Cosmic Casserole Press is a small, independent publisher serving up honesty, humor and hope.
Our first title will be Joanna Chapman's book, Divine Secrets of the Ta-Ta Sisterhood: Pledging the Pink Sorority. Divine Secrets is a narrative nonfiction book where the funny, flawed narrator recounts her Adventures in Cancerland and, just like a BFF, shares secrets known only to those initiated into the pink ribbon sisterhood.
Advance readers have called the book: hilarious, honest, heartfelt
How many pages of print design do you need?
Front cover, back cover and spine
List the size requirement(s) for your print design
Most likely will go with 6 x 9 trade paperback size. Anticipating book will be about 325 pages, dependent on interior design/font etc. tbd.
What is your industry?
Publishing and Media
Describe the target audience for your print design
Savvy, educated female readers -- women dealing with breast cancer as well as their friends and loved ones. Would also appeal to those not facing the disease but curious about what the experience is like. Since statistics tell us 1 out of every 8 women will face the disease, Divine Secrets could potentially attract a large audience.
What 3 things would you like to communicate to your audience through your print design?
A cancer diagnosis is scary but the author's intent is reassure women that they are not crazy and they are not alone. The writer jokes that her book is a "cosmic casserole" gift to others since nobody would want to eat her burnt lasagnas!
Another message is that laughter and friendship can help get you through this. If you can't quite kick cancer's ass, then at least beat it with your handbag!
The cover should convey the Cosmic Casserole motto of hope, humor and honesty without being saccharine or gloomy.
What print design styles do you like?
Not sure what to say -- I have a very open mind and encourage the graphic artists to bring it on! Maybe something catchy with a chick-lit vibe?
Here are a few ideas to get the brainstorming started: for some reason I keep imagining a cartoonish-looking graphic, but please surprise me... maybe a bra made of camo-print trimmed in pink ribbon? a voguish silhouette of woman with super short hair walking away wearing a little black dress and hot pink cowgirl boots? A blingy pink purse and/or cowboy hat? girlfriends chatting at cafe?... Hoping to find something that will connect with the concept of breast cancer, but with a subtle touch.
What colors do you want to see in your print design?
Open, just not too heavy on the pink.
What colors do you NOT want to see in your print design?
Open to anything.
What adjectives should best describe your print design?
Charming, accessible, bright and positive, not scary-looking, Something eye-catching to make you smile & spark interest in reading.
How will you use the print design?
Will be on every printed book cover. Will use cover design in advertising, poster displays, etc. Will need a version to work for e-book readers (tiny size) when customers order from on-line website as well.
What content must be included in the print design?
Front cover should save a spot or two for positive blurbs. Spine should have eye-catching look/small graphic? plus publisher imprint (flying casserole dish) Back cover will include space for ISBN, back cover copy, more blurbs.
By cosmic on 20-Jan-13 9:42 p.m.GMT
Thanks so much for everyone's hard work and great ideas! I especially appreciate the folks who are responding to my suggestions with changes and offering new concepts. Keep in mind that I want the book cover to have a positive, modern vibe. Don't overdo the pink or add too many pink ribbons. Also, I think it works better when/if you have an illustration of women where at least one has short hair, a scarf, etc. a SUBTLE indication of the disease -- don't need pics where everyone has long hair and cleavage. If anyone has an approach using visuals of a blingy-ribbon pin or necklace (someone gave me a hot pink rhinestone broach) or pink cowgirl boots and/or purse, these might also be fun. Love the covers so far -- it will be hard to decide. I'll be sure to recommend Crowdspring to all my writer friends for their future cover art!
By cosmic on 21-Jan-13 2:52 p.m.GMT
Thank you all so much for your great ideas and your willingness to make requested revisions. Hope I'm not being too much of a pain with all of my feedback :) My goal is to end up with a cover that can stand up as professionally designed as any book from one of the big-name publishers. I recognize that a number of you could help me get there! I do understand how you have to balance your time and effort with other projects -- it's the nature of CreateSpace's bid process. But what I can share is that although I will only be able to select one cover, as the deadline gets closer, I will narrow the selection down and ask a large number of writing colleagues, Facebook friends, etc. to take a look and give me their opinions. I hope this will give many of you an opportunity to have other potential customers take a look at your work and keep you in mind for their future products. Thanks again and I am loving seeing entries!
By cosmic on 22-Jan-13 4 a.m.GMT
Thanks, great work! Hoping to polish and refine some of these covers over the next few days before I start asking for opinions from my focus groups, writer colleagues, friends, etc. Before asking others for opinions, I'll message each of you to let you know which cover designs you've submitted that I'm ranking as 4 or 5 stars (no 5 stars yet but getting close !) so that you can keep those in the running and withdraw the ones I've decided against.
Because the pink ribbon motif can be overdone, I'd LOVE to see a few cover concepts with a fresh, feminine vibe and a subtle message -- for example, I'd love to see some brown cowboy boots with pink stitching as the focal point. Or maybe a designer style purse on the cover...
