Back to the garden party in the rain . . . I saw a poster in a grocery store about a garden party for artists and craftspeople. As I am neither, I e-mailed the host and asked if it would be a good venue to promote my book.
She answered with an enthusiastic yes, so I bought a plastic table and prepared a display of my published writing (magazine articles, and a business magazine I’d edited).
I also brought a little dummy of Scissortown, mostly with rough sketches (only two finished color pix).
I used the two proposed covers you see above as conversation starters.
Most of us like to give our opinion, and the friendly people at the garden party were no exception. After explaining the color scheme (Tina’s dress a pretty red, the kitty in orange and white, etc.), I asked folks which cover they preferred.
The results were fascinating. Most people had very little trouble making up their minds. Cover A is the one on top, with most of the tree showing, and Cover B is the close-up.
Here are some of the comments:
Cover A: “The whole picture is there.” (grandma of a three-year-old)
Cover B: “It looks more put together.” (photographer, young mother)
A: “It’s really compelling for a kids’ book.” (young dad)
B: “A takes the mystery out.” (mom of a young teen)
A: “It just grabs me better.” (grandpa)
B: “The cat in the tree is bigger.” (aunt of little kids)
A: “More detail.” (local artist, mural painter)
B: “My granddaughters like cats.” (grandma, great-grandma)
A: “I love the hair effect and the cat and the bigger tree.” (mom)
B: “Because there’s not so much clutter. Kids see straightforward.” (woodworker, shepherd)
Cover A won, just as it did in the Words in 3 Dimensions Conference in Edmonton in May. But the artist types at the garden party were more evenly divided than the writer/editor types in Edmonton. Most of the people at the conference voted for A.
So that was the lesson from both the conference and the garden party: ask for people’s opinion with an honest desire to know what they think, document the reasons for their choice, and then ask them if they’d like to be notified when the book is published.
The garden party led to the Farmers’ Market invite, which I’ll tell you about in my next post.