when, books just had a blank cover or maybe just the title. There wasn’t the availability of cover design and the need for marketing in the same way as we see today. But times change and today we see more and more choice flooding over us as the number of authors grows and their work is fighting for the attention of all of the readers out there.

And now we see a new step. Now we see the books go from merely having an interesting cover design to that design being more a piece of artwork to be marvelled at. Gone are the days where a bland, featureless cover was sufficient. Today we’re moving from the cover design being there to be the lure to attract readers and towards the book transcending its own art form.

As well as being the domain of the written word, now there are books where they’ve become pieces of art to be looked upon and enjoyed. Not only do they draw people in but now they demand pride of place on so much more than any old bookshelf.  These mighty artworks are recognising the delight that they can bring even without the pages being turned.

Bolder artwork on more than just the front or back cover can be further advanced by daring sculpture where contours and texture add to what is being presented as the receptacle of the word.

The evolution of how we enjoy books has meant that we don’t have to be satisfied with the words and nothing more. Who knows where we’re likely to move forward onto as the way we enjoy books grows? Sound effects?

BOOK ONE, MORE TO FOLLOW

You know what everyone, this weeks planned post is going to be bumped a week. Next week it’ll appear, but for this week I’m just going to bask somewhat in the fact that I’ve published my first book.

Not only that but my wife got a new job on the same day. First class.

If Wales had been able to win the rugby on Friday night it would have been the most amazing triple but I suppose two out of three isn’t that bad really.

I’ve already had some feedback from one reader who finished the book in a couple of days and it was really positive. The big question was then asked. “When is the next one coming out?”

The Circle of Fire is book one in a series of five and I’ve almost finished the first draft of the second book, currently existing under the working title of The Circle of Duty. I’m having a blast writing it, laying down all of the plot threads and details that will appear further down the line.

All in all, I’m really settling into this creative mood and I’m enjoying every single letter and word of it.

Oh, and by the way, don’t forget to buy my book.

The Circle of Fire on Amazon

The Circle of Fire on Lulu

I’M READY TO GO!!!

As I started to discuss last week, there seems to be a huge world of additional work which comes with the task of bringing a book to life. The exciting world of social media was examined seven days ago so now I turn my attention to the considerations of the publishing journey itself.

How do you go about getting published?

When I started  out on my writing voyage I never even considered the reality of what would be required to end up with the finished product sitting on my, or indeed anyone else’s, book shelf. All I could see was the need to tell a story. The thought of anyone actually reading it didn’t crop up until later.

As I wrote, as I placed brick on top of brick to build up the creation that The Circle of Fire became, the feedback I was getting was enough to make me think about publishing.

So as I said before, How do you go about getting published?

I looked through list after list of publishing houses who were accepting submissions, making sure to only pick the ones with an interest in the appropriate genre and researched the details of what I needed to do.

Next port of call was the Amazon website and a look through the steps of self publishing. What I needed to put into place around the newly finished manuscript to take it from my own little story to being the completed article. Book cover, blurb and the final polish.

Between these two methods are others on the same spectrum, providing so many different possibilities.

Choices and choices, research on the interweb and talking with all kinds of people along the way led me through so many roads of what to do.

Luckily, I think I’ve found the right fit.

And to prove it, I give you all a sneak peek of the cover. Thanks to Publish Nation who have been doing the heavy lifting of getting the ball rolling.

Featured image

Not too far in the future, my first novel, The Circle of Fire, will be let loose on the world so all of the work will have been worth it.

I’ll reveal the whole cover when all of the preparation is complete and the book’s ready to go.

All of those people out there who are wrestling with the same choices, trust me, it’s most certainly the extra parts in the publishing set up which make the whole experience so much more fun.

Not long now all.

WHO’S THE JUDGE?

When I started writing my first novel, all I could see was the need to finish the story. I was quickly consumed by the ever evolving story in my head, with the tiny details of character and location, of the long narrative to be told over the entire series. But recently, the need to look beyond the core project of the story has appeared.

How do you choose the cover for your book?

My story is based on Dragons and magic with the title ‘The Circle of Fire’. My first idea centred around an image which represents the title. The problem that this gave was the unfortunate similarity with The Hunger Games, both books and films. The last thing I need would be to have my book dismissed as nothing more than a knock off of the popular series.

The next avenue for me was something specifically around Dragons. My story has elements of humour but the Dragons are still meant to be powerful and potentially scary so looking at a huge number of the images out there, there seemed to be far too many comedic pictures of smiling pot bellied kids fare to give the correct image. Add to this all of the pictures of Dragons battling knights in armour or generally being portrayed as the baddies of the piece and the pool of options dwindles even further.

So what to do?

I have found a couple of decent possibilities (thank you Shutterstock) but I’m looking for advice.

All of you out there reading this have the chance to give me some ideas. Can you all give a comment with what you think would be a good cover for my debut novel.

Just think of a story with a flavour of The Dresden Files and Rivers of London. The more the merrier. Jim Butcher and Ben Aaronovitch have a lot to answer for.

Just think Dragons, fire and magic and let’s see what we can see.