I had a good Christmas/New Year’s. I saw movies, went out to eat, had friends over for dinner, took great walks along the beach. And Michael and I drove down to Del Mar in Northern San Diego County so we could meet up with my literary agent, who’d flown in from New York with her husband to vacation with family; we stayed at a charming boutique hotel there called L’Auberge.
It’s steps from the beach and has the best homemade granola I’ve ever tasted. (I know, I know. Granola isn’t exactly exciting, but theirs was absolutely delish and was served with fresh fruit and very tasty yogurt. Not a bad breakfast at all.)
Mostly, though, I worked over the holidays. I’m in the process of having 11 of my novels converted into ebook editions (now that’s exciting since they’ve never been available in that format). Not only was I filling out author marketing questionnaires for each of the books, but I was conducting a talent search for a designer who could come up with fabulous covers for the novels. I wanted designs that would be specific to each story but that would have an overall “look/concept” in order to easily identify my “brand.” Where did I find such a designer?
On a web site out of Australia called 99designs. If anybody needs a logo or a wedding invitation or even a T-shirt, not to mention a book cover, I urge you to visit 99designs. What happens is that you sign up, state what it is you need designed, and hold a contest in which their entire international community of designers can submit entries. Over the course of seven days, you view all the designs, provide feedback, narrow the contest down to a maximum of six finalists and pick a winner. You can spend whatever you can afford (there are three packages offered). It’s not only easy but fun, and I ended up choosing a designer in Germany. She’s now hard at work creating a look for all 11 of the ebooks and I’ll post the new covers as soon as they’re finished.
My other project was reviewing the catalog copy for You’d Better Not Die Or I’ll Kill You, which Chronicle is publishing this year. My editor was in touch to say my manuscript is going into production and that I’ll be hearing from their copy editing department soon about whether I need to edit the book for length. After that, I’m sure their design team will weigh in; Chronicle does such a great job with books like mine so I feel confident that if line drawings and sidebars and boxed off sections are called for, I’ll have them.
And finally, a friend and I spent many hours brainstorming the TV series we hope my L.A. agent will pitch. It’s way too early to talk about the project except to say we laughed a lot while we were banging our heads against our computer screens.
So while I wasn’t spending the holidays stretched out on a lounge chair, I enjoyed myself. The truth is, I love to work. Crazy me.