Book Covers!!!!!!!!

In 2001, and 2004, I had two books published. I’m really proud of this.

I so enjoyed researching and writing books that I continued to write away, and over the next few years wrote several more books, and had ideas for several more. Nine new books total.

In 2006, my lighting business began and, all of a sudden, I had zero time to focus on books.

Last year, I realized that twelve years had flown by and all my book projects had been 100% ignored.

I didn’t like this awareness. For, if nothing else, I enjoy creating books vastly more than I enjoy restoring vintage lighting (which I do enjoy).

I did a post about these “abandoned” books, and have been slowly working away…on one. One!

Today, I got the first drafts of cover art! Squee!

I have been working with Tracy of IM Design Group to create cover art. A few weeks back we met and I sketched the concept I had in mind but I also told Tracy to feel free to ignore my instructions if she was inspired with a different creative vision.

The book is in two parts. Part One details my career in New York City as an architectural designer. Part Two details the lessons I learned. Lessons which might help others earn more money, work less, and have a better time. The overall tone is…friendly and humorous. One person who read the manuscript said: “I never learned so much while laughing so hard.”

On her computer, Tracy showed me my cover vision. We then spent an hour making micro improvements until I was able to declare: “It’s perfect!”

Then Tracy “put” the cover into an Amazon search result, with a bunch of other books.

Oh. Oh dear. It didn’t read at all. “Which has been my concern,” Tracy explained, “and which is why I came up with another cover.”

We then made micro improvements to Cover #2, and put it “in” Amazon, side-by-side with Cover #1, and surrounded by many other book covers.

There was no contest. I looked at Tracy and said: “I would buy your book rather than my book!”

Wanna see?

Scroll way down.






















This is my cover. I love it.


This is Tracy’s cover.


This is how they will look in search results (click to enlarge).


What is fascinating about Tracy’s cover is that for years I envisioned what I call a Michael Jackson throne chair on the cover, but I didn’t tell this to Tracy. And there it is. Weird, right? Cosmic!


My friend Patricia has spent months working on cover art (involving a Michael Jackson throne chair) but I grew concerned that there would be no room for any art with so many words on the cover. Tracy however proved this assumption wrong. So, we might end up replacing the Tracy chair with a Patrica chair.

Anyway, I am quite excited.

The last big stumbling block is a copy editor to read through the book. I thought this was taken care of, as a person who reads this blog offered her services. I sent off the book, and she was working away. Then she…stopped emailing. I am uncertain what is going on, and hope she is OK. But, I may have to find another copy editor.

Well, what do y’all think?




  1. John Blick on April 4, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    I like them both. More importantly though, I want to know how you have time for all of this?

  2. Dan Goodall-Williams on April 4, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    I love Tracy’s. It stands out more, grabs your attention. However, I can’t wait for the book to hit the shelves. And seriously, where the hell do you get the time to do everything? I’m jealous!

  3. David Franks on April 4, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    So far, I like your cover better. It is easier to see in the search results because the color contrasts are better. (That said, the ampersands could stand to be outlined in red. Note that I and other visually-impaired people look at search results.) Your cover gives you room to increase the text size a bit. Most importantly, it features a design rather than a style; having a single object on the cover would seem to be an “endorsement” of the object or its style rather than a cover about design itself. I’m not sure that any single object could transcend this impression.

  4. Karen Spencer on April 4, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Award winnng NY art director weighing in here Ross. With a publishing background.

    First I am SO EXCITED to read your book(s)!

    Second Tracy’s cover wins for several reasons. As you a designer yourself, you know its about form function over form. And there is science at work here too. The eye is lazy and looks for a place to rest. Especially today when we live in a world of information overload.

    Those of us who are old enough to remember the classified ads in the newspaper remember that there was always one ad that had a lot of white space and very little type. That was always the first ad your eye went to. Because the eye looks for a place to rest.

    This is what Tracy did for your book cover. But she gave you blue space. A field of blue where you can calmly look and see the words. All anchored by that terrific chair. Although I do want to see the Patricia chair.

    I looked at Tracy’s site and she is a very good designer. And I am picky, picky, picky.

    Great job both! I can not wait for the release. And I know a great copy editor if you need an introduction.

  5. Amanda aka Tigger on April 4, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    I tried to leave a comment earlier, but I don’t think it posted. Hopefully this isn’t a repeat.
    Anyway…I really like both of the covers, but Tracy’s design gets my vote.
    In my mailbox today was Millionaires, Mansions & Motor Yachts: An Era of Opulence (pretend that’s underlined 🙂 ) I’ve read the Acknowledgements & Preface, and am already hooked. I really enjoy your writing style. Your other book is on the way to me, too. I’m sure I’ll end up with every book you publish. I’m a Ross MacTaggart fan!

  6. L. Harlow on April 5, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Tracy’s cover totally caught my eye. She did a great job, that’s what you get when you hire a pro.

  7. Carl on April 6, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    I want to title your next book about the Cross House. I think “Inching along on the Cross” is catchy.

    • Dan Goodall-Williams on April 7, 2019 at 1:33 pm

      Love it!!

  8. Leslie on April 6, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Carl I don’t know you, but that is a FANTASTIC title.

  9. David Gervais on April 7, 2019 at 12:44 am

    On the subject of chairs as icons, this reminded me that a similar chair appears towards the end of the movie “Nine Dead Gay Guys”. The movie is hysterically funny and I highly recommend it.

  10. Grace on April 8, 2019 at 11:24 am

    So happy to read you are finally going to publish. Can’t wait to read and laugh. <3

  11. Carl on April 9, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    What if Ross was sitting in the chair like David Brombstad from those HGTV commercials for “My Lottery Dream Home”. A little crown would be cute too.

  12. Barb Sanford on April 16, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    I’m catching up on my Ross blog reading, and I finally made it to this one. Wow. Love Tracy’s cover! Can’t wait to see the version with the Patricia chair. And I would love to read the book when it comes out.

  13. Colin Boss on June 8, 2019 at 12:03 am

    Hi Ross. I love both covers and look forward to reading it when finally published. The blue cover art stands out more. The shade is very eye catching, whilst the chair really stands out amongst the words. Colin

    • Ross on June 8, 2019 at 12:06 am

      Colin! I haven’t heard from you in a while! I miss you!

      BIG hug!

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