That Chicken Deserves a Medal

Jul
5

Going back in CITR book history…..


Originally, when photos were taken last fall, I thought this photo:

Or this photo:

–would make the cover.

But that was not to be.

My publisher preferred this photo:
bkcoverpic
Which made me want to throw myself over a cliff. (We’ve been over this issue.)

And so then we had a re-shoot in the spring and came up with this photo:
covershot
I was quite happy with this photo, and I thought it would make the cover. In fact, it made the cover of the advance reader copies, and yet–

My publisher was not completely happy with it. I am not complaining–they are so into this book. I LOVE THAT. And I’m grateful. They would have preferred things like not so much with the black in the doorway, and me closer up. (Really? Me closer up? Is that necessary???) But when they wanted me to go back to the hay loft and the chicken scene and re-shoot that, it was like Jason from the Friday the 13th movies coming back. Nooooooooooo.

And I was like a prima donna and a princess and the Queen of Sheba all rolled into one. NOOOOOOOOOOO.

And they said okay, which is amazing.

But then I felt bad, like a prima donna and a princess and the Queen of Sheba all rolled into one. And I had a vision. A vision! And the next morning, I called Jerry and explained my vision. And because he is used to me, he didn’t do anything but sigh and say, “When am I coming over?” And I said, “Now! NOW!”

And so he did.

And so now, this summer, we came up with this option:
theone
Not that there weren’t 200 other photos involved in this situation, but this is the one that the prima donna, princess, and Queen of Sheba could accept.

And yes, afterward, I drank that glass of wine. And I set down the chicken, and a rooster jumped on her right away.

There is just no break when you are a hen. But in my own defense, the chicken wasn’t the only one suffering. I was wearing the same flannel shirt I was wearing in March. I had sweat dripping down my face during this shoot. It was 80 degrees, even in the morning, and muggy.

Anyway.

Which one do you like best????

This one?
covershot
Or this one?
theone
Inquiring minds (including at my publishing house) need to know! The book goes to the printer soon, so this is your last chance!

All photos in this post are credit to Jerry Waters.

P.S. Here is what was going on behind the scenes. Because yeah, it was 80 degrees and we were shooting from the waist up. I was wearing shorts, and chore boots due to the mud. And check out the goat under the door!
1date
That’s Maia, looking for mama! (And OHMYGOD, I posted that photo.)

P.P.S. There were no chickens harmed in the making of this post. There was just one mildly irritated one.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on July 5, 2013  

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  1. 7-5
    7:48
    am

    Of all the photos, I prefer the one with the horses. But of the two you ASKED us about (grin) I prefer the one in the doorway. To me, the darkness is the doorway is intriguing, inviting the viewer to consider what else is in there. And while I appreciate the playfulness, the one with the wine glass just doesn’t seem accurately representative, to me.

  2. 7-5
    7:51
    am

    8789

  3. 7-5
    7:56
    am

    I like the first one. The one with the wine glass is way fake looking? To too staged? Truth be told I love the third one! Girl you got nice legs! Wish I had legs that looked that nice.

  4. 7-5
    7:59
    am

    I don’t like either one, especially the one with the white board coming out of one side of your head. To be honest, my favorite is the one your publisher preferred and you didn’t like.

  5. 7-5
    7:59
    am

    I like the original one with you in the doorway. It looks so natural and inviting.

  6. 7-5
    8:00
    am

    Honestly, I strongly prefer the photo that your publisher originally recommended – your profile with the chicken. There is an openness to your expression and your smile that tells me exactly what I’m going to find inside that book – the candid and friendly Suzanne! It is natural and spontaneous. The wine glass looks too staged. It tells me that all of the funny things you say are over planned (but I know you and the things you write and clearly YOU – not scripted). Trust your publisher (this time).

  7. 7-5
    8:04
    am

    I like the one in the doorway best. It looks like you’re inviting the reader into your barn. It says “C’mon in!” And I want to step inside to see what’s in there. Can’t wait to read your book!

  8. 7-5
    8:06
    am

    I hate saying this, but I don’t like either pix quite as much as the original only because of the color of your shirt (sorry!!). I think the pink clashes too much with the more natural barn red. Otherwise, I like you holding the chicken, next to the barn, no glass of wine. Jerry, can you come back?!

