the darkness at the end of the tunnel

September is a month of full moons, totally lunatic with classes starting up and a million things to do at work. (I’m department chair these days, am teaching a first term seminar, and I agreed to also serve for a year as the director of our faculty development program. Shoot me now.) I’ve had a couple of conferences to attend in the past month and always feel behind on the weekly column I’ve been writing for Library Journal’s Academic Newswire. So posting here and on my Scandinavian Crime Fiction blog has fallen by the wayside. But I want to share this . . .

I just got the cover art for my next book – and I love it. Minotaur asks for ideas, and I made up a web page with some images that seemed to fit. And they picked right up on it! This shot is one of Chicago’s many spooky and intriguing underpasses. And I’m happy it isn’t a picture of the Loop which is what almost appears on the covers of books set in Chicago (and is so not the Chicago I write about). I’m also highly tickled because it’s based on a CC-licensed photo I discovered on Flickr, not on the usual stock photography that appears (again and again) on book jackets. At the end of Open Access Week, this just feels so right.

The title, by the way, was inspired by a Leonard Cohen song, Anthem. There are a couple of lines that I particularly like that I used to introduce the book. I can’t quote them here because they are owned by Sony Music, and I had to pay a lot of money for the right to quote them. (This is sometimes jokingly referred to as “seeking permission” – as in “I just sought permission for a new Jaguar, and man it’s fun to drive. Too bad I had to remortgage my house.”) What really burned me was that not one penny went to Leonard Cohen. I wish he got at least some of it.

I’ve just started reading William Patry’s new book, Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars, and as you can see, it’s getting me all stirred up.

7 Responses to the darkness at the end of the tunnel

  1. laura says:

    Heh. I used that quotation for a winter solstice card once, back in the days when I knew nothing about copyright and its various evils.

  2. bernadetteinoz says:

    Looks good Barbara. It must be an exciting time seeing all your hard work becoming a physical thing.

  3. Barbara says:

    Laura – you realize how crazy copyright is when you see something all over the web and then have this peculiar, cumbersome system to get “permission” (pay for) the right to put it in a book that will be read by a smallish number of people. Also, they said I would have to send another check if it went into a second printing. Meanwhile, it may well be browsable on Amazon or Google Books with those precious two lines … wtf? oh well, nobody said it makes sense. Just money.

    And thanks, Bernadette – it’s a funny feeling, seeing a printed book for the first time because it seems so different. Where the words fall on the page, the point where a scene is in the physical book, etc. I suppose it’s a little like the moment when you’re holding your new baby and realizing – my god! it’s whole new person! Not part of me anymore.

  4. Dorte H says:

    Great cover! The picture and the title go really well together. Congratulations on your pretty ´baby´ :D

  5. I wonder if my book give-away-contests are in violation of copywrite laws, ummmmmmmmm. I went into big guilt mode that you had to pay to use those words and I just blatanly smear song lyrics across the world.

    Well ‘they’ can come and get me a take care of me in some jail if they want to, lol. But seriously I’m on tenterhooks waiting for this latest book from you my friend.

  6. Oh Barbara! What a thrill to see the new cover! I’m very much excited to see what lies within….

  7. honeski says:

    Almost clapping my hands, and grinning. Great cover.

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