The Book Cover Evolution of ‘Not Famous’

Almost as long as I was writing Not Famous I was thinking about its cover. I tried coming up with my own and that really didn’t work out so well. In fact, those cover concepts were so embarrassing I recently deleted them.

Because of that experience I decided that a photographic cover was probably the way to go. I knew this was a departure from the types of covers you usually expect from lad lit novels, but at the time I was convinced that an illustrated cover just wasn’t going to work.

So, I searched for a good photo. I scoured stock image sites up and down, left and right, trying to find the best photo. One thing I always knew was that the cover would feature Alli Conwell. Not Famous is her story, and in my mind, she was the one to be featured on the cover.

Eventually, I found the perfect photo. I then hired someone to do a simple cover with the photo, and after a lot of back and forth on fonts, this is the cover that I picked:Continue reading “The Book Cover Evolution of ‘Not Famous’”

COVER REVEAL: Not Famous

Yesterday, I challenged my Twitter followers to retweet a special tweet, and if it got enough, I would reveal the cover for Not Famous today—three days early.  Well, the challenge was successful, and, as promised, the cover for Not Famous will be revealed, right here, right now:


notfamous_coverreveal.jpgnotfamous_coverreveal.jpg

For fans of Nick Hornby and Mike Gayle, Not Famous is a heartwarming and humorous tale of love, music, and the unexpected.

Nick Forrester thought he would spend the rest of his life with his girlfriend, Lauren—until he proposed. Instead of engaged, he ends up humiliated and alone. Then he meets Alli Conwell, a socially awkward nineteen-year-old barista, and Nick has hope again. Alli is trying to make a name for herself as a singer/songwriter and might just be the next Taylor Swift. She’s ambitious, talented, and determined to succeed on her own terms.

But all is not what it seems. Alli has secrets about her life before moving to the city, and her innocence has left her unprepared for the temptations of Boston’s indie music scene. As their relationship blossoms, so do the tensions created by the past she’s trying to hide and the heartbreak he’s trying to forget. Is Alli “The One” or just “Another One” who will break his heart?

Click here to be the first to know when Not Famous is available for pre-order.

Getting Ready To Publish ‘Not Famous’

The final version of the manuscript  is now being formatted for paperback and ebook. I’ve also started the process of getting my novel set up on Amazon’s KDP publishing platform. I even have an ISBN! In other words, after more than seven years (on and off) of working on this novel, publication is in sight! I’ve got just over two months now before publication on January 15, 2019. On November 1, 2018, I’ll be revealing the cover, and then I’ll be stepping up my efforts to get book bloggers and other reviewers lined up. I’ve always heard that writing the book is the easy part, while promoting it is much harder. I’m new at this, and doing the best I can. We’ll just have to see what happens.

If you’re interested in a free review copy in exchange for a review, let me know!

Getting Ready To Publish ‘Not Famous’

The final version of the manuscript  is now being formatted for paperback and ebook. I’ve also started the process of getting my novel set up on Amazon’s KDP publishing platform. I even have an ISBN! In other words, after more than seven years (on and off) of working on this novel, publication is in sight!

I’ve got just over two months now before publication on January 15, 2019. On November 1, 2018, I’ll be revealing the cover, and then I’ll be stepping up my efforts to get book bloggers and other reviewers lined up. I’ve always heard that writing the book is the easy part, while promoting it is much harder. I’m new at this, and doing the best I can. We’ll just have to see what happens.

If you’re interested in a free review copy in exchange for a review, let me know!

Coming November 1: The Cover Reveal of ‘Not Famous’

I’ve struggled quite a bit with the question of when to reveal the cover art for my novel, Not Famous. Publication is set for January 15, 2019, but deciding when to reveal the cover had me at a loss. When is the right time? I sought out lots of advice, and heard different opinions on the matter. Based on all that advice, I discovered something: there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Every book, every author is different.  I had to figure out the best thing for my novel given my situation. So, what’s my situation? As a first time author, I’ve found it difficult to generate interest without having other work to point to. It occurred to me that talking about a book that is going to happen is all fine and good, but without a cover to show people… something that says “this book is real, and it is happening” I may be hurting my ability to hook people in. I’m also losing time in establishing a brand. So, I decided to reveal my cover sooner than later. So, on November 1, 2018, the cover for Not Famous will be revealed.

Readers of this blog will know I’ve struggled with my book’s cover design for some time. For the longest time I’d settled on a photographic cover which I love to death. But, as this book became closer and closer to becoming a real thing, and I started thinking about the marketing aspect of it, I realized I needed to have my designer start from scratch, to consider the lad lit genre and do something that fit better. Initially, my plan was to use the photographic cover in the US market, and the illustrated cover in the UK and AU markets. But, I was advised against that by Jon Rance, and so after some careful consideration I decided to use the illustrated cover universally. The photographic cover is one that I’ll always love, and maybe I will show everyone eventually, but I know using the illustrated cover is the right choice… and I can’t wait to show it to you.

My Novel Has Now Been Proofread!

Well, my proofreader took less time than expected! I got the manuscript for Not Famous back yesterday.  There were quite a few minor grammatical corrections! Over the next week I plan to go through the manuscript, approve all the changes and prepare the eARCs! Aside from the corrections, my proofreader offered some thoughts I’d like to share.

On Nick, the main character:

…you made him believable and real to the reader, so despite his flaws (which made me angry at him occasionally) I was pulling for him to grow up.

On the story:

You do a good job of setting the stage for the story in the prologue. The break-up with Lauren establishes Nick’s shortcomings as much as her lapse shows poor judgement on her part. And then the whole issue of trust (or lack of it) is established and becomes the major theme of the tale. At the very end, he seems to understand that a full commitment requires total trust. Good way to pull it all together!

