The Way of the Word

21. November 2010

A Book By Its Cover

Sometime ago, I wrote a hardboiled mystery novel, to which I attached all my hopes and dreams. It had the title The Coldest Blood, and should appeal to people who like traditional hardboiled and pulpy stuff, like Mickey Spillane’s work. I had expected this would launch my career and an entire series of Shaw mysteries.

Too many rejections later, I had to face it: instead of launching my career, it had served to bury it.

Almost a year after that realization, I decided that I, at least, consider the novel too good not to share. The emerging e-book market made it possible to publish it myself at a cover price that wouldn’t scare off too many potential readers.

I mean, really, $20 for a paperback novel? I don’t know how anyone would be willing to pay that much. But, $3.49 for the same novel as a DRM-free ebook? If I had an ebook reader, I’d look at the price, I’d see that it’s about half the cover price of a paperback novel, it costs less than a standard comic book (at least those published by Marvel Comics) while providing far more story than any comic book… I just might give it a chance.

We’ll see if others think that way. If all goes well, The Coldest Blood will be approved by Amazon within 24 hours or so.

Until then, have a look at the cover:

Not having a cover, and not being able to afford one, had been one of the biggest stumbling blocks. Then I happened on a website called Dreamstime. They sell royalty free stock photos. And they are actually affordable! The picture I chose as the cover for The Coldest Blood cost me a pittance. Two downloads, and it will be paid for! I played with the image in MS Paint, adding the title and the credit, and it was done!

The other thing is that those of you who read this blog regularly probably wonder if I have changed my mind about self-publishing. No. I haven’t. Self-publishing The Coldest Blood is simply admitting that I have failed at my ambition, and am therefore reduced to a hobbyist. And for hobbyists, self-publishing is all right.


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