I never got a job in publishing from knowing someone. I’m no-one’s daughter, niece, pal or whatever, I’m as far from publishing royalty as can be. Thankfully this has never been an issue (that I know of) but as I move through Project Gnaw a paradox is emerging. Self-publishing should emulate the paradigm of the ‘self-made man’ but here I am relenting in the usual stance of not using contacts.
One of the managers in work has a sign in her office saying ‘No Guts No Glory’. It fascinates me. Is it a warning to naysayers who disguise fear in begrudgery? Or is it a mantra to self, that yes, inching out on a ledge IS stomach churning but it ultimately rewarding? Whatever it is, I like the sentiment. Glory doesn’t have to be big. Glory can be a minute recognition in yourself. Glory can be a hurdle jumped that liberates thinking. For me, in this context right now, it’s having the guts to ‘bother’ some key people I believe can impact my self-publishing effort positively. Enter, old school bartering, family ties and a currency based relationship and skills and you know what? It’s nice, it’s a lesson learnt, it’s a reminder of how all businesses start and what it takes to make things happen. I have an award-winning graphic designing sister. Our paths seldom cross in the industry as her emphasis has shifted to jewelry design, but she has the quality, qualifications and critically the blood ties that means our communication has a sibling subtext that no-one else could possibly get.
Below is my brief to commission the cover for Gnaw. Bear in mind, I’m not the one who does the cover brief in work. This is done by a team of marketers who’ve studied the audience. I’m sticking my neck out here, risking getting laughed at by peers for what must surely be an unorthodox brief, but remember, No Guts No Glory? And remember too that Project Gnaw is more than the sum of its parts. It’s a narrative in its own right, told right here; the story of a person on one side of the publishing fence trying to see what it all looks like from the other side. Flaws are part of that narrative. Scrutinise if you will, the brief to sister and cover designer Amanda Brady. I leave in for authenticity the errors, the jotted down train of thought, the erratic fluency, sister-to-sister speak. We shared a bunk bed for many a year, in this brief I am talking from the top-bunk to the bottom-bunk, quite naturally.