  9. 7-5
    8:07
    am

    Or, the one with the glass of wine, no changes – if it has to be either one. I like the close up:)

  10. 7-5
    8:22
    am

    Still like the original one with you looking out of the loft. However, the wine glass one is a nice alternative. Or, you know, the one of you in shorts and rubber boots… We have similar pictures of me (actually in a dress when I came home from a wedding to find the sheep out). Let me tell you that nothing screams “sophistication” like shorts (or a dress)and muck boots!
    You’re right–that chicken does look pretty irritated!

  11. 7-5
    8:24
    am

    of these choices, the one in the doorway

  12. 7-5
    8:29
    am

    Personally, I like the one of you standing in the door with the chicken. Like someone else said, it just looks like you are inviting the reader to come on in and visit a while.

  13. 7-5
    8:42
    am

    They are all good pictures, but I like the one of you in the doorway the best. It’s more inviting.

  14. 7-5
    8:44
    am

    I like the photo that your publisher originally recommended, the chicken and your profile. I don’t like the wine in your hand – doesn’t seem to fit in for a cover photo. Would you really have one in your hand while holding a chicken? Just wondering!

  15. 7-5
    8:44
    am

    I like the one with you in the barn doorway for all the reasons already stated…

  16. 7-5
    8:53
    am

    I still like the one of you sitting in the hayloft the very best. But of the two, I like the one standing in the barn door. I agree with others, it looks like you’re inviting the readers to come in and see what’s in there, and you have a nice smile but it doesn’t look posed like the wine glass one.
    Can’t wait for the book to come out!

  17. 7-5
    9:10
    am

    I like the original one your publisher recommended the best, the profile of you holding the chicken. :yes:

  18. 7-5
    9:12
    am

    If my legs looked like that, I’d post the photo, too! Ahem, anyway. I like the photo with the chicken in the barn door, BECAUSE it looks like you are welcoming us into your barn, your life, which is kinda what the book is all about isn’t it?

  19. 7-5
    9:18
    am

    I like the door one… The black/dark behind you to me represent the “vast” experiences, ups and downs, etc. that you are sharing with your readers in this book. :pawprint:

  20. 7-5
    9:19
    am

    Since you’ve asked us, here’s my take, after 30 years in advertising, and magazine publishing in NYC:

    The one of your pulling Glory Bee is amusing, but because of the way your shirt is billowing, you look as big as a house. Which you clearly are NOT. And we can’t see your face much with the hair and hat.

    The one of you walking with the horses is the most natural and ‘prettiest’ in composition. Downside is you really can’t see your face, and your publisher is right to encourage a photo selection that makes you visible and relatable to potential readers. Hard to do when it’s all about hat and hair. Your body looks slammin’, but the only people who look natural in a cowboy hat have a horse under them and cows within 20 yards.

    Your publisher’s pick is well composed, and shows your face without hair in the way, but 90 degree profiles (full profiles) can leave people cold when trying to get to know someone. And while I know the chicken is fine, it looks like she’s being squeezed to death! But of all the shots presented, I think this is the one that will achieve the desired objective– selling books– best.

    You standing in the barn door is a great, fun, well composed shot, and it looks natural. But again, we can’t see your face well. I love the curly wild hair and I suspect it is very much part of how you see yourself, but you’d look like a million dollars if you could get it off your face and forehead. ‘On’ your face, it looks dated. (There is a beautiful picture of you milking one of the cows with your hair pulled back into a high, loose, crazy ponytail– you looked gorgeous: Sexy Earth Mother.)

    The wine glass shot shows your very pretty face well, slivered in between hair and hat, but is poorly composed with the barn so high behind you, and is too obviously staged for me. Trying too hard to be ‘casual’ and ‘hip’.

    The behind the scenes shot made me laugh out loud at Maia worming her way into the shot. You’re a pretty woman, Suzanne, with the aforementioned slammin’ body, but…the shorts. As Kate Hudson said to her mother, Goldie Hawn, “you gotta give it up sometime, Mom!”

