A while ago I featured Michael J. Sahno on Linda’s Book Bag with a guest post all about setting that you can read here. Since then Michael has been rebranding Miles of Files and I’m very pleased to welcome him back to explain all about that process and how we can, sometimes wrongly, judge a book by its cover.
Miles of Files
When Paul Panepinto finds out that his boss is stealing from their Tampa company’s 401(k) plan, he has to make a decision: try to stop the criminal at the risk of losing his own job, or keep his mouth shut and try to live with himself…
How We Judge a Book By Its Cover
A Guest Post by Michael J. Sahno
I launched my first three novels simultaneously on the day I launched my company, Sahno Publishing, via press release. Crazy, right? What can I say? It seemed like a good (marketing) idea at the time.
Because I was starting a company and paying for everything out of my own pocket, I hired an editor to do all three books and a designer for all three as well. It was a lot of money.
These folks worked hard, and I’m not going to complain one bit. The graphic designer not only provided cover designs but also did the book interiors, even helping me with my website layout. For each of the three books, he delivered three designs from which to choose, for a total of nine choices. Fair enough, right?
My wonderful wife assisted with the selection process – she has a natural eye for design – and I was pleased with the outcome: three novels I could present to the world, and an iconic graphic showing them all together.
The only problem was that one of my covers didn’t thrill everyone – the cover for Miles of Files, which I happen to believe is my best novel so far. No one I know personally said anything bad, but when I approached one library, the acquisitions director said, “This cover is really not going to do your book any favors.” Ouch!
Ultimately, that kind of valuable feedback led me to this week’s re-launch. When I won a contest from 99designs for a free book cover design, I immediately thought about that conversation and Miles of Files. Someone had judged my best book by its cover – judged it harshly – and had taken a pass. How many other books suffer the same fate?
Needless to say, I’m thrilled with the new cover. Twenty-four designers competed in this contest, and I received a total of 73 designs. I only hope that people now see the book for what it is even before they open it: a funny, fast-paced thriller.
And in the future, I won’t be so quick to dismiss the notion that even the most discerning readers judge a book by its cover.
About Michael J. Sahno
Michael J. Sahno was born in Bristol, CT. He earned his Bachelor’s from Lynchburg College and his Master’s in English from Binghamton University. Sahno has been a professional writer since 2001. His novels cater to an imaginative audience, particularly those who enjoy literary fiction with a twist of drama and plenty of humor. Sahno is a member of the Florida Writers Association and American Library Association, and the founder of Tampa Literary Authors.