Double Dare

It takes a lot of guts to be an author. Not only did I have to rewrite the ending of CITY OF SORROWS just weeks before the projected release date, I also had to come up with a completely new title and cover design. It was my marketing director, Beth Jusino, who first suggested that I revisit the artwork.

My first reaction, NO WAY. That’s not going to happen. It took me too long to come up with the first cover. Two weeks after having said that, I had the gorgeous cover you see below.

This beautiful new design is thanks to two awesome women, Beth Jusino and Lisa Amowitz. Beth was the first to suggest that I consider a redesign. Lisa was the one who implemented it. In a matter of days, I had found Lisa on the web, contacted her, and entered into a dynamic partnership that is rarely seen in the world today. Without even a deposit, Lisa went to work on a series of complimentary designs. From just a short blurb that Beth had helped me come up with, Lisa designed the initial layout. I responded with my thoughts and vision, and within hours, Lisa had several versions of a new design for me to look at.

At this point, I wanted to send Lisa a deposit, but her policy was to accept a deposit only if the client was satisfied with the initial comps. If not, she made it very clear that the author owed her nothing and was released from any further obligation. I have never seen such commitment and trust from a designer before. How could I not continue with this amazing woman I had only just met?

Several versions later, we had our finished product. But even more importantly, I had a new colleague and a new friend. What made Lisa so awesome was not only the fact that she worked so well with me, but that she is also a writer of young adult fiction (her novel, Breaking Glass, is coming out in July of 2013 from Spencer Hill Press). Her writer sensibilities added a special connection to our relationship. And as a writer, Lisa helped me refine that great back cover blurb that Beth had started.

Beth is a talented editor and marketing/promotions expert at the Editorial Department. As part of her job, Beth read the full manuscript for City of Sorrows, and was able to do what I was struggling with for months: condense a 300-page novel to a 100-word back cover blurb. An incredible feat. Then between Lisa, Beth and I, we came up with at least a dozen rewrites. Between these two ladies and myself, I think we finally nailed a pretty amazing product.

If you want an honest, hard-working graphic designer, look no further than Lisa Amowitz. You can find her at or on facebook at

If you want a skilled editor and/or marketing/promotions woman, hire Beth Jusino at

I feel blessed to have these two creative women in my life.

What about you? Any special people in your life that made your project the great work of art it is today?

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