    You have a great smile, fabulous body and relatable, warm expressions. I’d love to see a closeup of you, chicken on your lap, Maia by your side like the pet pup she is, and your hair pulled off your forehead (even if loose), maybe over one shoulder. And NO HAT!

    Good luck!

  21. 7-5
    9:32
    am

    I prefer the one of you in the shorts! Okay, I know you aren’t going to use that one so my next favorite is the original. I can’t put my finger on exactly why I don’t like the newer option except maybe that the wine glass makes it look contrived and sends conflicting messages about the books contents. The original photo just looks natural and welcoming.

  22. 7-5
    9:59
    am

    I know you can’t see your face as well, but my favourite is the one with you in the barn doorway,”inviting us in”.

  23. 7-5
    10:01
    am

    I like the doorway shot, too.

    (If I had thighs like yours I would wear short shorts all year round!)

  24. 7-5
    10:13
    am

    Of the two you asked about, I prefer the one in the doorway. It looks more natural, as though you were in the middle of doing something when someone called your name, and you came out to see who was there. Besides, it shows your chore boots (I remember when you got your chore boots, how they made you feel like a real farmer).

    The close-up with the wine looks more staged, and the lines of the barn behind you cut the image awkwardly (white line shooting up from your hat, buff dirt behind buff chicken), so the overall composition isn’t as good. I can understand why your publisher would want to show your face in close-up, but the book isn’t just about you, the person, but about you in the context of your farm.

  25. 7-5
    10:18
    am

    I like the one standing in the doorway. More natural looking and inviting. I do wish you had worn the blue shirt,I think it was more becoming to your coloring. I really love the one in the hay loft.Maybe you can add it also.

  26. 7-5
    10:20
    am

    I like the picture of you in the loft for the same reason many have said, your hair is off your face and it looks natural. Maybe look for or try to have more taken like that? I love the one with the horses and even the one with your cow but they leave me wondering what you really look like, the one in the loft answers that. I am very picky about the pics I like of myself so I understand why you are having trouble with this one so, IMHOpinion, you should trust your publisher. Is what bothers you about this picture visible to anyone but you? (I don’t know what you have written about it previously) I can’t wait to read your book!

  27. 7-5
    10:25
    am

    I suggest you get Jerry back over, do a remake of the one in the door way, except this time, wearing the blue shirt.

  28. 7-5
    10:26
    am

    I’m all for the original one in the doorway of the barn holding the chicken. It just looks natural and how I would expect to see you. I agree the wine glass does not fit in and looks staged although I’m sure you needed that stage prop at that point. Go with the original.

  29. 7-5
    10:26
    am

    I like the one in the doorway. Your position is so bold, and your smile is to die for! You look relaxed and real.

    Of the two new pics, I love the last one! Although I can understand your not wanting it on the cover of your book haha!

    The closeup does look too staged to me. The doorway shot looks very natural.

  30. 7-5
    10:27
    am

    Oh and I forgot to say, I LOOOOVE the pink top!

  31. 7-5
    10:32
    am

    I can understand the publisher picking the chicken one, since it’s subtle out of the ordinary for folks whom don’t see fowl everyday or get to pick one up. People might interpret your smile as laughing sinister because he is an entree or the fowl just told you a knee slapper joke.
    I like the last pic because it shows your quirky side and the love for the animals, but it could look like the goat is being squished by the barn door and the fowl is wrestling to get away to go tell his adventures to his fowl friends.
    I would be interested in the content of the book if a nutty picture was on the cover. I love the pics of all the animals gathering for meals or walks. Incorporate yourself in front of the tribe. Like your related to Noah
    That would be my suggestion. :moo:

  32. 7-5
    10:32
    am

    Love the first one of you in the hay loft!

  33. 7-5
    10:35
    am

    My two cents…..I like the one your publisher recommends but of the other two, I vote for you in the doorway. That pic feels inviting…the black in the background looks like a barn…don’t know why that bothers your publisher. I don’t think you look natural in the other pic. Too much barn over your head. As others have said, you look best with your hair pulled back and your great smile!

  34. 7-5
    10:38
    am

    My vote doesn’t count as I like the last one. That’s what really happens on the farm, lol!

