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Well then, it’s been an exciting week. A cookbook preorder release, two new recipes (Quick Pumpkin Cheesecakes and No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake), the weekly “What’s on My Plate?” post…but I couldn’t resist writing one more post this week “just for fun.” It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to sit down and chat with you guys in more of an informal way like I usually do in these “Musings of Bri” posts, and I’ve missed that. Life is slowing down a little, although maybe I’m more or less just entering a different kind of busy. Thankfully this variation has fewer deadlines. 😉 Any way I look at it, it really feels good to be able to chill a little – to not have to type on cookbook documents furiously until midnight – to be able to ride along with my dad and siblings in the afternoon to pick up a load of hay for the horses and chat about investment opportunities and wholesale options (just for fun) – to be able to actually read a book for a few minutes each day.
I was blown away by the response to the preorder opening on Tuesday. I prayed that things would go smoothly without hitches in checkout or a major site crash, and God held everything together. It was such a blessing to be working with a fantastic team of people who helped me keep an eye on things. And to all of you who have ordered – thank you from the bottom of my heart. To all of you who left sweet comments – I read them all even though I didn’t have time to reply to all of them. You guys are the best. <3
I thought it might be fun to give y’all a closer look at the book cover and explain some of what went on in its design! I already did that to some extent in the post that I slyly named, “I Said Yes!” (it’s like you guys are waiting for me to enter a relationship or something…*ahem* Jennifer Griffin *cough*), but here’s more detail. In another post you can see some pictures of a cookbook cover photo shoot that went sadly awry due to my brilliant idea to include both an obstinate horse and an ice cream cake in the same picture during the summer in South Carolina. After that didn’t work, I considered going a more traditional route and just putting food on the cover. All by itself. No horse. That was boring, so I went for the happy medium: food picture and horse picture. But not in the same picture. That was much easier, and thanks to my patient sister Katelyn (and a little more cooperation from Traveler), we got ‘er done.
Before I could have the cover designed, I had to come up with a title. Of course, one does not simply “come up with a title.” Ooohh no. It must not be cliché. Those who know Briana know that she abhors clichés, especially on church signs and cookbooks.
To be dreadfully honest, I didn’t really put a whole lot of thought into the title. The title was kind of the last thing on the list, and as soon as I was ready to actually put a name on paper, God reminded me about a verse I had jotted down at one point because I wanted to include it in the book somewhere.
I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. (Job 23:12)
Necessary Food. Of course. The instant I thought about it, I just knew. It was perfect. This verse was a great reminder to me that while food is necessary to life and healthy eating is important, God is so much more important. The verse (and the title) put the book into perspective for me, and I hope it will do that for you too.
After the title choice came the time-consuming process of cover design (which was done by Leah Miller, the same designer who is designing the interior of the book). Which food picture did I want on the cover? What colors did I want to use? What kind of basic layout did I want? To make a long story short, Leah presented me with many layout options, I kept turning them down, tweaking a few, tweaking some more…and still wasn’t satisfied. I got feedback from friends and family, then one Sunday afternoon right before I took my nap, a layout just popped into my head (God is the Mastermind behind this whole process, obviously.). I scribbled it down on a scrap of paper and went to sleep. The next morning I drew up a rough mockup. A very rough mockup. Just to show you how rough it was for entertainment purposes, here it is:
So Leah took that and turned it into something very similar to what you will actually see on the front cover of my cookbook (but with a solid teal ribbon). I sent it to a friend, who sent it to another friend, who told me that it was nice but didn’t look quite like my blog. She suggested a few things, “pink” and “polka dots” being some of her suggestions. And that, my friends, is how the final cover came to be. God orchestrated it all, my designer turned it into something polished, and my friends helped me pick through the details. I love how it turned out – and I can say that because it was completely a group effort. 😉
You know what I’m looking forward to? Seeing the cover on an actual book!!
Update – special preorder pricing ended October 31st, but you can still grab a copy at a great value!
By the way, I wanted to let you all know that I will be switching ad networks on Monday. Running ads is currently a necessary evil for me to be able to blog full-time. I hate ads myself, especially ads that slow things down and get in the way and generally look sloppy. My current ad network has been iffy at times in several of those respects, so I’m switching to a very reputable company that a lot of big bloggers I know and respect use (it’s called AdThrive). This network’s ads generally have a pretty clean look and run fast, so I’m hoping to see improvements in both of those areas. I know that some of my mobile readers have had problems with ad pop-ups in the past. My current ad network said that the pop-ups are an issue on the phone itself, not an ad issue, but I’m curious to see if the number of pop-ups decreases with this switch. Let me know!
Speaking of types of ads, a good reader experience is tops on my priority list, which is why I’ve refrained from purposely implementing any pop-ups (ads, subscription boxes, etc.) or intrusive ads such as video ads or in-image ads (even though these pay considerably more). If you’re on my site on a desktop, you won’t see any ads in my blog posts – only in the sidebar and at the very end of the post. If you’re on mobile you will see some ads interspersed throughout the post. I always work from a computer and don’t even own a smartphone (although that will unfortunately probably change in the next week; I need credit card reader capabilities). When I check my blog on my dad’s phone I wonder how you mobile users stay sane always reading on such a tiny screen. 😛