I JUST

Dave hard at work on HP21 cover.

buy the supplies and stand back.

Well, not just stand back.

It’s an interesting thing, running a creative business with your one-and-only, especially when both of you are creative and have visions.

Dave creates every single cover we make.

But, about half the time, I have envisioned the cover, maybe found something on the web as an example of what I would like to see as the cover, and, occasionally, even designed a sloppy hot-mess version of a cover that Dave has to magic into the wonderful covers he does.

This is not without occasional… tension. And then, add in an author, in the case of our single-author books, and you have a third party who wants to be heard from. And we do our best to make those authors happy with their covers, while still keeping the cover in the style we want for our books. because we have made the commitment that all our books, from any of our imprints, will have a similar look, so that when you see a book from us, you know it.


Some books that some people produce, IMHO, don’t look so good. We want all our books to be books you will be proud to display, and that we will be proud to have you display.

So, it is something to think about, as we all (including Dave and I) willy-nilly try to get people to publish us. Do we ever look at the other stuff they are publishing? Do we look at the wrapping that will surround our words if we go with them? I think, so often, we just feel so lucky to get chosen, we don’t think past that. “I was chosen!” so any cover is okay. But, we should consider what things look like, and if that will please us.

I consider myself a bit off-beat; Dave is definitely off-beat. Trying to be a publishing company as a second-half of life career is absolutely not a move a wise or stable person would make, and our covers reflect that (forgive me for this word) vibe.

So, nights like tonight, the three of us are around our large kitchen table. Sophie is sketching, using her iPad, making something called aqua beads, and eating noodles. I am doing DPP secretarial work, blogging, and eating cold tomato soup (it was hot at one point), and Dave is drawing. He got up at one point to snag a half an avocado and some salsa and lost his seat to the dog, and, in true Dave fashion, got himself a different chair. Dave is a very nice person, and we have worked hard, learning to co-manage this company.

My very first job that I ever had was taking care of ladies with disabilities who lived in an institution. My ladies never were dirty, or hungry, or lonely, or bored. In fact I’d probably still be doing it now had it paid even remotely well. I loved that job so much, and I don’t know if that job turned me into a helper, or if I was a helper and so that job was a good fit. Either-or, I am a helper by nature, and I think that may be why, in my fifties, I am dragging my family through this publishing adventure. I think it is unfair that good writing does not have a chance to see the light of day, and I want to help with that, and so, on a night like tonight, we are all around the table, working, in our own ways, on being together while publishing books.

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