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Cover Contest: four from left field

February 4, 2010

Hey everyone!

A number of folks mentioned, when I released Elk Hunters Don’t Cry in November, that “hunting and fishing stories” just weren’t their genre.

So, with that in mind, I’ve pulled together four of my favorite stories from over the years, pieces a little too long for the magazines, and a little too short to be a novella, and am proud to announce the release of “four from left field.”

Contest rules are the same as before. Place your vote, and I’ll pull 4 names at random from the winning cover, and each of those folks get a free autographed copy!

Here’s the Foreword (and a brief explanation of the title):

four from left field is a collection of my more bizarre flights of fancy, none of which has anything to do with baseball.  Not that I am unfamiliar with the game, far from it.  I donned rubber cleats and a uniform every summer of my rapidly fading childhood.

More than baseball, I am particularly familiar with left field.

This is where harried coaches all across America stick the kids that can’t play, on the assumption that most little leaguers can’t pop a fly that far, and despite the old adage, they usually assume correctly.

I was, of course, that kid.

So, I daydreamed.

I daydreamed the first chapter of a thousand not-so-great American novels, between the blue sky and the green grass, waiting those interminable little-league innings for the sides to switch so I could pick up a bat and be struck out.

A chubby kid with bad eyes and worse coordination, I discovered my imagination, and salvation from the sheer, mind-numbing boredom, in left field.

Do I regret the lack of glory? Not a bit.

For, though I was never carried off the field on my teammate’s shoulders, and never trotted the bases for a home run, I came away with something infinitely more valuable.

The dreams and visions I put to paper now may not be the same as the Technicolor odysseys that filled my younger eyes, but the seed from which these words come once fell to ground, rooted and grew tall in left field.

From lawyer killing wives to world killing comets, from an asexual future society, to man-eating grizzlies, four from left field is little edgier than my novels, has less fur than my hunting stories, and offers a little something for everyone.

Okay, so given that…here are the cover options. Please reply below with your choice (and maybe a quick explanation of your choice), email it to me at perry@perryperkinsbooks.com, or send me a tweet at http://twitter.com/PerksBooks

I’ll announce winners soon!

Cover #1

Cover #2

Cover #3

Cover #4

Cover #5

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59 comments

    • I really like #1. That’s what left field looks like when you’re a kid. Second choice would be #4.


    • I Like #5


    • I like number 1. I’m familiar with marketing. Number 1 is emotive and tells the lonely story. It has attraction power. I look at it and I want to know what that kid is thinking about and how he sees his position “in the game”.


    • Hey Perk: I like #1 best overall, but like the foggy look and font of #5 and the olive green color of the banner on #4. So…just take #1, add some of that faraway fog and font from #5 and the slightly darker, richer green from #4 in that banner and as far as this little voter is concerned…batter up! Hey, do YOU think I look like Mickey Mantle? Hugs to all, Kiddo. elbee


    • Perry,
      Your explanation of the novellas’ plots really helped!

      Cover #1 has a lot going for it. It has the lonely, “outsider” kid waiting for the ball that might never materialize…

      The cover $2 has a barely visible baseball. Only if one knows something about the game he, or she will recognize the kind of sport the ball belongs to. The cover lacks the drama, and the point of interest that the #1 has a plenty.

      #3 looks like it was done very fast… The photo has the “forced” effect of resembling baseball; but only if one read the title, and suspects it is about the baseball. This is the my least favorite one…

      #4 A nice looking cover, but it does not give any clue that this is NOT another collection of baseball stories. You might mislead some readers … 🙂

      $5 is also a nice design. The reason why #1 is better lies in the fact that the boy in that cover stands with his back to us, the viewer; thus he is more “alienated;” an that seems to me to be at the core of your proposition…

      General comment. The title of your book has a number in it. The title suggest to me that the book is about four individuals from left field. I have no idea by looking at the cover that you are talking about novellas. There seems to be a discrepancy between the title (four from… ) and what is shown on the cover. A viewer might just wonder why is there “four” in the title and only one baseball, baseball player, etc… More to the point title; something like “four stories from…,” or “A collection ofFOUR short stories.”
      Hope that helped.
      Rattler


      • Cover #4 is my particular favorite. 🙂


  1. I think that number 4 is my favorite.


  2. I like #3 the best. Less basebally and more fieldy. It is the one I would least likely assume was about baseball, but it captures the “out in left field” idea.


  3. Definitely Cover #1. This poor little boy looking for the ball that is actually behind him (because he is looking the wrong way) encapsulates many of my athletic efforts, as well as my life experiences. Blessings on the new book!
    Best Regards,
    Glen


  4. I like #1 the best. I love the colour, the font and where the subject in placed in the photo. It looks like the person could be standing there daydreaming.


  5. Has to be number one.


  6. #4. Artistic. Forlorn.


  7. Since it isn’t about baseball, I choose #3. The others would be misleading to readers.


  8. I like #4 but #1 definetly makes the statement! My vote #1


  9. I really liked #5.

    It leaves a little to the imagination.
    Let me know when the book is out.
    Debbie


  10. I like 1 and 4 the best


  11. I vote for #4 because it more closely conveys what your subject matter is with a more veiled reference to baseball. ‘Cause really, baseball isn’t the subject but most of us can relate to that mind wandering experience that happens in left field.

    Yep, every time I go back and look at your options I am even more sure.


  12. I like number 4, but I hope people don’t assume they are all sports or baseball stories. I like number one as well, but I don’t like the bright green. I like the fact that the ball is sitting on the ground behind him, although I didn’t notice that until I read someone else’s comment. Number one is also the only one with a hint of humor to it. The rest are a little too serious in my opinion.

