The final assignment at the Missouri retreat was to design a book jacket for our works-in-progress. It had to include flap copy, an author bio and cover art. Writing flap copy is fine practice for a query letter pitch, so I had no objections there. The author bio is also potentially useful.
But drawing cover art? You’ve got to be kidding. I pointed out that some books simply have the title printed in an interesting font. Nope. We all had to draw a picture. Everyone else accepted the assignment cheerfully, so I stopped complaining. The participant who is a published illustrator drew with her left hand so the rest of us wouldn’t feel bad.
In desperation, I remembered K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and decided to draw a pawn from a chess set. My three-word title easily fit inside the pawn’s outline. When it was my turn to show my book cover, I told the group what it was supposed to be. Someone even said it was good. Obviously, she meant the idea of a pawn, not my artistic rendering.
When I got home, I showed my book cover to Jeremy. “Is that a light bulb?” he asked.
The Sell-Out or the Purist?
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