Tuesday, December 17, 2013

There Are 33 Ninjas On This Cover . . .

I have decided to give you an early Christmas present. Or maybe I'm giving myself an early present because I can't stand to sit on this kick butt cover any longer. So, without further chit chat:



So. Pretty awesome, right?

I have to admit I'm more nervous to show off this cover than ever before, because for the first time I had an integral role in the design. While of course I hired the fabulous Michelle Argyle (design alias is Melissa Williams Cover Design), she took her direction from me. That is a freaky place to be!

When she first asked me what I wanted, I honestly didn't have any big ideas because I was used to not thinking about it. I mean, in traditional publishing, it's just better not to get married to a cover design you imagine for your book because it WILL NOT turn out like that ever. So Michelle had to squeeze descriptors out of me, and we searched image-leasing sites, and we scoured the internet for fonts, and this is what happened.

I'm pretty proud of it.

I didn't want a cover plastered with ninja clich├ęs, but I wanted to have a ninja feel. I wanted it to be simple, but not boring. I wanted it to be hard, urban, and yet hint at some playfulness and paranormal as well. I wanted it be look plain cool, to hopefully appeal to its intended audience. Michelle did an amazing job of translating my desires into an image I'm so excited to have on the cover of my novel.

I hope you're excited, too, because I've decided this book will be coming out June 3, 2014! It works a little differently with self-pubbing—getting the novel uploaded to all the many sellers—but it will definitely be available by then at the latest.

And if you're curious as to what's inside, I have cover copy for you! So many presents!

A Clan of ninjas in San Francisco may sound improbable—but as the son of a ninja master, Tosh Ito knows what lurks in the shadows of his city. Or at least he thought he did. 
When a killer with a poisoned blade starts cutting down teens, Tosh enlists Amy Sato—newest ninja recruit and his best friend’s crush—and sets out to uncover the killer's identity. What they find is ninjutsu more evil than they could have ever imagined. 
As Amy and Tosh grow closer, they discover their connection unleashes a legendary power that could stop the murders. Problem is, that power may be exactly what the killer is looking for, and wielding it could cost them both their souls.

Whew. I need to take a deep breath here. I'm actually shaking as I write up this post, because I can't believe I'm really doing this. RELAX, I'M A NINJA will be a book after five years of writing, editing, failed subs, and then a long stint in the book vault—that's totally crazy to me. Even if I'm doing it on my own, without publisher "validation," this means the world to me. I have always wanted to share this story, and I hope it finds people who love it despite it being a little different.

Thanks to everyone who has been excited about this with me. No joke, you are the reason I have the courage to do this—I would have never gotten past all the publishing hurdles without you guys cheering me on.

So go forth! Share this baby all you want. It's been dying to meet the world for a long time now.

51 comments:

  1. I am SO EXCITED for this book! And I love the cover’s colour scheme. I’m sorry if you’ve already mentioned this somewhere and I’ve just completely overlooked it, but will we be able to get physical copies or are you only releasing it digitally?

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    1. There will be physical copies, Valerie! I will be doing a paperback along with ebook.

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    2. Great! I’ll be sure to reserve some shelf space. Thanks for the reply. :)

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  2. WOOHOO! A cover! And a date! And back cover copy! And a date! And a cover! And...

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  3. I really love that the brush stroke font just barely hints at the kind of strokes used to write Kanji/Hanzi.

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    1. That was actually totally what I was going for:)

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  4. Congrats! And that cover is outstanding. :)

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  5. I am in LOVE with this cover. Holy cow. The color tones, image, font, everything! Michelle rocked it. And yay for a release date! This will be a great summer book to look forward to!

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  6. So honored to do this for you, Natalie! Much congrats and a confetti! And cupcakes while we're waiting for June to arrive. :)

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  7. Wow! This sounds awesome! And I love the cover! CONGRATULATIONS! :D

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  8. I am so excited for this book!! XD *flails* Love the cover - very nicely done to you and Ms. Argyle! Both your hard work definitely paid off.

    Now, for the long wait until June... T-T

    P.S. Don't forget to update the book on Goodreads! That shiny cover and awesome summary deserve to be shared with the masses. ;)

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  9. Thanks, everyone, for be excited with me! Makes it all the more fun:)

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  10. Wow!! I'm so excited you're moving forward with this!! I'm so in love with this book and want everyone to read it!,

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  11. Natalie that is awesome!! I love it, and I love your post and the blurb! I'm super excited for you and for this book! Congratulations!!

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  12. I LOVE THIS BOOK! And I think the cover absolutely rocks. You and Michelle are so talented. :) I'm lucky to call you my friends. :) YAY TOSH!

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  13. It's a very eye catching cover, Natalie!

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  14. Natalie, I can totally relate. Helping to design your own cover is intense. It's so incredibly difficult to get all your expectations met...or to even know what those expectations even are. The entire process was overwhelming for me. But the beauty of self-pubbing is that you get complete control over the process. If you cover designer sucks you can find a new one. If you want your adorable cousin or that cute couple from your ward on the cover you can totally put them on there. Because I had a custom shoot for my book, the girl on my cover is super excited to be a part of it and her entire family is promoting my book so much I'm jumping in the car tomorrow to go do a book signing ten hours away just for them.

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  15. You know, I never knew exactly what this one was about, and now I know it's totally awesome! The cover plus the cover copy REALLY makes me want to read it! Yay Natalie!

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  16. Epic Awesome. I love the cover and I'm really happy for you. I can't wait to read this.

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  17. Love the cover! Can't wait to read it!

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  18. Awesome cover. I especially like the window above the 'i'. Very mysterious. Can't wait to read Relax, I'm a ninja!

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  19. I love this cover! Can't wait for release day!

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  20. Love the sound of this book, Natalie. The cover rocks. Michelle does my covers too. She's so talented!

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  21. It looks fantastic! So cool to see him rocking my fav type of sneakers. Also, seeing him standing there all calm like, but reading the title, makes me think he could bust into action at anytime- hi-yaw!!! ;) Congrats, Natalie, can't wait to read this!

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  22. *faints* This. Is. Gorgeous. And I've wanted to read a semi-accurate ninja book for once, so I'm super super excited for this to release.

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    1. "Semi-accurate," huh? Well, I hope it pleases. I did a lot of research but also took my own liberties, as most authors do;)

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  23. HUZZAH.

    Also, I think I can still remember your first ninja story pitch on Nathan's blog... was that this lifetime or just some past-life experience?

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    1. Ha, it feels like a lifetime ago! That was Dec 2008!

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  24. INCREDIBLE! I love it! I can't wait to get my hands on it. :D :D :D

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  25. Finally! I always wanted to know what this book was about, I like stories about Ninja, especially urban kind, I think your uniqueness will shine really strong in this book, what a wonderful premise, no wonder you wanted to publish it so bad, we NEED to read it!
    A beautiful cover, although Michelle’s touch is obvious on this cover I believe it is like nothing else I’ve seen by her, it’s a new level for her too, you girls together are super creative. I love everything about your cover and the font is simply breath taking. Good luck Natalie :)

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  27. It's awesome! But honestly, you had me at Ninja :)

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  28. OH MY GOSH!!! I'm so happy and excited!!! The cover looks amazing!

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  29. That definitely sounds interesting. I've read stuff with ninja clans in unexpected places before, and I think it's a great concept, and the title mixed with that cover art is uniquely awesome. ^_^ Might have to pick that one up when it's out.

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  30. I don't know how I missed this post but OH MY GOD!!!!!! Natalie, I am so excited. The cover is AMAZING and June is way way too long to wait. but wait I will. sigh.

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