Sam van Zweden




Cover reveal!

If you were keeping an eye on my social media feeds yesterday, you will have seen the cover for Eating with my Mouth Open.

I’m so, so thrilled to be able to share this beautiful design by Lisa White. She’s put so much hard work into getting it just right, and my publishers at NewSouth have done a wonderful job engaging the right designer and communicating the vision for this book. That they took a risk and said ‘yes’ to this book is still and probably will always be a little miracle to me.

I think the cover is eye-catching. The food collage is bursting out of the head, echoing the story’s enduring preoccupation with food. The statue alludes to the philosophical nature of the book, while its small imperfections knock expectations slightly askew. I love the typography, I love the colours, I love the drop shadow. There’s also a beautiful quote from Australian essayist Rebecca Giggs on the cover, for which I’m very very thankful.

I’m so lucky that this is the cover I’ll get to look at on my work!

Eating with my Mouth Open will be in bookstores from 1 February 2021.

Missing Cogs

Over on Killings today is a wonderful article by Connor O’Brien about how as writers, we seem to think that getting from “emerging” to “wildly successful bedside companion for millions” is a well-oiled machine that we simply need to figure out the operation of. In reality, the machine is missing cogs.

Connor sheds some light on the ways that we become the missing cogs in that machine. *Extended rambly horrible metaphor fin*

He talks about “concrete actions we can take” to fix it – and I have to say how nice it is to see this article coming from someone whose own work reflects what they’re talking about – Connor’s latest work has a nifty social networking marketing scheme attached to it. Very smart, very smart indeed.

Reading this article has made me think about how much more of a role this kind of action should be playing in my own work, and how much more universities should be backing it. It’s out there, and a university will get behind it no doubt, but none of these newer marketing models are taught (or have been taught to me, at least) as serious, viable options for putting your work out there. Which obviously, from the examples Connor provides, they are.

Greatly admiring the ideas presented in Connor O’Brien’s article on Killings today and looking forward to being able to take on some of these ideas as I put my own work out into the world. With things the way there are in writing and publishing, it just makes sense.

(The discussion generated beneath this article is well worth a look-in also.)

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