  35. 7-5
    10:40
    am

    So glad you asked for opinions! Hands down, the hayloft photo should invite readers to the book. Great colors, inviting, has class, gravitas.

    A glass of wine and a chicken? Does not make sense, not in the hot sun and what is it supposed to signify, anyway, that you can catch a chicken (agile farm girl!) and have a glass of wine (sophisticate farm girl!). Trying too hard there to be something special, the way you see yourself, or your publisher does. Most of your readers, like me, most likely respond to the independent, funny, capable, adventurous woman you are, to the underlying gravitas you possess, the one who lands on her feet every time, dusts off her hands, opens the back door and calls everyone in to dinner. Lives in the now. You are a survivor, you have depth, and that matters. That is what people respond to. The hayloft photo reflects that. You made a good choice. Stick with it.

  36. 7-5
    10:42
    am

    I know this phase can be frustrating, but I vote for another photo shoot!!! :) I loved the behind the scenes, and if you’d been in jeans it would have been perfect. Not staged. It’s quirky!!! It represents the life you’ve written about. :) The others look staged, the one with the wine glass has too much barn and looks posed (not to mention the white board shooting out above your head). The wine glass in the “behind the scenes” shot, is more natural. Love that! And that goat sneaking in there…. maybe one sitting in doorway of your barn, with a few animals around you, AND a wine glass. ?? Good luck!

  37. 7-5
    10:47
    am

    I, too, like the one with the horses best but out of the two you ask about, I would choose the one in the barn door. :)

  38. 7-5
    10:49
    am

    I think in the first photo what the publisher is looking for besides your face is the background coloring of the hay. Photo 2 is looking into a dark hole, even though it is inviting us to look into your life, it is too dark. The wine should be for drinking as you did and nothing else, too staged I think also. Personally I like the last one. The boards are more evenly spaced so your head doesn’t look askew. I think Maia’s desperation in trying to get closer to mommy is perfect. The wine glass says it was the past in that photo. My choice is the last one. KEEP THE PINK SHIRT!!!!

  39. 7-5
    10:52
    am

    Can’t change my mind even if you cut it to the bottom of the shirt it looks right to me.

  40. 7-5
    10:53
    am

    I really think the full length shot in shorts and chore boots with Maia should be the photo! I do like the shot though with the chicken and wine.

  41. 7-5
    10:54
    am

    I like the one in the door way with the black. Looking at the chicken in the haymow is my 2nd choice. I don’t care for any of them with the wine glass. You don’t have a vineyard. It’s about living in the country and enjoying your animals and life.
    MN Mona

  42. 7-5
    10:58
    am

    I am with all who voted for the full length, in shorts, drinkin’ mama to a goat shot!

    I got a really good chuckle when I saw it! Thanks. Made my morning sooo much better! :D

  43. 7-5
    11:01
    am

    I LOVE the last one – you have great legs and Maia is there! And I like the one with the wine glass. Your lipstick is nice, and you can see how much Morgan resembles you.

  44. 7-5
    11:01
    am

    The barn door, for sure. I always try to post my comment before reading all the other comments. Trying to be genuine, you know. Hope you’re not suffering deluges these days.

  45. 7-5
    11:06
    am

    I love the first one…you in the barn doorway! My second choice is the one with the horses but all of them are great!

  46. 7-5
    11:14
    am

    I’m gonna have to go with the barn door shot.Makes me want to step up into the place to explore :chicken:

  47. 7-5
    11:18
    am

    Personally after following you blog for two years, seeing the type of person and lifestyle you live, if this book is about your life and farm, I love and think the one with you and the two horses is very fitting. I think Jerry does not need to come back and you have the photo you need. I don’t like the others because they do not promote your farm style of living except the one with you in the barn doorway but I still think you should use the one with the horses. Go for it girl…

  48. 7-5
    11:33
    am

    I like the one with the horses best but I realize the chicken connection so I say the one in the barn doorway. Oh and I like your hair.

  49. 7-5
    11:33
    am

    DEFINITELY you and your chicken in the dark doorway. And I’m a graphic designer, if that holds any weight. (As such, the white board “growing” out of your head in the new photo is BAD. If you really want that pose, reshoot and simplify the background, watching for objects “growing” out of subject.)

