Putting together a book is kind of like packaging a jar of Extra Creamy Spiffy Peanut Butter.

First, you need to create the best version possible of the peanut butter you’re selling. I do my best to make my stories extra smooth and creamy so that they don’t crack a tooth when you take a big bite. But, even when I manage to fabricate the creamiest peanut butter in the history of nut butters, what next?

I could grab a handful and hold it in my clawed hand with the buttery brownoozing out between my fingers. I could hide behind the grocery store shelf with my hand extended into the aisle.

“Hey, want to buy a handful?”

Cue all the children screaming.

So the packaging is just as important as the contents. As a writer, it’s tempting to say the packaging doesn’t matter and only what’s on the inside counts. But remember my clawed hand of glooping glutens? If the packaging is terrible, nobody will ever find out what’s on the inside and so the contents (in that light) are almost irrelevant. So the packaging needs to be appealing.

Likewise, the packaging also needs to broadcast the right message to the right consumer. Let’s say I came up with a wonderful recyclable glass jar and it had a new whiz-bang resealable lid. Sounds great so far. Only the glass jar is in the shape of a soda bottle.

Doh!

People looking for the best peanut butter in the known universe (way better than what those Klingons produce!) will pass right by. People looking for a bottle of soda will pick it up and then wonder what’s wrong when the sludge inside doesn’t splash around. Admittedly, it’s better than my clawed hand sticking out from the grocery aisle shelf, but it’s still not good.

So, what to do?

The key is to survey all the other peanut butter offerings on the grocery store shelf too see what they’re doing. Especially the best sellers. What do their jars look like? How big or small? What do the labels look like? All those sellers have already worked hard to create the market for folks who love peanut butter and want to buy more from time to time. My job then is to package my better-than-the-best Extra Creamy Spiffy Peanut Butter in a way that will immediately communicate to people that love peanut butter that this is something they would like.

Hence, my amazing cover! (by the always spectacular Christian Bentulan!)

If you like Extra Creamy Post-Apocalyptic Thrills, then you’re going to love Sole Chaos. The story is so thick and tasty, it’ll stick in your gums and teeth for days. In a good way. Hehe!

Back to writing for me!