I've completed the book design for my second novel, A Greater Monster. The cover is done and below for your viewing pleasure. I'm quite happy with how it came out. All the design elements that make up the face are related to scenes in the story.

A Greater Monster Cover design

If you are looking for a talented designer for a project, talk to my friend Mike who did this cover as well as the complex interior layouts: http://mikewilgus.com. Super talented guy.

Next step is getting a print-on-demand printer to create about 20 galley editions with a plain cover to send to pre-publication reviewers like Publisher's Weekly and the Kirkus Review. If they review it, that helps get bookstores and libraries to order it. There's no assurance that they will review it, however. I also plan to take a couple galley copies around to bookstores in Chicago to see if I can get employees to read it and land an in-store review. I highly recommend authors take this approach themselves.

The quotes. As promised in my last blog post. I have been very fortunate to meet several authors who generously spared time from their incredibly busy schedules to read an early manuscript of A Greater Monster and provide micro-reviews that will appear on the cover and interior. The full quotes are a little long for this blog post so I'm sharing the abbreviated versions here. I highly recommend these talented authors' books, which I have thoroughly enjoyed reading (links provided).

“Brilliant, insane, and utterly unique…”—Jen Knox, author of To Begin Again
"I can't express how brilliant my favorite scenes in A Greater Monster are. In this extraordinary work, Katzman pushes language to do things, which are truly astounding.”—Carra Stratton, Editor, Starcherone Press
A Greater Monster is…a spiritual (and carnal) quest that reads like Alice on acid, while channeling every trash sci-fi nightmare Creepy Tales had to offer.” —Charles Lambert, author of Scent of Cinnamon and Any Human Face
"Beautiful mystic-schizo DayGlo wordage. Poetic, peripatetic and diuretic prose that befuddles, enchants and amuses the reader at the same time."—Lance Carbuncle, author of Grundish Askew
“This is bizarro fiction at its most intense. It contains scenes and unique designs that seem engineered by some Mad Hatter and Chuck Palahniuk cross-breed.”—Lavinia Ludlow, author of alt.punk

"A Greater Monster is a highly creative and original story combining poetry, imagery, and prose—all working seamlessly without a break in momentum."—Charlie Courtland, author of Dandelions in the Garden

Finally, for authors who are self-publishing and feel the premise or nature of their work might intrigue individuals who like unusual, artsy projects, consider submitting your project to kickstarter.com.

It's a cool site that has been written up in the New York Times, CNN, Wired, etc, as a new way for artists to pre-fund their work. First, because it's a curated site you have to be accepted based on the artistic quality of your concept. Second, you have to offer creative rewards for donations. One of mine is obviously that you can pre-purchase the book, but I also offered rewards that include a stream-of-consciousness email inspired by your name, a hand-written letter or an original short story inspired by anything you request. Thanks to 84 generous individuals, I just reached my goal and the fundraiser still has two weeks more to go. The book is being printed on 100% acid-free recycled paper, which is more expensive than regular paper, and that has added significantly to my printing costs.

It helps to create professional quality video to garner interest, so check out what I did. Making it funny and entertaining helps as well.


And Kickstarter blogged about my project here:

I'll be going to press in about two weeks.
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Published on September 10, 2011 12:36 • 395 views • Tags: arts, blurbs, design, fundraising, kickstarter, pre-reviews, self-publishing, videos
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message 1: by Lea (new)

Lea So exciting to reach your goal ahead of schedule! (It doesn't hurt that the book looks amazing!)

message 2: by David (new)

David Katzman Thank you! I was pretty amazed at how it turned out.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

How are things coming along, David? Any cool updates we'd want to hear about? You've found a printer? Are they working with you to deliver what you want? I used to work for a small- to medium- run book manufacturer...your book would have been one of the cool ones to see coming through the line. Sturgeon's Law, you know: 90 percent of everything is crap. Though, since Reagan, we've upped the percentage somewhat consistently.

message 4: by David (last edited Oct 03, 2011 05:34PM) (new)

David Katzman Thanks for asking, Jeff! Yes, things are moving. I should post another blog entry soon, but I'm so caught up in getting the book ready to go. I sent final files to press and received the proofs back on Friday. I am now reading them over one last time to ensure nothing dropped out. I hope to get it back to them by Monday and then it will be about 16 days before the books are shipped to me.

Yes, after bidding 15 presses, I ended up going with a printer named Mcnaughton and Gunn. They are going to do a great job, the book proof looks beautiful. The images look even better printed than they do on screen.

That's an interesting job, what printer was it? I do agree with you, Reagan started the crap ball rolling, and it's only been getting bigger since.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I used to work for Thomson-Shore. My personal highlights: "Letters to Jane" by Hayden Carruth, and a nice edition of "Confederacy of Dunces" by the folks at one of the university presses in Louisiana. But no: it's not an interesting job. It's a factory job. Idealistically and stupidly (these are my two primary ways of being in the world) I thought it would be fun to make books, and further thought that surely people who made books would be readers, and people who cared about books. Nope! Anyway, I'm sure it's a lot of work, but also sure that you're having fun in these final little steps in your creative process. It doesn't get better than that: even Stephen King doesn't get to choose what kind of paper to use.

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Of Doom

David David Katzman
Author David David Katzman blogs about the process of completing and publishing his second novel.
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