I liked the very first solution for the jacket design of my new book. Designer Terri Nimmo, I thought, did a very good job. There are elements symbolizing several important aspects of my novel, among them a few bullet holes. Since I needed to freshen up my site for the upcoming promotion (the official launch date is March 10, but the actual promotion is two weeks later), I decided to include the holes into my design of the site.
I thought: everyone is shooting everyone else today, it will be easy to find good images of bullet holes. That’s one area where we can be spoiled: bullet holes from Iraq? No, I’d prefer something from adobes in Afghanistan. But no: you can’t believe how difficult it is to find good bullet traces, or any sort of such marks, really. I guess some police departments in larger cities could make money by making public the pictures related to their investigation. L.A.P.D. or N.Y.P.D. or Vancouver cops — there are millions there, I’m sure.
Then I found a good set of Photoshop brushes, and I liked them well enough to use three different bullet holes for the front page. I stood back and was happy with how it looked.
The next morning I wasn’t so sure anymore. I was afraid that the front page now looked as if it had been visited by a minor drug cartel, very passionate about literature, that hated my writing. So I sent an urgent message to my publicist at Random House, Catherine, and asked her to visit the site and tell me if I overdid it. A little later she told me the front page was fine Re bullets, but she missed some elements that were there for the promotion of my previous book (The Book of Revenge) — such as sound files and something personal.
That personal thing in such situations is a document that many publicists ask their authors to write (Catherine didn’t, but she reminded me of it, which is the same). The working title of such .doc is “Why this book?”
Why? I’m thinking about it now, and I’ll come up with some sort of answer later. It is both easy and impossible to answer that question. Easy, since most authors write because they have to, period. Impossible, because there are usually tens, even hundreds of reasons for creating something. I will probably have to pick a few that are the most aggressive and will elbow ahead of others that are more discreet.
Back to the bullet holes: take a look at them. They look like holes made in metal. But the Internet sites are made of paper, or is it only me? Seriously, did you ever think of it: what material is the Internet made of? Don’t hesitate; just close your eyes and say one noun. Is it paper?