Last term, boxes were meticulously packed and labeled for either our temporary office or deep storage. Some supplies even lived in managers’ cars during the winter break. There was one item, however, that needed special attention: our 1885 Chandler & Price letterpress.
Before I dive into the complex world of book covers, I should confess that my rudimentary and frankly half-hearted initial search quickly turned into a passionate and intense hunt for cultural trends, typography, and design. It turns out that book covers are fascinating and not altogether unlike clothing fashion. Just as I wear styles first adopted by fashion icons who convince me of their chic-cool factor (I’m looking at you, overalls and turtlenecks), there are design bandwagoners for book covers as well.
Connie King Leonard is the author of Sleeping in My Jeans, a YA novel about a teen girl who has to live out of her car with her mother and young sister. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Connie to discuss what inspired her to write a book about being homeless, what message she hopes it will send, and the unique protagonist at the center of it all—Mattie Rollins.
You’ve probably never heard of Litsy, and you’re not the only one. But what is it exactly? Litsy is a mobile iOS app (an Android version is in the works) that launched in the spring of 2016 by the founders of Out Of Print, a clothing company all about books. It brands itself as “a place to organize, interact with, and document all things books,” and Bookriot has deemed it as what would result “if Instagram and Goodreads had a perfect baby.” The layout looks and feels like the Instagram app, and similarly, you can scroll through a timeline of images uploaded by users. If you want to find something more specific—perhaps you are looking for reviews on a book you are considering purchasing—you can use the search tool to find authors, titles, etc. Essentially, it is an ideal marketing tool for those wishing to promote upcoming titles.
In the past, the Ooligan blog has posted some great advice about query letters. For those who have never written a query before, you should go check those out first. However, with those resources available, we wanted to dive deeper into some pitch concepts: framing and in-person pitches. While the latter will primarily be of use to those participating in Write to Publish (or similar writing conferences), framing your book correctly is useful in all cases. Doing it correctly can really give your query letter a leg up on the competition.
If history is really what makes humans human, it seems like the effort to be more respectful and inclusive of other peoples has to include the acknowledgement of and effort to learn about history.