Taxes, Time, and Toil

Rather than go into dreadful, boring detail, suffice it to say I’ve been working on my taxes. This has caused me to drift away from my normal, pleasant, and non-confrontational personality to one of anger, distrust, and denial. It makes me a less than a happy person. When it’s tax time, even my dog ceases to like me.

Pair that onerous task with the job of finishing a new novel and perhaps you’ll understand why this week’s blog post will be profoundly thin.

While I’m not at all happy about life on the tax front, life on the fiction front is progressing nicely. When I can tear myself away from the joys of slogging through 1040 worksheets and a forest of federal forms, I’m waiting for my First Readers–amazingly gifted and generous folk–to finish reviewing the new book. Since I can’t begin the final edit until all the feedback is in, I’ve turned my attention to the cover.

Doing cover mock-ups can be both time-consuming and frustrating. It’s important to provide a visual that neatly suggests what the story is about without giving away too much. Else, why bother to read the book? The cover must be compelling, catchy, and original. By the same token, readers committed to a particular genre expect covers to have a certain sameness. They want to be assured that what they’ll read is what they want. Think space ships for the Sci-Fi crowd and hunky males for the bodice-ripper fans.

But how does one appeal to a target audience that doesn’t fit into any of the traditional categories? In my case, the target market consists of garden club members, who are mostly female and have grandkids.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve got so far. This cover may never see the light of day, but it’ll give you an idea of what’s in my head for the new book. Garden Clubbed is a humorous tale that puts a whole new spin on an old and venerable tradition. Or so I hope. We’ll have to wait and see how the First Readers react.

I’d love to get your reactions to this cover idea. Please feel free to share your thoughts via the comment section.



About joshlangston

Grateful and well-loved husband, happy grandparent, novelist, editor, and teacher. My life plate is full, and I couldn't be happier. Anything else I might add would be anticlimactic. Cheers!
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13 Responses to Taxes, Time, and Toil

  1. Gerald Flinchum says:

    great cover, interesting point of view, glad you’re working on this project, can’t wait to read it.

  2. Love the title! My opinion? Add a few more dead plants ;D

  3. Erika Passantino says:

    Hi, friend, I was wondering why the silence. This, too, shall pass.

    As to the cover. Defeat in the garden club—no redeeming features? A ray of sunshine somewhere? I know when you have recovered, you will find one. And, minor detail, if you are talking about mums, why give this poor girl a rose?

    This from that garden-loving grandma, be well, love to Annie, I wish her fortitude, Erika

    PS: I’m working on a riskee (sp?) part of my story, wonder whether to put it on ye old email. Sent from my iPad


    • joshlangston says:

      Sometimes, silence is golden. [smile] I was going for alliteration and failed to make the connection with the rose. A ray of sunshine? Seriously? Oh, wait! A ray of sunshine on a mob of unhappy grandmas. That’s it! And I’ll bet finding that image will be a breeze.

  4. Bob Williamson says:

    I thought the cover was pretty good Josh. Loved “from mums to mayhem.” For some reason I think the font of Garden Clubbed might be changed. Not sure why tho.

    • joshlangston says:

      I appreciate the input, Bob. Thank you. I’ll probably do a couple more mock-ups before I make a final decision. Finding the right font can be tricky. I wanted this one to reflect a humorous tone, but it may be overdone. [shrug]

  5. Karen Boyce says:

    I like the cover but I think the lady should be older, not old-old, but 40-50 maybe, and nice looking, (as most of us in my club certainly are – grin). I also agree that the flower could be a mum.

  6. Alice Carnahan says:

    I like it – but be warned, I read a lot of cozy murder mysteries and this cover would do well for one of those… Look forward to reading it. Alice

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