Some things I really like: upbeat, fun look to cover. Designs that that aren't too cluttered or wordy. Bright or vivid colors. Interesting but not overwhelming background patterns. Something interesting about the spine and back cover. Like the characters with a little attitude or kick to them. (But also like the covers without a person featured too.)
Try to stay away from too much pink, pink ribbons everywhere, women who look too cutesy, overly-sexy pics of cleavage and too much long hair. Really want something a little fresh and unexpected not just another pink ribbon book. Thanks!
By cosmic on 22-Jan-13 11:52 p.m.GMT
Thanks again for the great work. I've been trying to prioritize which designs I think would work best. Some of the entries have been eliminated. Also, some of you may have sent me multiple revisions of the same basic concept, so I have kept the latest version(s) and deleted the earlier ones.
If I have given you specific feedback and asked for certain revisions because I see potential, I'd love to see the changes. I'm hoping when people view my gallery, they will be blown away by the artistry and design of the cover entries. I'm continuing to really like the corset/bra motif, the cowgirl boots, purses, women with sass and attitude, sorority sisters, etc.
One idea I'd like someone to try -- although I am not a graphic artist so it might not work -- but a cover with a trio of shoes to suggest a group of friends... maybe a brown/black boot with pink stitching, a dressy pump or sandal and running shoes/sneakers. once again with subtle touches of pink???? After all, a lady with cancer might lose her hair or her breast but can still continue to wear cute shoes!
By cosmic on 24-Jan-13 2:42 a.m.GMT
Thanks everyone for your hard work. To make the path to choosing my book cover clearer, I have gone back and eliminated some of the earlier entries and some that were multiple, similar versions. I had a very hard time eliminating some of the entries because they were so beautifully done. But they didn't quite fit with the book message, so I couldn't use them.
The ones left are some I really like, all strong contenders plus recent others that have an intriguing concept I'd like to see revised. I'd love to see your updates to these entries if I made suggestions -- remember no huge pink ribbon, keep the pink subtle -- clean, colorful graphics, interesting spine and cover art.... Let's fine tune these for a few days before I start asking others to weigh in ....Can't wait to hear all the positive comments I expect to get from other writers!
By cosmic on 30-Jan-13 5:10 p.m.GMT
Hi, sorry I've been out of touch for a day or so, but I've been collecting feedback. I have to say that I'm so very pleased with the high quality of the book cover designs you have been offering...I wish I had a dozen different books so I could have a dozen different covers!
I am starting to narrow the choices down to the top four or five, but I've extended the deadline for a week so that more of my colleagues can see your work. Although there are some front-runners (which I will reveal in the next few days), eleven COMPLETELY DIFFERENT cover concepts have been selected as a top favorite by my focus group voters. This is a testament to the talent you all show... Thanks again, and I will be adding material for blurbs and back cover text over the next week.
By cosmic on 2-Feb-13 8:52 p.m.GMT
Please add the following items: FRONT COVER BLURB "Eloquently written, heartfelt, funny...one hell of a book!" Laura Spinella, author of Beautiful Disaster.
BACK COVER TEXTt: Several years ago, my gravity-ravaged, middle-aged boobs started attracting more attention than those belonging to a Hooters waitress. But the guys checking me out all wore white coats...and I ended up as a pledge of the pink sorority nobody wants to join.
I get annoyed with survivors who say their cancer is a "gift." If it's a gift, it's a tacky and passive-aggressive one, like Depends or Dentu-Creme wrapped up in sparkly black paper for a milestone birthday. Yet I found humor in unlikely situations, such as when, before one more surgery, the nurse warned me not to use hairspray. Forgoing the Aquanet? So not a problem with a peach fuzz coiffure! Bad hair day? No, more like a bad hair year.
Take a seat, girlfriend, and I'll tell you things nobody else will.
BACK COVER BLURB:
"A pitch-perfect blend of humor, hope, and help for those extradited to Cancerland. And for those of us who aren't, Divine Secrets of the Ta-Ta Sisterhood is a unique memoir that reads like a novel. The divine secrets are packed with advice, information, and brilliant ideas for navigating a diagnosis of breast, but this is also the story of a spunky, flawed, hilarious 45-year-old women trying to find the normal in a life that is anything but." - Barbara Claypole White, author of The Unfinished Garden
Also, please make space for the publisher imprint (casserole silhouette tbd) on the bottom of the spine. Thanks!
By cosmic on 6-Feb-13 1:36 p.m.GMT
Sorry to have waited until virtually the last minute, but this was an incredibly hard decision to make! I was very impressed with the quality of the design covers and well as your willingness to work with me and try out new ideas.
I conducted several focus groups and almost every cover was selected as the voter's top pick. It eventually came down to a three way tie. So, the winner is:
Photo cover of girl in pink t-shirt (this tested really well with the focus groups and does a nice message of communicating the book's purpose/theme.)
The other two very strong contenders were the camo corset and woman in the black dress with pink scarf. Thanks everyone, for offering your time and talent. Wish I had a dozen different books so I could use all the great covers!