The cover of ‘Birmingham Beer,’ revealed

First, the big stuff:

Birmingham Beer

And now, the rest of the story.

Here’s something you may not know about book covers, unless you’ve written one: Unless he or she is self publishing, the author may not have much say in a book’s appearance.

And in most ways, that’s been my experience. My publisher asks authors to submit potential cover photos when sending interior photos. But from there, it’s in the design team’s hands. When the cover for “Muscle Shoals Sound Studio: How the Swampers Changed American Music” arrived, I was over the moon. The publisher ultimately acquired rights to the photo, and so the cover was a very pleasant surprise to me.

“Birmingham Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Magic City” is another story. Because The History Press has published a number of beer books, the team wanted my cover to reflect the others in the series. I knew the finished product would include a skyline and a pint glass.

The skyline is the exciting part (besides seeing my name in print–let’s be honest, that doesn’t get old). When my editor requested Birmingham skyline shots, I turned to my friend Rachel Callahan.

Last year Rachel launched PictureBirmingham.com, a site from which she sells photos and photo products, mostly of Birmingham sunsets. All of her proceeds benefit The Wellhouse, an organization that fights sex trafficking in the Birmingham area. (You can read more of Rachel’s story in this Birmingham magazine article.)

The design team and I went back and forth a bit on fonts and which photo they would use, and I’m thrilled that one of Rachel’s images, “Autumn Comes to Birmingham,” graces the cover of “Birmingham Beer.” It depicts my favorite season (football!) in my favorite city (obviously)–and it’s also available for you to purchase from PictureBirmingham.com.

There’s plenty more “Birmingham Beer” news on the way, and I can’t wait to share the city’s fascinating brewing history with you.

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