    Gary


  13. Cover #4 without a doubt.


  14. I’ll choose #4 Perry. I like the scuffed up ball and how life can result in many a scrape.


  15. I like number one. I understand your explanation for the title, but since these stories are not about baseball, to use that theme in your title and in the cover issistration you might get some confused readers. Kind of like the people who went to see Bull Durham thinking it was a rodeo flick.


  16. I like #1 and #3 the best…


  17. From what you said about being that boy in left field I vote for #1


  18. Representing the younger generation, I really like #1 however I’m not the biggest fan of the font, its… old. Anyways, there’s my opinion!


  19. #4- Beside being a better design, the worn baseball can be a metaphor for so many stories in life. Once you put a man in a uniform, it starts to limit the perceived scope and value of the content to just baseball. I also like that you identify the content as being short stories. The major thing I do not like about cover #4 is the typeface (unless your audience is woman who watch the Lifetiime Network).


  20. I vote for cover #4. Cheers Perry!
    Melissa


  21. Hard to choose just one, but I’ll go with #1.


  22. The blue will contrast & coordinate with the golds & browns of your other covers. I like the comp. of number two best, but three is fun too.


  23. Okay, so the current count stands at:

    1 – 10
    2 – 1
    3 – 2
    4 – 8
    5 – 5

    Remember, photos can be interchanged, and colors can be modified, so feel free to make suggestions!

    Thanks everyone, this is great feedback.

    Keep voting!

    -Perry


  24. #1
    From a marketing perspective its pretty good. Font choice is OK, the layout is open, the visual is good from a distance.

    Here’s a great article from a great copywriter you might want to read: http://www.freelancewritingsuccess.com/clayton-makepeace2.php

    Cheers!


  25. I like #4!


  26. i like #1, i played left field, it is lonely, often in lala land because i was half blind and chewing on my mit. after a play i would wonder what just happened to me.


  27. i do like the ‘short story collection’ on the cover.


  28. I like #4 best. Go bacon!


  29. Because your stories are not about baseball I choose #4. A more baseball oriented cover might be misleading, and possibly frustrating for some readers. I like the title because Left Field represents both location where you hatched your ideas and also attitude/unusual nature of your stories.


  30. Whoops! I meant #3. The picture of the field with a person in the background.


  31. I vote #1


  32. #1. Green panel could be a tiny bit lower for better balance.


  33. I like the picture in #1 but the graphics on #5.


  34. I like number four the most. The font could be more bold and the sky needs to be more white so the font shows up more than it does. One more thing, the color green could be a bit brighter.

    Number one is good, but not for this book. Sincerely, Darlene


  35. I like #6!! Just kidding… uh, I think I like #4 the best, though I’m not sure I like the font. God bless!


  36. Tough choice between #1 and #4, but I will go with #1. Cant wait to read it!


  37. My favorite is number one although I really like number four.

    However, I’m sticking with number one. It reminds me of my son when he was a little boy rarely out of left field.


  38. going to go with #1 for the little guy caughts my eyes and loving them would get me to want the book.


  39. I am most drawn to #1. I can already see it lying on my night stand, beckoning me daily to open and read until the book is finished.

    I also like the subtitle that you included in #4 and could see it being added to #1.

    Please also count Brian as a vote for #1. Can’t wait for the book to come out!


  40. It’s a toss up, Ha! Ha1 between #1 and #4 I am leaning toward #1, I have been there myself, looking for things that I could not find or give up looking.

    God Bless You


  41. I like cover #1. I was thinking cover #5 was the best, but I really like the design of #1.


  42. I’m not changing my vote; it wouldn’t be fair…
    I agree that if you use 1, you should pull that color block down a bit. The human eye likes things separated into thirds, fifths, eighths, ect.
    I still prefer the blue over the green.


  43. I would chose #1. I think of left field as out of the main stream of life –
    and that picture just emphasizes that feeling.


  44. My first choice is #4 I like the fact that it tells me that you have written short stories makes me want to pick the book up. Although I like #1 I may not pick it up because I may assume I can’t relate to it. In short I wonder if you could attract a broader audience with #4.

    Good luck!


  45. I like number one. It gives a bit of that loneliness that must go with being on left field.


  46. I may be the only person who also likes #3 – it’s quirky. Like I imagine your stories to be.

    Cover #4 tells me that your book is short stories and the broken baseball says something about broken dreams or disappointments. It’s more literal but may not appeal to your targeted readers.


  47. #1 for sure. I would lower the green banner and place the ball above so the effect is not lost.. Too much seperation between the player and the ball. I think the cover is riveting. I also think we all identify in some way with it. As far as the title I would place the info about the short story collection on the front or on the spine. If on the front, put it with the title and then put your name below on the field.

    Elaine


  48. Hi Perry,

    Happy New Year to you! I trust you are having an enjoyable day. My name is Todd Stepp and I work for BooksChristian.com, here in Franklin, TN. We are a Christian owned & operated company that sells over 200,000 Christian products.

    I have visited perryperkinsbooks.com and have noticed that you post book reviews on your blog. I wanted to see if you would be interested in partnering with us, enabling visitors to your blog to purchase books that you already review, as well as other books that you may suggest to them (books of the day etc.). In return we would pay you 9% on every sale made. There is very little work that would need to be done on your end, as we provide all the tools to create links and codes that you can post on your blog. Again, this is simply a partnership in providing links for your blog visitors to purchase books from our website.

    I would love to discuss this further with you at your earliest convenience. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Regards,

    Todd Stepp


    todd stepp
    bookschristian
    e: todd.stepp@bookschristian.com
    p: 615.497.9808
    aim: mctoddstepp


  49. I like #1!


  50. #1 is my choice, Really caught my eye.


  51. I agree with choosing number one as the cover. It’s the only one that clearly depicts a baseball field to add to the title.



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