Want to win a free copy of my soon-to-be published book? Please keep reading and help me choose a cover image and title/subtitle combo!
First, I want to tell you how happy I am to be finished with the book, a travel memoir; the final major and minor edits are done. Yay! Now it’s time to finalize the cover and title/subtitle.
Then comes proofreading, formatting, etc. When it’s all completed, I’ll be publishing a digital version for Kindle (and other e-readers) and hopefully, not long after that, a paperback version via CreateSpace. Publishing date: around January 23rd (my dad’s birthday)!
Now that I’ve made it this far, I could use help with some decisions. And I’m offering a prize* to those who participate–a copy of the book!
Winners will be:
–1 commenter chosen randomly
–1 commenter whose suggestions help me the most
*Paperback if you’re in the U.S. and a digital version if you’re not; sorry, but I’m way over budget at this point. ☺
What It’s About
The book, Magic Carpet Seduction, is about my romance with the road–specifically with off-the-beaten-path travel and its unique way of putting me in the moment, which leads to self-discovery.
As with this site and the ChickyBus concept, the stories are humorous, quirky, deep and a bit zen-like. And there’s a heavy emphasis on meeting/interacting with the locals.
By the way, one of the stories in the book is called…ChickyBus. Another is Magic Carpet Seduction. They’re two of my favorites!
How It’s Set Up
The travel tales–’rides on the carpet’–are like the posts on this site (ie, ‘rides on the bus’). There are 4 main sections, referred to as ‘rides on the carpet’ and the chapters are called ‘journeys.’ You, the reader, are a ‘passenger’ who’s there with me on each trip, having random experiences, meeting the locals and finding misadventure along the way.
9 Countries/4 Regions
This book has changed a bit since I first completed it (the rough draft, that is) last year. Two sections that I’d mentioned in that post–about South Africa and the Southwestern U.S.–were removed and may be in another book.
The book now covers 9 countries (China, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon). Here’s an expanded table of contents, which doubles as a synopsis:
Ride #1: Silence is Golden (People’s Republic of China)
Itinerary: My simple English-teaching mission in the province where Chairman Mao was born gets complicated by lingdaos (young Communist Party leader-students) and a mysterious chalk drawing in my classroom. Join me for a Mission Impossible experience as I struggle with freedom of speech issues while attempting to connect with my students’ hearts and minds.
Chapter 1: Good Luck, Bad Luck
Chapter 2: A Welcome and a Warning
Chapter 3: Lingdao Wabi Sabi
Chapter 4: The Risk of Connection
Chapter 5: Silence is Golden
Ride #2: Viva la Revolución (Central America/Mexico)
Itinerary: Join me and a friend on a month-long journey from Nicaragua up to Mexico and vicariously experience younger-man temptation, heart-warming encounters with locals and yes, a 12-hour chicken bus ride full of quirky characters. You—and your butt—will never be the same!
Chapter 6: The Light Within
Chapter 7: La Casa Nuestra
Chapter 8: Destination: Paradise…Transportation: ‘85 Datsun
Chapter 9: Sex on the Beach
Chapter 10: Chicky Bus
Chapter 11: The Great Escape
Chapter 12: Monterrico Madness, Mischief and a Pissy Pelican
Chapter 13: The Soul of Chamula
Chapter 14: Las Dos Camitas (Two Little Beds)
Ride #3: Magic Carpet Seduction (Turkey)
Itinerary: Step into a black comedy with a dash of romance (imagine if Woody Allen and Pedro Almodóvar, the Spanish director, worked together). Sleep in a fairy chimney cave, meet the Carpet Casanovas and pass through terrorist checkpoints on a Turkish chicken bus equivalent. The climax will leave you wanting a cigarette…and a stiff drink!