  50. 7-5
    11:52
    am

    The shot I would want to work with for a dynamite cover would be you framed by the dark, mysterious barn interior (PhotoShop could lighten this if your publisher finds it too dark but I think it would also be a great place for some text?…like a quote?)and holding that chicken (CHICKENS in the Road afterall), that chicken SHOULD/MUST be part of the image. Yes, KEEP that sizzlin’ pink tee and shirt! Great contrast, makes you stand out from the red of the barn and makes you hip and sexy-feminine with that frilly little bottom border on the tee!. It would depend too on the format of the cover ~ square, rectangular tall or wide. The cropping might be a problem, leaving too little balancing “barn” and/or too much dark interior. Of all the shots I think this one shows you true to the persona of CITR. In the other shot, wine glass= extraneous…that’s for when the chores are all done, no?…and at Sassafrass that seems to be a rare occasion.

    The last pic is just a fun shot, right? Maybe a little too “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader” goes farmin’, IMHO.

    Remember…KEEP THE PINK!

  51. 7-5
    11:59
    am

    The second photo because we can see more of your pretty face. :chicken:

  52. 7-5
    12:02
    pm

    Of the chicken photos, the one of you in the door is my favorite, followed by the one publisher likes. The one with the wine glass seems staged, which isn’t like you. As for the darkness in the barn, the darkness helps you and the chicken stand out. You have a pretty smile and look very relaxed in that one–like it has been a good day on the farm . . . so far!
    Pat in Eastern NC

  53. 7-5
    12:27
    pm

    Like others with publishing backgrounds, I’d prefer an inviting photo that underscores and supports the narrative. So, in order…

    1) ***** the photo the pub likes…close up, friendly, you and a farm animal occupy the bulk of the space. Lots of smiling face, even if it is profile. Reflective pose, suitable for reminiscing about life.
    We all tend to judge ourselves harshly…you may have several objections @ this photo but honestly, it’s a fine photo.

    2) *** the photo in the doorway. It’s ‘okay’ but the expanse of barn and the black space behind it overshadows/overpowers you.You make up less than a third of the photo’s visual space. {(Really? Me closer up? Is that necessary???) YES, it’s YOUR BOOK!.] Your face is nearly entirely hidden by your hair, making the primary impact of the photo the big dark space behind you. Great for a farm mystery, weak for a memoir.

    0) the coq a vin, w/b great for the page with a wine-based chicken stew but too contrived for a cover for a from-the-heart book. And, there’s the tall piece of barn framing sprouting from your head…poor composition…And waaay too much barn. We CITR buddies know you loved the farm because it has a BARN, but that’s not the theme of the book.

    Sorry to disappoint. It’s interesting that in your writing you are able to reveal yourself and some of your more painful life lessons. Yet, when it comes to a photo, you seem to want to hide. Noel and others at HR have been spot on throughout…editing, including tiny animals and graphics from blog, etc. Trust them and set your personal photo concerns aside if at all possible.

  54. 7-5
    12:49
    pm

    I agree with the graphic designer… The one in the doorway is the best! I am looking forward to your book coming out…. I made your corn cob jelly yesterday, by the way, and it was FABULOUS! I am planning to make some more today and maybe add jalapeno or blackberries to it. I haven’t decide which.. I am dying to put jalapeno into one of my batches of jelly or jam, whether it be peach, watermelon, mint or whatever!……LOL!

  55. 7-5
    12:52
    pm

    I like the doorway one and the one of you sitting with the chicken best, although I wish you could choose the horses one. The one with the wine glass seems nonsensical…who in their right mind would hold a chicken while holding wine? The wine might spill! It feels staged, whereas the other pictures feel natural. My two cents!

  56. 7-5
    12:52
    pm

    Definitely the first one with you in the doorway. It looks much more inviting and very natural – the one with the wine glass looks too posed. LOL Gotta laugh at little Maia! How funny is she!!

  57. 7-5
    12:57
    pm

    Reader since the very early days crawling out of lurk …

    My favorite is still the doorway for all reasons others have listed above.

