Cover and Title News for In the Blood

The A to Z Blogging Challenge was a lot of fun, but it’s good to be back in the driver’s seat. I’ve had some exciting developments with my book, In the Blood, which I’ve been waiting to share with you. First, I’ve changed the title to Running Wide Open. Several people have said that I was doing my book a disservice with the original title since it called to mind vampires. I’ve also got a cover design, created by Robin Ludwig. Due to a variety of technical difficulties, this cover has been problematic from the start, so I’m relieved to finally have it finished. Here’s what it looks like.

Cody: Cool. I like the colors.

Lisa: What are you doing here, Cody?

Cody: Whaddaya mean, what am I doing here? You’re revealing the cover of my book.  Why wouldn’t I be here? Hey, wait a minute. Is that supposed to be me?

Lisa: Don’t even go there, buddy. I spent five hours looking through stock photos to find a kid who could pass as you. All the others either had dorky expressions on their faces or were wearing parkas. How comfortable do you think that would be at the speedway in July? I’m warning you—this really isn’t the time to mess with me. I’ve had one helluva week, between washing my cell phone, and having Bowker double-charge me $575 for my ISBNs, and—

Cody: Whoa! Hold on. I’m not complaining. I kinda like it. You made me look even studlier than normal.

Lisa: If I’d depicted you as the scrawny twelve-year-old you actually resemble, everyone would think the book was for younger kids.

Cody: I’m not scrawny, I’m wiry. And I don’t look like I’m twelve.

Lisa: Whatever. The idea is for the cover to sell the book to people who don’t have a pre-conceived mental image of what you’re like, rather than the people who know you.

Cody: That’s cool. But what about Race’s car? Isn’t it supposed to be black and have the number 8 on the door?

Lisa: Imagine just for a second what the cover would look like with a black car. Not very interesting, right?

Cody: I see what you mean.

Race: Yeah, that yellow really catches the eye.

Lisa: Oh, hey, Race. You don’t mind that I didn’t use your car, do you? This one has sentimental value to me. It’s the car I ran at Hickory Motor Speedway.

Race: You raced at Hickory? I’m impressed.

Lisa: You shouldn’t be. I got my butt kicked.

Race: Still, Hickory’s the Birthplace of the NASCAR stars. Competing there must’ve been a blast. And that’s a damn good-looking car. Maybe I should paint mine yellow. I’ll bet it makes you more visible on the track. People are always saying they ran into me because they couldn’t see my car.

Cody: A likely excuse.

Lisa: Believe me, the color doesn’t help. This car met an untimely demise when it got T-boned between turns three and four at Hickory.

Race: Ouch.

Lisa: Tell me about it. And that was only halfway through its first season. I still have the door though. It’s hanging on the wall of my garage, complete with a dent in the shape of a Camaro’s front end. So what do you think of the cover?

Race: I like it. I’m not sure I understand why you had to change the title, though. Everyone who knows anything about racing understands what the term “in the blood” means. I don’t see why it would make people think of vampires.

Lisa: That’s because back in your time Stephenie Meyer hasn’t written her Twilight books.

Race: Is that something I want to know about?

Lisa: Not unless you’re into sparkly vampires.

Race: Sparkly … Never mind. So why was the cover such a problem?

Lisa: Well, I had an entirely different design, but then I got feedback from several people who said that from a marketing perspective, it made more sense to have a car and a kid on the cover. Only it’s tough finding a decent picture of a race car that can be used for something like this. In fact, my designer made me take all the original sponsors off this one. Apparently if you have a company name on your cover, it implies that the business is endorsing your book. To come up with this design, I first had to get the negatives of my Hickory pictures scanned at high resolution by Pro Photo Supply. Then I had to learn some Photoshop skills in a hurry to get rid of the old sponsors, add Eugene Custom Classics—which you can only see part of—and eliminate the horrendous glare on the hood and roof.

Race: You can do all that with Photoshop?

Lisa: It’s come a long way since 1990. In fact, they even have a decent version for PC now.

Race: Interesting. Well, I’m glad you have a Dart on the cover. It’s more important to have the car be the right make and model than to have it be the right color.

Lisa: My thinking exactly. Anyway, it’s not like I’m saying this has to be your car.

Cody: Like anyone but us would be running Mopars.

Race: So have you come up with a release date yet?

Lisa: I’m working through the final copyedits, and then I have to finish formatting for POD—that’s print on demand. I also have to get the spine and back cover designed, which can’t be done until the formatting is complete and I know the exact page count. I was hoping to have the book ready for publication by the end of May, but it looks like the POD is going to take a bit longer. At this point, I think the ebook will probably be out around the end of the month and the POD sometime in June.

Cody: And then we’re going to celebrate with pizza, right?

Lisa: Well, that and Guinness. Maybe if Race drinks enough of it, we can actually get him to take his shirt off.

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49 Responses to Cover and Title News for In the Blood

  1. Casey McCormick says:

    LOVE the new title and cover, Lisa. They’re fantastic!!!!!!


  2. Katy says:

    That’s really cool!


  3. Amber Keyser says:

    Hilarious post! I love it! Hope to see you around PDX book events one of these days!


  4. Is that underwear I see??? Not the fashion back then, was it?? And besides, I do not see Cody as “follower” of fashion trends. He is unique!!!


  5. Beth says:

    Noelle: Whoa, Cody. Cool pic. They say the camera puts ten pounds on you, and it did in all the right places.