On the novel overall:

Overall I call this book a winner. Seriously. Why? […] I found myself having a hard time stepping away from the story. And then I was anxious to get back and “see what happens next.”

He also called it “an excellent read” in a chat later on.

So, I’m very happy with his feedback, and I’m looking forward to going through the manuscript corrections and getting ready to publish in January!

Coming November 1: The Cover Reveal of ‘Not Famous’

I’ve struggled quite a bit with the question of when to reveal the cover art for my novel, Not Famous. Publication is set for January 15, 2019, but deciding when to reveal the cover had me at a loss. When is the right time? I sought out lots of advice, and heard different opinions on the matter. Based on all that advice, I discovered something: there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Every book, every author is different.  I had to figure out the best thing for my novel given my situation.

So, what’s my situation? As a first time author, I’ve found it difficult to generate interest without having other work to point to. It occured to me that talking about a book that is going to happen is all fine and good, but without a cover to show people… something that says “this book is real, and it is happening” I may be hurting my ability to hook people in. I’m also losing time in establishing a brand. So, I decided to reveal my cover sooner than later. So, on November 1, 2018, the cover for Not Famous will be revealed.

Readers of this blog will know I’ve struggled with my book’s cover design for some time. For the longest time I’d settled on a photographic cover which I love to death. But, as this book became closer and closer to becoming a real thing, and I started thinking about the marketing aspect of it, I realized I needed to have my designer start from scratch, to consider the lad lit genre and do something that fit better. Initially, my plan was to use the photographic cover in the US market, and the illustrated cover in the UK and AU markets. But, I was advised against that by Jon Rance, and so after some careful consideration I decided to use the illustrated cover universally. The photographic cover is one that I’ll always love, and maybe I will show everyone eventually, but I know using the illustrated cover is the right choice… and I can’t wait to show it to you.

My Novel Has Now Been Proofread!

Well, my proofreader took less time than expected! I got the manuscript for Not Famous back yesterday.  There were quite a few minor grammatical corrections! Over the next week I plan to go through the manuscript, approve all the changes and prepare the eARCs!

Aside from the corrections, my proofreader offered some thoughts I’d like to share.

On Nick, the main character:

…you made him believable and real to the reader, so despite his flaws (which made me angry at him occasionally) I was pulling for him to grow up.

On the story:

You do a good job of setting the stage for the story in the prologue. The break-up with Lauren establishes Nick’s shortcomings as much as her lapse shows poor judgement on her part. And then the whole issue of trust (or lack of it) is established and becomes the major theme of the tale. At the very end, he seems to understand that a full commitment requires total trust. Good way to pull it all together!

On the novel overall:

Overall I call this book a winner. Seriously. Why? […] I found myself having a hard time stepping away from the story. And then I was anxious to get back and “see what happens next.”

He also called it “an excellent read” in a chat later on.

So, I’m very happy with his feedback, and I’m looking forward to going through the manuscript corrections and getting ready to publish in January!

How Nick Hornby Influenced My Novel

It goes without saying that if weren’t for Nick Hornby I wouldn’t have written my novel Not Famous. Nick Hornby is credited with starting the lad lit genre, and that’s the genre of my novel. Still, writing any sort of fiction, period, may not have been in the cards for me had it not been for his novel High Fidelity. Naturally, the main character of my book, Nick Forrester, is named after Hornby. I’m by no means a music obsessive the way Nick Hornby or his character Rob Fleming are, but somehow my first novel ended up being about music anyway. In many ways, my novel’s main character, Nick Forrester, is the opposite of Rob Fleming.  Rob is a music collector, while Nick’s music collection sits in a couple boxes in his former bedroom at his mother’s house. He can’t even be bothered to bring it all back to his apartment after a crashed hard drive wipes out the majority of his digitized music library. But, both become infatuated with practicing musicians. Rob has a one-night-stand with Marie LaSalle in the wake of his break-up with his girlfriend. Nick gets into a serious relationship with Alli Conwell a few months after breaking up with his.

Another way I was influenced by High Fidelity specifically in the writing of Not Famous was the  use of first person present tense. Most books I read are probably first person past tense, or third person past tense. There are strong feelings about what person and tense is the best. Some people hate first person. I’ve never had a problem with it. Quite frankly, I’ve never had a problem with third person either. But, quite a few lad lit writers use the first person present tense almost as though it’s a signature of lad lit, so I decided it go with that. One reason I like it is first person past tense presents the narrating character from a stand point of knowing what’s going to happen. They are re-telling the story, not experiencing it. I think what I like about the first person present tense is that you, as the reader, are fully immersed in the narrating character’s perception of events as they happen. It’s not an easy way to write, and there are times I cheat a little, (but, then again, so did Nick Hornby in High Fidelity) but only when I felt it worked at that moment.

My love of Hornby’s books, and the subsequent yearn for more lad lit books led me to discover other authors like Jonathan Tropper, Mike Gayle, Matt Dunn, Matthew Norman, Jon Rance, and Andy Jones. These guys wrote books I liked to read and thus, books like what I eventually wanted to write on my own. All of these authors, in their own way, helped convince me over a period of many years that not only did I have my own story to tell, but that if I wanted to tell it that I had to start writing it.

It only took me seven years to complete the damn thing. But, it’s gone through several edits, and is being proofread for the last time now. In November I’ll be sending out eARCs to reviewers (still looking for more if you’re interested) and I’ve set publication day as January 15, 2019.

It’s happening. Finally.