    My least favorite by a landslide is the new chicken and wine glass. Very low contrast with red and pink bleeding into each other all over the place and the white wood growing out of your head. To me it looks very artificial. Even more staged and posed than the original profile and chicken.

    I also think possibly the combination of you smiling with a wine glass and a chicken may be a problem. To a more consevative reader, is this going to suggest party girl playing farmer? I’m seriously asking because I don’t know. My grocery store has a wine section as big as the bread section.

  58. 7-5
    1:03
    pm

    Suzanne! You’re not wearing any pants! :D

    Seriously, though, I like the one in the barn doorway. Can’t they just photoshop in a lighter background?

    :snoopy:

  59. 7-5
    1:17
    pm

    My favorite is the one in the barn doorway. It is inviting. Once people read the book, they will get to know the real you, not just a picture!

  60. 7-5
    1:30
    pm

    I definite prefer the one in the doorway. The second looks so fake and YOU, Suzanne, are the furthest thing from fake!

  61. 7-5
    1:33
    pm

    Tell your publisher too that the open doorway is INVITING the readers INTO the book. Powerful metaphor!

  62. 7-5
    1:37
    pm

    If have to choose from those two – you in the open barn door. I’d bet your photographer has the skills to retake and lighten up the inside of the barn a bit. Or it might even be possible to pull up the light in there from his current digital file photo depending on the file format he used and what kind of post processing program he uses. I bet dear hen could have used a glass of wine. Good luck.
    PS: I’m new here. Thanks for letting some us live in the country vicariously. :-)

  63. 7-5
    1:40
    pm

    My first choice is the one with the horses. 2nd choice is you in the doorway. Not cracked up about the one with you holding the wine. (No judgement against wine… I love wine!) I just think the first 2 are more representative of what the book will (probably) be about.

  64. 7-5
    2:04
    pm

    My favorite is of you and chicken in the darkened door.It looks welcoming. Black is the color of all possibilities. So that is welcoming too.

  65. 7-5
    2:06
    pm

    I love the horse shot as well, but of the two choices I would definitely choose the doorway shot. The wine glass is just too much..

  66. 7-5
    2:14
    pm

    I say crop the one of you in the shorts to leave out your waist and below… Will miss the wine glass but is is good composition againt that door. Otherwise I like the original in profile and the one standing in the door.

  67. 7-5
    2:17
    pm

    I personally like the doorway shot the best. Some comments have been made as to the “expanse” of some photos. Remember that there must be a lot of space above Suzanne’s head for the book cover. As far as any background issues, these can easily be Photoshopped out, so they aren’t really an issue.

    The main thing is that most seem to agree that the doorway shot is the best, with the loft coming in second.

    Jerry

  68. 7-5
    2:23
    pm

    Standing in the doorway with the chicken. Pink shirt is fine!

  69. 7-5
    2:38
    pm

    I like the last picture best! and having the goat makes it perfect!

  70. 7-5
    2:44
    pm

    Honestly, I like them all. They’re the kind of photos my cousins and I send one another and love. But for the book cover, the original one of you standing against the darkened door holding only the chicken is my favorite. It’s a photo you can still see when you shut your eyes, if you know what I mean, it’s that perfect. That said, I’m thinking the one you are happiest with should be the one!

  71. 7-5
    2:58
    pm

    I, too, love the one with the horses But, it isn’t “Horses In the Road”. And, you can hardly see your face.
    My very favorite is the doorway shot. As mentioned, it is a very inviting, natural looking shot.
    Love the one with the shorts and Maia but people who don’t read your blog wouldn’t understand the “squished” goat…or the wine. Thank you for asking our opinions..so like you to do so.
    Lynn

  72. 7-5
    3:00
    pm

    I like the one in the doorway, the blackness gives contrast and as many have said before me, invites you in. The latter one, though I like the wine, has too much of the barn side which is no contrast and has little, if any, invitation to it.
    I am so anxious to read your book.

  73. 7-5
    3:06
    pm

    What TracyT said! She is spot on….no hat! And Maia

  74. 7-5
    3:26
    pm

    Would you consider a photo without the hat? It really closes off your face. (at the risk of sounding like someone’s great-grandmother, we all want to see your pretty face!) My favorite would be the barn door one if your hair was behind your shoulders or even tied up and the hat was gone. I love the composition of the shot, it’s so natural and inviting, and the black inside the barn is part of what makes it feel inviting to me, I just wish that your face wasn’t hidden. If you won’t give up the hat, at least consider pulling your hair back please.

