The cover of my book Lɔgɔligi Locomotion is a forced selfie employing lɔgɔligi methods to capture my emotions with my sons train set.
But how did I arrive at Lɔgɔligi Locomotion as a book title?
Unlike fiction and non fiction books, poetry can be a confusing realm when it comes to titles. Many poems have been constructed without titles due to creativity deciding to close early from work. Leaving poets to live with the old faithful “Untitled” as a title.
You can therefore imagine my struggle in finding a name for the book. I liken it to naming a child. This however, is a child you want everyone to talk about and be attracted to. A child with qualities true to the poetry within.
With the poems within being … scattered. Scattered thoughts of Ghana, woman, love and Christianity. Poems with a medley of emotions.
I have been moving with these poems since 2005. Moving them from phone to phone in my notes and finally settling them in a book.
As an artist who loves to showcase Ghana and it’s beauty, lɔgɔligi was the best adjective to describe the movement of these poems.
It is an apt term describing the book and life.
But What Does Lɔgɔligi Mean?
In a Clubhouse event this week I described lɔgɔligi as having multiple meanings. Wriggly is one of the definitions of this interesting Ghanaian term. A term richly linked to how a worm moves.
In Ghana, seldom is the straight path taken. There are always turns, corners and shortcuts employed to get ahead. We also laugh at everything. We laugh at our predicaments and joys as if life is tickling or doing us lɔgɔligi.
Yes, tickle is the other definition of lɔgɔligi.
This is how we move as Ghanaians. This is how life moves. This is how MY poetry moves.
So I arranged my poems in one logologo line and turned it into the book, Lɔgɔligi Locomotion.
After this eureka moment, the next hurdle was to depict this title as a book cover.
Designing The Book Cover
The idea was to design the book cover using a train as a theme for locomotion. But how do we show that the train is moving lɔgɔligi?
With the help of software one could create a wriggly train or wriggly train track. But that felt cliche.
I thus took my kids train set, setup a tripod and started taking selfies. The idea was to take a picture of me looking confused trying to figure out how to setup the train and it’s tracks. This after all is what life looks like. Man trying to figure stuff out.
After a number of shots, I found one I was comfortable with. It wasn’t the clearest picture. I had to use the front facing camera but it did the job.
I felt pretty accomplished at this point and nothing I believed could hold me back from achieving my dream of being a published poet.
That’s when Amazon started to test my nerves.
Lɔgɔligi or Lorgorligi?
Locally I did not have an issue with my cover design. Internationally however, there were issues.
To enable my book to be available outside of Ghana I utilized Amazon KDP to enable the book be available on Amazon.
The Amazon KDP is a very AI led experience. It’s an experience that can be very frustrating. The AI sets it’s requirements and rejects books that do not adhere. I would be ecstatic if this rejection was instant but unfortunately 24 hours are usually needed to get feedback after submission.
Amazon KDP AI and I went through this dance because of my cover design. I would have loved my design to be consistent with the locally printed book. Alas, that would not be the case. If I was going to tow the line of a perfectionist I may not have my book up on Amazon.
So the cover design of my book on Amazon is different from the local copies. I wish that were all. Unfortunately my desire to have lɔgɔligi retain its authentic spelling became problematic.
I realized whilst previewing my new design on Amazon KDP Cover Creator that Cover Creator does not recognize the “ɔ” character. The character just vanished in the preview screen. To be sure that wasn’t an error, I sent an email to the KDP team to verify if the “ɔ” character appearing was possible.
After a couple of days they confirmed my fears. The Cover Creator doesn’t recognize the character. As such, I had to change the spelling of the lɔgɔligi to lorgorligi. This saddened me but made me realize that a whole lot needs to be done regarding our Ghanaian languages.
It’s sad to admit it but internationally, it’s best to keep the book title as, Lorgorligi Locomotion. It enables the book to be easily searched within search engines. Can you imagine folk typing “ɔ” on their keyboards?
So my plan was to make these changes on the cover only. Keeping the content and spelling the same internally. Unfortunately, this caused the book to be rejected. The cover title had to match the header and title within the first pages. Until I made these changes, my book couldn’t be live on Amazon.
So this is the lɔgɔligi road I traveled on to get my cover design locally and also internationally. I pray this helps someone on their book journey. Be creative m, never give up and ALWAYS keep it One Hondred!