The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Weekend Homesteader cover

Weekend Homesteader paperbackI figured that since Weekend Homesteader is all grown up and ready to go into print, she deserved her own page.  Those of you who want to hear the blow by blow, be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed.

Meanwhile, I probably won't be blogging over here about Weekend Homesteader until I have books in my hand.  But I couldn't help sharing the cover.

What do you think?  I'm conflicted, but I figure the publisher knows much more about covers than I do, so I agreed to let it go to press as is.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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What do I think about the cover? It looks like the cover of a book. I know that is stating the obvious to some degree. I think this is impressive though because it will increase the readership. I am proud of you especially because of how much work you put into writing, editing it, and pursuing this persistently over a long time period. Great work!

That said I wonder if you took the pictures for the cover. Seems to me you are a better photographer than the one who did. I want to see Mark and you grueling away.

Does this mean it is in print?

Love you Sissily, Maggie

Comment by Maggie Tue Mar 13 08:34:51 2012
I do really like the effect of the two pintos bellow your name. Not eggs, right?
Comment by Maggie Tue Mar 13 08:37:00 2012

Maggie --- That's what I hope --- that the cover will do its job well, whether or not it's my photos. The only photos that are mine are the broccoli, the pea flowers, and the peppers.

I do think my publishing folks probably know what they're doing. For example, they explained that it's customary not to have any people on the cover because that makes it harder for people who don't look like you to relate to the contents of the book. So I don't mind at all the lack of people. Not so hot on the storebought tomatoes, though....

The book won't be in print until the fall.

I like the beans too, even if they're not mine. :-)

Comment by anna Tue Mar 13 08:46:09 2012
I really like the cover. It definitely targets the weekend homesteader, the one who buys bright yellow muck boots and has a hobby farm. I think it will attract a lot of readers.
Comment by Debbi Tue Mar 13 08:50:13 2012

Given all of your beautiful photography it stinks that you couldn't have more of it on the cover.

BUT the cover is beautiful, eye-catching! As soon as I saw it (even before I noticed it was written by You!) my first thoughts were "Oooo I want to read that book!"

Comment by Emily Tue Mar 13 09:07:45 2012

Maggie --- P.S. --- Thanks for your kind words too. :-) I really appreciate them.

Debbi --- Thanks for saying that! I think you're close to my target audience, so I'm glad to hear the book appeals to you. (I'm not really in my target audience, so what I think is slightly irrelevant. :-) )

Emily --- Just what I wanted to hear about the cover catching your eye and making you want to read the book!!

Comment by anna Tue Mar 13 10:28:22 2012
I LOVE this cover. It came up on my RSS feed and my first thought was " I want that book in my hands right now." I actually didn't realize it was your book right away, the layout of the cover just caught my attention. To me, it looks please forgive the unintentional alliteration)happy, hopeful, and healthy. I can't wait for my copy : )
Comment by Lauren Tue Mar 13 10:31:46 2012
Lauren --- I love your alliteration! That's actually the theme of the whole book --- cheerful self-sufficiency --- so if the cover makes you feel that, it's spot on!
Comment by anna Tue Mar 13 10:36:22 2012
The cover looks great. You should be proud! I am happy for you and couldn't think of anyone I know personally who deserves to see their work in print more than you.
Comment by Everett Tue Mar 13 10:37:11 2012
I love it. It has a modern feel to it, something I typically look for as a suburban homesteader with less than a quarter acre to work with!
Comment by Fostermamas Tue Mar 13 10:42:40 2012

It may be a bit fluffier than what you had in mind, but it will definitely appeal to your target audience, which I'm guessing is a younger crowd that wants to get out and be independent and "stick it to the man". It's clean, crisp, and modern (although I think the art director should have found an image with muddy rain boots). I would buy this in a heartbeat if I saw it in the bookstore or on Amazon.

~ Mitsy

Comment by mountainstead [] Tue Mar 13 11:33:05 2012
I love it! it is bright and cheerful and inspiring. don't do row crops in a tilled field. That is seriously the only picture I have issues with, but if those are store bought tomatoes...then maybe with that one too. Sorry so critical, but you seem to value honesty.
Comment by Becca Tue Mar 13 11:34:11 2012

Everett --- Thank you so much for saying that! I'm looking forward to reading your book too!

Fostermamas --- I'm glad to hear it appeals to you, since I think you're in our core target audience as well.

Mitsy --- Yep, it's the fluff I'm unsure about. On the other hand, fluffy covers probably sell books....

Becca --- I know what you mean about the row crops. That was actually my first complaint when I showed the cover to Mark. But then I thought about it and realized that, occasionally, my garden might actually look like that --- if I raked back the mulch and was planting something like Swiss chard in rows in the bed, waiting to remulch until the seedlings were big enough. No worries about being critical --- I'm pretty critical too. :-)

Comment by anna Tue Mar 13 12:16:31 2012

It is really nicely done. Vivid colors, a nice composition.

Compared to the other pictures of farm activity, and what I remember from my Grandpa's farm, everything does look a bit too squeaky clean. Especially the boots and the shovel. :-)

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Mar 13 17:13:40 2012
Roland --- So true. However, I'm not sure that anyone except me would buy a book that showed muddy boots and bug-bitten tomatoes on the cover. :-)
Comment by anna Tue Mar 13 19:13:29 2012
I'll just add my two cents and say "yep" looks awesome. It looks a little like those DK Illustrated Encyclopedias. Very nice. You're a pioneer in several ways. Cheers.
Comment by J Tue Mar 13 20:55:18 2012
Love the bright colors and your photos. I agree about the tomatoes! Looking forward to its release.
Comment by Sommer Wed Mar 14 05:44:54 2012

J --- Glad you like it! I had a feeling you might be one of the ones who hated it, but glad to be wrong. :-)

Sommer --- Thank you!

Comment by anna Wed Mar 14 13:17:15 2012

I really like the book cover as well. I can imagine your hesitations, but It is a book cover...

sending good vibes East of the Elbe, Ben VZ

Comment by Ben Van Zee Wed Mar 14 20:36:40 2012
Ben! So glad to hear from you! I know what you mean about "it is a book cover." That pretty much sums up why I'm willing to trust the publisher knows what they're doing.
Comment by anna Thu Mar 15 08:30:01 2012
Congrats! That's too cool
Comment by Chris. Sat Mar 17 15:05:35 2012
Chris --- I'm so glad you like it!
Comment by anna Sat Mar 17 19:59:54 2012

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