    And while I enjoy a glass (or 5) of wine every chance I get and am sure you do too, the wine photo seems way too staged, which is pretty much the exact opposite of who you are. If you aren’t going to do another re-shoot, then I’d vote to let the publisher win and use the chicken in the hayloft one. Honestly, I didn’t even notice you had an ear until you pointed it out! All I saw was your smile.

  75. 7-5
    3:39
    pm

    P.S. I have always been drawn to the horse photo, but at least to me it says “art”, not “book cover”. Unfortunately.

  76. 7-5
    3:50
    pm

    Between these two, the doorway shot hands down. The wine seems out of place. Now if you had a crockery bottle with XXX on it, that might work. My first favorite is the hayloft shot…

  77. 7-5
    4:17
    pm

    I would use the one in door on the front and crop one of the others just taken to show your pretty face on the back of the book or inside with your bio. I think the wine kind of shows both sides of you and that you are real, but it is too staged.

  78. 7-5
    4:22
    pm

    I am not a fan of the pink shirt either, just because it messes with the composition of the photo. The artist in me balks at the stark contrast and it does clash with the red barn. The lighter colored shirt is much nicer on the eye and makes for a better photo.

    Now–I don’t think you should be confined to the idea of holding a chicken on the front cover either. For the 3 years I’ve been reading your blog, when I think of Chickens in the Road, the first thing that comes to my mind is your quirky and adorable goats and next to that would be your battles with the “bad baby”. Glory Bee is VERY photogenic, btw, and would look great on the cover, if even something as simple as a close up of your face and and her face together with the barn as a background. A close up of you holding Maia would also be very nice.

    I do like the pic of you and the chicken in the hayloft for this reason as well (although I’m not completely settled on it as the cover.) Your smile is very warm and engaging in that photo, which is why I think your publisher likes it. The photo of you in the barn doorway is also very inviting, welcoming us to come take a peek into your farm and life, but I think it would definitely be better framed as a close up. And posed with one of the animals we know more personally…like Glory Bee or Maia. I guess I’m saying that I’m not really feeling any of the given photos so far as quite hitting the nail on the head.

    The horse photo is lovely and well composed–definitely a nice photo to have enlarged and framed on your wall–but the horses aren’t the first thing we think of for CITR, as another poster pointed out.

    That very last photo is a hoot though. I love it, even if it isn’t appropriate for the cover of the book. Thanks for sharing it!

  79. 7-5
    4:36
    pm

    I WILL SOON CELEBRATE MY 90TH BIRTHDAY AND WE NEVER OWNED A WINE GLASS. ALL DRINKS WERE SERVED IN MASON JARS…PLEASE KEEP THINGS IN PROSPECTIVE. DON’T MUDDY THE WATER.
    MY FAVORITE PICTURE WAS LONG AGO….YOU WERE MILKING & HAD YOUR HAIR IN A PONYTAIL. TO EACH HIS OWN<<<<YOU WILL ALWAYS BE SPECIAL TO ME….

  80. 7-5
    4:49
    pm

    I loved the door shot from the very first time I saw it. You look fabulous in hot pink! I did not like the wine shots at all, not that I have anything against wine..just doesn’t seem appropriate for a book cover.

  81. 7-5
    5:39
    pm

    Honestly?
    I adore the one of you in the shorts with the goat coming under the door, LOL. It’s real life. It’s you.
    2nd fav is you and the horses.
    3rd fav is you in the black doorway.
    Sorry. The new chicken and wine one is nice but I want you closer to the barn. It has an awkward landscape line behind you. I’m weird.

  82. 7-5
    6:43
    pm

    I like the barn photo with the hay added but just can’t take the CREEPY hand holding the door open. What happened to your hand? ACK I do love the one chosen by the publisher with the chicken and your profile!! I would stick with the publisher and trust their judgment :snoopy: .

