Writing stories to pass values from one generation to the next

Changes Coming for Lines in the Gravel

Changes Coming for Lines in the Gravel

Changes Coming for Lines in the Gravel

I have often been asked, “How long did it take you to write your first book?” Seems like a straightforward question to which I could respond with a simple answer. Uh, not so much. The short answer is that I wrote Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales) in about six months. However, that’s from the time I set out to devote time every day to completing the book. Before that, I had published several of the stories to my blog.

The most realistic answer to the question about how long writing my first book took is this: It took six months to write and several months before to assemble the best stories. The experiences and the telling and re-telling of the stories have taken the better part of my forty (plus-plus) years.

For a first book by an author without a large national and international following, Lines in the Gravel has sold relatively well. I am now beginning to scrounge for individual copies from boxes in the back of several vehicles when someone wants to buy a copy (or five, as in a recent order). This is from an initial run of 500 books. Even after I subsequently published Stories from the Roller Coaster and Coach Dave: Season One, Lines in the Gravel is still the one my friends refer to as “your book.”

4 Changes Coming for Lines in the Gravel

With my current stock of first-edition copies of Lines in the Gravel dwindling, I felt that now was the time to make a few changes to the book:

  1. While I won’t make many changes to the content of the book, I will make a few minor changes. Mrs. Right and I have built two houses together, both of which we enjoyed living in very much. However, there have been small adjustments here and there that we have wanted to make from the original. As I read the published copy of Lines in the Gravel, I noticed a few adjustments here and there that I will update in the second edition.
  2. I’ll be adding another chapter or two. I will call them “bonus chapters” so as not to change the original title of the book.
  3. The book’s inner pages will be a little thicker and cream-colored instead of stark white, more in line with other books of the memoir genre.
  4. The biggest change to Lines in the Gravel will be a new cover. The original cover speaks to me, and I have been satisfied with it; however, some of the feedback I have received says that the cover doesn’t adequately communicate the theme of the book as much as I would like.

Changes Coming for Lines in the Gravel: Your Part

Over the last couple of weeks, a number of graphic designers have competed for the best cover design through the 99Designs site. In the first round, I whittled down the number of original designers to six. Some of those artists continued to make changes until I pared the field to a final four designs.

That’s where you come in. I would greatly value your input on my final choice. You can do that through a poll (link below). First, the parameters:

  • The book is a collection of childhood stories, but the theme is that those stories make the best vehicles to pass our values from one generation to the next.
  • The cover needs to be attractive as a full-sized paperback.
  • The graphic also needs to make a good, two-second first impression in a thumbnail on sites such as Amazon.
  • The cover needs to have an overall design (front and back) that is appealing to readers.

Click here to add your input.

Changes Coming for Lines in the Gravel

A million thank you’s! The new cover is a big hit!

About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and the Coach Dave series. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

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