Chapter 15: Bazaar Afternoon
Chapter 16: Magic Carpet Seduction
Chapter 17: The Soul of the Blanket
Chapter 18: Pigeon Valley’s Protector
Chapter 19: Breaking the Ice…With Mozarella
Chapter 20: Motley Crew Does Mt. Nemrut
Chapter 21: Mad About Mardin
Chapter 22: Savoring Savur
Chapter 23: Loose Ends
Chapter 24: Men Only
Chapter 25: Together
Chapter 26: Turkish Delight
Ride #4: 40 Arabian Nights (The Middle East)
Itinerary: Wonder what it’s like for a woman to travel solo in the Middle East? Join me for a quirky homestay with a Circassian family in Jordan, followed by Arabic classes and work as an extra on a TV show in ‘bad-boy’ Syria. The final stop, in Lebanon, is a quest to meet a mysterious hermit who may hold the key to understanding one’s self and life’s important questions.
Chapter 27: The Kevin Bacon Game, Circassian Style
Chapter 28: A Day in Their Lives
Chapter 29: Realizations
Chapter 30: Breaking Up—Not So Hard to Do
Chapter 31: Lost in a Castle
Chapter 32: Door of Clouds
Chapter 33: Lebanese Love Mojo
Chapter 34: Paradox of the Hermit
Here are the covers I’m considering. Based on what you’ve read so far, can you tell me which one/s you like the best—and why? If one seems almost right, then please share your input, too, re: how you would modify it to make it work.
Also, please keep in mind that the book, just like this site, is not just for women. Having said this, I’m sure they’re a major market since nearly 70% of all book buyers are women (according to what I’ve read.) Even so, I would like to attract some male readers if possible. A couple men have agreed to read and review the book, which I think will be helpful.
(Please note: I am not going to be using the the subhead you currently see on the covers; that will change and is discussed in the next section.)
Also, I’ve included super tiny (smaller than standard sized) thumbnails. Thought it would help in some way.
Credits: The art for covers 1 and 2 was done by my sister, Cynthia Egle. Here’s her site. The designs for the other covers (and type/graphics for all the covers) were done by Derek Murphy, a book cover designer. His site: Creative Indie Covers. Thanks to both of them for the great job they did!
Title + Subhead
I decided on the title, ‘Magic Carpet Seduction,’ a while back. The big decision at this point is whether or not to include ‘and other travel tales’ in that title–or not–and how to handle the subtitle.
Here’s what I’m curious about…
Do you prefer the 3-word title? Is it best to keep it as short as possible? Then let the subtitle do the rest of the work?
Or would you like knowing that the name is of just one story and that there are other ‘tales’? I like that idea, but I know it makes the title longer. Is that a problem? Remember–there will still be a subtitle. And that could be a lot of words cluttering up the cover.
Please take a look at these combos and let me know which one/s you like best and why. Also, if you think of a variation you prefer, please share it. I’m open to suggestions or ideas I hadn’t thought of.
2A: Magic Carpet Seduction
A memoir of off-the-beaten-path travel zen
2B: Magic Carpet Seduction
Travel tales from off the beaten path
2C: Magic Carpet Seduction
Discovering the zen of off-the-beaten-path travel
2D: Magic Carpet Seduction and Other Travel Tales
Loving the road, finding the zen
2E: Magic Carpet Seduction and Other Travel Tales
One woman’s quest to find herself off the beaten path
2F: Magic Carpet Seduction and Other Travel Tales
One woman’s romance with the road
2G: Magic Carpet Seduction
Travel tales from far-flung places*
*This final subhead, suggested by Jodi of Legal Nomads, was added to the list two days after the post came out.
And the Winners of the Giveaway Are…
To be announced.
Thanks for Your Help!
I really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read this. It means a lot to me. I look forward to your advice and to giving away a couple copies of the book.
In a week or two, I may ask for help with the back cover blurb. I’ll give away more books then, of course.
Don’t miss the bus (or the carpet)!
If you’d like to get on my e-mail list, please sign up here. I’ll be setting up free chapter downloads and giving away more books there at some point. You can also follow this blog via RSS and I’d love it if you joined me over on Facebook.