    Beth: Hey Cody, Noelle keeps forgetting you are 27 or 24 in her time. Oh well. Nice cover, and a really cool car. I liked the old title, but I agree with Lisa, in this time it shrieks Vampire! Too bad. But Running Wide Open pretty much describes…, what, Noelle? Oh okay. I won’t spill any beans.


  6. Alice Lynn says:

    Hey Lisa, will we all be invited to the blast off for RUNNING WIDE OPEN? And be able to buy an official printed copy? Is Race gonna be there? 🙂 Old cougars never die, they just look that way.


  7. Looks great–love the colors. I was a little sorry to see it replace your mullet on your fb page though! ;o)


  8. Paula Manley says:

    I agree with Casey. LOVE it!


  9. Helen Wand says:

    I’m with Cody and Race. I really like the design and it has even more meaning when you drove it! AND I’m down right crazy about the title! You go girl!!!


  10. Kat Juniper says:

    Great cover! Leaps off the page.


  11. The cover almost has a Juno feeling to it. Do with that as you will.

    Also, the new title is really interesting. It’s ambiguous, which I personally like, and that will surely hook a few people who do, in fact, judge books by their covers.


    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Hmmm. Not sure how to interpret that, but I’m choosing to take it as a compliment. 🙂 I did manage to figure a way to work the new title into a scene in the book, which is something I like to do with all my titles.


  12. Good thing you’re handy with photoshop. 😀


    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Stina, I had to learn a lot of new tricks, but it was fun. I’m useless with words after a day of landscaping, but I can Photoshop till the cows come home. I wish I had the time to play with it more often.


  13. angela says:

    Okay, I am just happy I have the copy of “In the Blood”, I am going to miss that title, but this one is good too. I like the cover, and was thinking about what driver drove the yellow 13 in this book, no one. 🙂 I am going to have to assume readers are not like me, wait the whole book for the heroin to be in the dress on the cover. Or the car to show up. (That is just something stupid I do) I have to say it does stand out, and catches the eye. In the beginning that is the point. Love ya Sis, good luck with the book.


  14. Lisa Nowak says:

    Ang, I also hate it when a cover doesn’t represent what’s in the book, but now that I’ve had to come up with the photos for a cover, I know why that happens (well, actually there are other reason, but finding artwork is definitely one of them). I suppose you could also argue that this racetrack looks nothing like Eugene, but finding a track photo was almost as hard as finding car and kid photos. Anyway, I think this cover gives a decent representation of the story.


  15. Todd McCann says:

    This is why I recommended you as a #FF on Twitter. I was truly LOL. And that doesn’t really happen that often. Good luck with the book. I’m making a bit of progress on mine. May have found a freelance editor that won’t charge me an arm and a leg and an ear and a….


    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Todd, the whole A to Z Challenge in April had this cast of characters, and when Cody and Race start in on each other, they tend to get like this. If you laughed at this one, you’d probably get a kick out of the others. Good luck with your book. I hope the editor works out.


  16. Lisa, I love the cover, the car, and the conversation! And I’m so excited for your release–I’ll buy a copy for my nephew (who’s into racing) and my son (who’s not, but will read anything he can get his hands on).

    Good luck finishing everything up! And huge congratulations to you!



  17. I get both titles, and they’re both awesome, but the new one is really perfect. And it is a great cover!


  18. Lisa Nowak says:

    Thanks, Nina. I was kind of bummed about the title change, and I still haven’t fully committed to updating all the document names on my computer. 🙂 I’m glad you like the cover.


  19. Anita Miller says:

    I am so glad you changed the title…much better, since it’s not a vamp book. And the cover’s great…his pants are awesome.


  20. Seems like the title could refer to racing AND his underwear, but maybe that’s just me. And it’s not a bad thing in any case.


  21. Trish says:

    Great cover and love the title!


  22. Orice Klaas says:

    Both the cover and the title are catchy. Like them both.


  23. moma escriva says:

    Like the cover, the title and the conversation, even if I thought Barb’s idea was to have something on the back of his shirt.


    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Yeah, Moma, I’d toyed with Barb’s idea myself but decided it was impractical because the slogan would have to modified to match the wrinkles in his shirt and it would detract from the other text on the cover.


  24. A.M. Kuska says:

    Aww, I am so sympathetic in regards to the cell phone. I washed my husbands phone a year or so ago, and cured myself by getting cell phone insurance that includes water damage. It’s an extra $10 per month, but knowing me it’s totally worth it.


    • Lisa Nowak says:

      A.M. I don’t pay $10 a month for my cell phone (it’s pre-paid because I hardly ever use it) so that wouldn’t work for me. I’m glad you found a solution, though.


  25. Karen C says:

    Hey, Lisa.

    Sorry that I’m late to the congratulations party…but better late than never, right? 😉

    Great job on the title, the cover artwork, the progress, and the posts. You’re so motivated, are an amazing writer, and I was thinking today in writing group that you really know how to rock a hoody and ponytail. Just don’t tell Becci I said that. 😉



  26. That is a really great cover!

    I like the title too. I have to say that the other one did make me think of sparkly vampires. 😉


  27. Great cover! Your designer did a nice job…and it sounds like you had quite a hand in it, too. I like both titles, but I didn’t even think of the vampire connection with IN THE BLOOD until you mentioned it. Good catch.


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