  83. 7-5
    7:56
    pm

    I prefer the one with the check in the loft. I don’t care for the one with the wineglass. Something just off about it. I’m not a teetotaler, but it, God help us, may offend some readers.

    Stick to you and the chicken.

  84. 7-5
    8:49
    pm

    THE SHORTS!!! I LOVE THAT ONE! Second choice is the one in the doorway with the flannel holding the chicken.

  85. 7-5
    9:39
    pm

    Thank you for sharing this journey with us, Suzanne! After reading through all of the comments for perspective, I really encourage you to take to heart all of the professional opinions expressed in the comments. They seem spot on. Also, no wine. Bleh!

    Next on your list of to dos: Figure out why you feel the need to hide behind your hair. Seriously! 8)

  86. 7-5
    11:02
    pm

    I like the one of you in the doorway without the hay. I like the contrast. Perhaps a small stack of hay on one side and also photoshop in one of the goats thats always coming to find mama :) I like the shirt you are wearing, but if they felt it was too much red, the color of the shirt could possibly be changed. I agree it seems to invite the reader in.
    But of course, its your book and you should do what makes you happy.

  87. 7-6
    1:11
    am

    Keep the doorway, lose the wine.

  88. 7-6
    3:22
    am

    my vote is for the open barn door because it most looks like we just arrived and you are inviting us in and it looks so natural, like there is someone I would love to meet.

    besides…
    when I saw the wine my first thougt was … did I miss the making wine lesson???

    db

  89. 7-6
    10:01
    am

    Doorway is my favorite.

  90. 7-6
    4:46
    pm

    Of the two choices, I like the one in the barn door, but don’t like either of these as much as the closer profile shot of you with your hair back, showing more of your face. I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of more face, less hair. People will relate more to the face and buy more books that way, IMHO.

  91. 7-8
    11:30
    pm

    I have been coming to your website and enjoying it tremendously and decided that it was time to sign up to comment. I think a photo of you along the roads edge with chickens following you would be the ideal shot for a bookcover, but since that is not an option here ,then my opinion is the barn photo with the open door. It is as though you are opening the door into your life, for the reader. I really really love the photos of you with the horses and the cow, but probably not the best choice for the cover. The newest photos of you with the wine in hand are beautiful shots of you and should be included in the book, perhaps not the cover, but definately in the book. I do not agree that there comes a time when you can no longer wear shorts or your hair around your face, and if that were true, then you are a long long long way off from that day from what I can see in your photos. You are a gorgeous woman with the most gorgeous hair. I really wanted to put that out there. Your hair is what gives you a beautifully unique look. I would love to have hair thick like yours ( a girl can dream, can’t she). Excited about your book and I can’t wait to get my copy!!

  92. 7-9
    1:59
    pm

    I prefer any pic over the one with the wine glass, so I guess of the two choices, the one in the barn door. I personally like the black background since that’s what a barn looks like!

  93. 7-9
    3:57
    pm

    Of the two options given, I would go with the barn loft – it’s more open and looks like someone surprised you with a visit. The other is more barn and less You.

    Funny enough, I love the one with the shorts. It seems to better embody the lady we have come to know and love through what you share here… and with your writing style, which often feels like a conversation over a drink, we see a woman full of intelligence, farm reality, class, common sense and a lot of smiles and laughter!

  94. 7-12
    11:54
    am

    I really like the one with the horses. Natural looking and very pretty setting.

  95. 7-12
    12:09
    pm

    Ok 2 more cents worth. I am a photographer. Not a professional one but a very good one.
    If you use the horse picture crop it 2/3 from left to right so it’s you and the one horse. The lighting on the others is not flattering and the grip you have on the barn and chicken is like a death grip. Even if the chicken is being a pill and wiggly around you want a grip that looks like the chicken wants to stay there all day. Even if you wear your hat like it needs to stay on in a wind storm it needs to be a little less tight and so far down for a picture. You are a beautiful hard working women pick the picture you like. Not you Publisher likes.

    Regards, Cindy

  96. 7-13
    10:06
    am

    Barn door with black in the Background! Says more than the other Pictures!

  97. 7-13
    4:28
    pm

    I hope you kept the picture of the doorway and lost the one with the wine.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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