Books on a Shelf

Book on a Shelf

The contract copies of the book (comp copies that are designated in the contract) arrived yesterday, and this morning, I slid them into the top shelf of my bookcase and took this shot, and I was reminded of one of my favorite jobs growing up.

The year before I left for college, I worked at the Barnes & Noble in Shrewsbury, NJ, which, like so many stores nowadays, isn’t there anymore.  Each associate was given a section to take care of, and I ended up with scifi/fantasy, which was great because at that time, I read a lot of it.  I hadn’t discovered Philip K. Dick yet, but I was quite fond of folks like Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s series), Isaac Asimov (Foundation series), and Stephen R. Donaldson (Mordant’s Need series).  Not only did I have to keep the shelves in order, I also had to keep tabs on what was selling out and had the freedom to display the books however I chose.  If there was a title I liked,  I faced the cover out, to catch the eyes of the potential customer.

So here’s what I hope, now that I’m standing on the other side — that there’s a book associate out there who likes my book enough to give it the cover treatment.

Headshots

Two posts in one day?  Surely the apocalypse can’t be far.

Actually this is long overdue.  I’ve been working with a phenomenally talented guy named Noah Dempewolf.  I met him through KoreAm Journal (which, by the way, still welcomes your support), where he illustrated a pair of my articles.  I love his work, so it was a great pleasure to have him draw up portraits for two of the main characters in the novel, David and Sue.  These wonderful drawings are featured in a broadsheet that features the first chapter of the novel.  I plan to use it for marketing purposes as the pub date nears.

David

Sue

I should also mention that Noah did the banner graphic for this site as well.  The guy can do it all.

The Cover

I finally have a cover for the book, and lemme tell ya, it wasn’t easy.  There were three other versions, one that even I attempted to mock up, but the “kid cover,” as I’m now calling it, was the one that was finally chosen.  The first one had four pairs of Asian shoes and was deemed too “chick-litty.”  The second one had three pairs of shoes, two Asian and one pair of Converse Chuck Taylors, but that, too, was ultimately too chick-lit.  The one that I had created included a pair of graphics by an artist I was working with, and it unfortunately gave off a graphic-novel vibe that threatened to confuse potential readers.

I believe the boy is holding a fish fillet sandwich.  Don’t ask.

Chapter logos

In 2007, I wrote a Lives article for The New York Times Magazine.  At the time, they were using Bob Hambly for their simple yet effective black-and-white logos on top of each essay, and thinking of that logo made me think about having something similar to that in my novel.  After some searching, I found the perfect person to draw these up: my talented wife.  So here they are, a collage of the graphics that appear on each and every chapter of Everything Asian.