June 15, 2005

Yet Another King Dork Update

As far as I know, this is going to be the front cover (plus spine) of King Dork:


Here's the full drawing "underneath" the "torn off" corner:


I say "as far as I know," because there's still a chance it could change. Apparently, they change the covers of some books right up to the final weeks before publication. And every cover of every book these days has to be approved by Barnes & Noble (the most powerful entity in publishing) and I 'm not sure where my book is in the Barnes & Noble approval process. (My agent says one book he worked on recently went through 65 different cover designs before it was finally published.) But this is what it is at this point, and it's what's on the galleys or "uncorrected proofs," so it feels pretty "real."

I'm reviewing the typeset version now. I have to say, it's pretty weird and cool to see it in galley form: it looks like a trade paperback. But they're not kidding about the "uncorrected" part. Mine has like a thousand Post-its stuck all over it.

Posted by Dr. Frank at June 15, 2005 01:48 AM | TrackBack

Oh, so you *have* a real last name. Who'd a thunk?

What was the title of the reddish book that got scratched/whited out to have "King Dork" written on it?

Posted by: Angie Schultz at June 15, 2005 03:11 AM

Looks pretty cool!

Posted by: slickdpdx at June 15, 2005 03:20 AM

Holy moley, you're writing a book? Put me down for one!

Posted by: Mitch Clem at June 15, 2005 03:46 AM

It looks like Catcher in the Rye underneath the whiteout. Am I right?

Posted by: Thi at June 15, 2005 05:15 AM

Wow, that's sensational! What a great concept (was it yours?) and very well executed. Congratulations.

Posted by: Ethan at June 15, 2005 05:54 AM

thi, you're right. i still think the cover's great though my boyfriend, a caulfield devotee, is still über skeptical.

Posted by: kendra at June 15, 2005 06:47 AM

Congrats again Frank. Was it your decision to not use your "stage name" for the book? Totally agree on the "Catcher in the Eye" aspect, but as far as I've been following from your snippets it seems the books may have a similar theme. I just hope your book doesn't make the conspiracy theorist's or serial killer's must have list.

Posted by: Zaphod at June 15, 2005 10:56 AM

Well, I'll be carrying it with me whenever I attempt any assassinations.

Seriously, Frank, looks absolutely iconic. Can't wait. Just don't become as reclusive as old J.D., ya hear?

Posted by: Wes at June 15, 2005 01:28 PM

Looks good, however, it terrifies me that Barnes and Noble have final say on book covers? Why? My guess is because a lot of silly people still judge books by their covers? Perhaps due to their lack of ability to read? We went to Borders last week and to my amazement the literature section got even smaller to make room for more romance novels.

Posted by: Manda Magpie at June 15, 2005 02:19 PM

That is a fantastic cover. How much input do you have into the book's actual design?

Posted by: Adam at June 15, 2005 02:56 PM

Looks really cool, but . . . has this gone through legal review at your publisher?

Posted by: Aaron at June 15, 2005 05:08 PM

That's pretty damn awesome. The tenterhooks that I'm on are really digging in.

Posted by: Ted Barlow at June 15, 2005 05:21 PM

Yeah, Aaron, I had wondered about that, too, but their legal people have reviewed it and they don't seem worried. It has to do with the fact that it's the same company (Bertelsmann/Random/Delacorte and B/R/Bantam...)

Posted by: Dr. Frank at June 15, 2005 05:46 PM

That makes sense -- they can't sue themselves! Anyway, it really does look cool -- congratulations, and I can't wait to read it.

Posted by: Aaron at June 15, 2005 07:39 PM

I have been an MTX fan for years and I now finally know your last time. Looking forward to the book.

Posted by: mace at June 15, 2005 07:53 PM

yippee,i think its super keen!

i mean you'd have to be some kind of idiot to want to mess with those kind of secret drawing skills. Gosh!

Posted by: just me at June 15, 2005 07:58 PM

"My guess is because a lot of silly people still judge books by their covers?"

Most people are "silly" that way. A sensible few instead read them whole right there in the store before buying them. Of course, the well-known success of printing books with only uniformly blank brown covers has completely blown the baseless theory that covers greatly affect sales right out of the water. Also: advertising actually doesn't sell anything; it's all a silly hoax.

It's also the law, of course, that books have to be sold via Barnes & Noble; I forget what the mandatory jail time is for violating the law, but it's severe.

Best wishes as regards the book, Frank. You'll never have another first novel published. (Although having subsequent books published is not without its pleasures; on the other hand, if you've not heard about the problematic aspects of *second* books if the first is a success, let me get you started on possible neurotic anxiety about that as soon as possible. Of course, it's easy to avoid second book anxieties simply by having the first book be a mammoth failure sales-wise. See, there's always a bright side!)

Posted by: Gary Farber at June 15, 2005 09:48 PM

Congratulations Dr. Portman!

Posted by: Buckeye Bill at June 16, 2005 12:24 AM

That cover alone will help this sell a ton more. I love it. I hope the back-cover doesn't wuss out with a "normal" writeup.

Posted by: dave bug at June 16, 2005 12:28 AM

i vote for an end to the references to the good doctor's last name. until of course he has a separate blog for his literary fans.

Posted by: stinkus at June 16, 2005 01:17 AM

Great looking cover. I'd pick it up even if i didn't know you had written it.

I guess we should buy a 100 copies and place them all in one bookshelf. And read them in order from left to right and right to left and left to right.... Isn't that what we all do with our Catcher's in the Rye copies? Or is that just me?

Posted by: lucky409 at June 16, 2005 03:33 AM

Love it.

Posted by: Matt R. at June 16, 2005 03:48 AM

I know it's still early, but how about my previous idea of selling say personalized autographed copies via the blog as a "special offer" kind of like 8 Little Songs?

Posted by: Zaphod at June 16, 2005 10:38 AM

Wow, that looks fantastic!

Posted by: Sarah Brown at June 17, 2005 01:03 AM

very cool.

Posted by: josh at June 17, 2005 01:25 PM

seriously, coolest cover ever. better than this book i have called "the man who drank 1000 beers" which has an awesome cover.

the guy above is right. i would pick this book up even if i didn't know the author. you're gonna sell ten million copies with that fucking cover.

the drawing smacks of napoleon dynamite, so it's not as awesome as it should be if that movie didn't get so huge.

hey zaphod - what is catcher in the eye? some porn flick? catch her in the eye?

Posted by: melody chest at June 17, 2005 04:26 PM

It had better be the real cover art. That's what Amazon has as the photo in their listing for the book:


Posted by: Don at June 18, 2005 02:25 AM

I'm with Zaphod. Limited edition via blog!

Posted by: lucky409 at June 18, 2005 05:23 AM

awe-inspiring and beautiful. will it be available in hard back?


Posted by: luke black at June 18, 2005 05:55 AM

Yeah, Luke it's the usual thing: hardback first, then paperback a bit later...

Posted by: Dr. Frank at June 18, 2005 06:54 AM

Good cover. Regardless of who wrote it, I too would buy this book if I saw it (which is mildly surprising, since the only YA books I can remember reading in my life was The Giver and The Outsiders...I read mostly "adult" horror books as a teenager).

Posted by: dave at June 19, 2005 09:48 PM
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