Monthly Archives: January 2007

Centered text, graphic, author name: book jacket design

Is there a stencil for non-fiction book jacket design? I’ve noticed a trend.

Center the title of the book, add a small image or graphic to represent the topic or context of the book, add a subtitle and then the author(s) name(s).

For as much thought and research goes into the content of the book, you would think the author and publisher would want a more original jacket design.

Here are some examples:

It isn’t a widespread problem, but it is one that I’ve noticed just off hand by browsing Borders/Barnes and Noble and watching author interviews on television.

I hope it doesn’t become as prevalent as the long-winded subtitle that every politician, ex-politician and media pundit thinks they need after the title of their book.

For example:

Title: Character Is Destiny
Subtitle: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember
Author: John McCain (R) Arizona
Total words in subtitle: 12

Title: What a Party!
Subtitle: My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals
Author: Terry McAuliffe
Total words in subtitle: 13

Title: Anatomy of Deceit
Subtitle: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy
Author: Marcy Wheeler
Total words in subtitle: 16

Title: A Match Made in Heaven
Subtitle: American Jews, Christian Zionists, and One Man’s Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical Alliance
Author: Zev Chafets
Total words in subtitle: 16

Title: What Every American Should Know About Europe
Subtitle: The Hot Spots, Hotshots, Political Muck-ups, Cross-Border Sniping, and Cultural Chaos of Our Transatlantic Cousins
Author: Melissa Rossi
Total words in subtitle: 17

With this last one they might as well just print a HUGE executive summary on the cover so I don’t have to buy the book and read it.

Title: Arrest-Proof Yourself
Subtitle: An Ex-Cop Reveals How Easy It Is for Anyone to Get Arrested, How Even a Single Arrest Could Ruin Your Life, and What to Do If the Police Get in Your Face
Authors: Dale C. Carson, Wes Denham
Total words in subtitle: 33

I know this isn’t ground-breaking. It’s not like I’m making a huge statement, I’m just pointing out the consistencies and the similarities that I’ve seen in political books and their titles and non-fiction books based on theories and ideas and their book jacket design similarities.


iPhone, iTunes and iPhone ringtones

Remember the iPhone ringtone that Steve Jobs used during the keynote? It sounded like a xylophone to me.

Here it is if you want it on your phone (MP3 link). I put it on mine and now I’m the coolest kid in the neighborhood.

Also, if you are able to put your own ringtones on your phone, here is an easy way to make them in iTunes.

1. Click on a song or sound that you want to use.
2. Right click on the song and goto “Get Info.”
3. Adjust the start and stop time to get the part of the song that you want.
4. Right click on the song again and “Convert to MP3.”
5. Transfer the new MP3 to your cell phone.
6. Viola, you’re done.

Of course, if you want to use a song you bought on the iTunes Music Store you will have to convert the song itself to an MP3 by burning it to a CD and then reripping the song.

It will be 70º and sunny tomorrow

Katie flew to Florida today. This is the first time since we’ve been married (Oct. 02) that one of us has taken a trip without the other. She is in West Palm Beach for an insurance conference thing; fully paid by the company.

It’s odd to have the whole house to myself for a couple of days.

I have the entire bed.
The dog actually hangs out with me.
I can watch whatever I want (though the DVR still wants me to watch Criminal Minds and Medium).

Jack was confused for most of the night. He couldn’t understand why his mama hadn’t come home yet. He eventually gave up the search (he was sitting in the window for a couple of hours after I came home) and ate his dinner.

Katie comes home on Friday. I will be thrilled to see her again.



Originally uploaded by nick findley.

I just love this. What a great idea.

This photo was taken in Clayton, MO.

Things learned

Here are the things I’ve learned by working with small businesses and their advertisements:

• If you are a towing company, saying that “you don’t want my arms and legs you just want my tows” isn’t original.

• If you are a radiator repair company, saying that “you are a good place to take a leak” isn’t original.

• Everyone is the best.

• All companies want you to try the rest and then try the best.

• Satisfaction is ALWAYS guaranteed.

• Most are locally owned AND operated. iS NOT A WEB ADDRESS! I’m always surprised at the number of Yellow Page ads that is where is passed off as a URL.

The Road

I just finished reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

I must recommend this book to everyone. I usually do not like books that contain a great deal of environment description, but McCarthy’s use of simple, yet descriptive words helps to move you along and still paint a vivid picture of a post-apocalyptic America.

The two main characters of the story are a man and a boy. They don’t have names, since names really don’t matter in a world like theirs. Their world is that of America many years after a great nuclear winter. There is few people around, and those that are are haggard, weathered, and will kill you just to eat.

The man and the boy are on the move toward the coast. They have a cart full of their belongings (blankets, a small ration of food, water and fuel). They come across bad people and few good people. If the people aren’t bad they are just two steps from the grave.

The desolation, the constant wonder if they will find someone or something, the thoughts and pictures I had in my head of a world with nothing in it but the weathering, decaying shell of a former society, makes this one of the most frightening books I’ve read in a long time.

Pick it up, I finished it in 4 nights.

Like a Rock, Only Dumber

Like a Rock, Only Dumber

Originally uploaded by Laughing Squid.