Wednesday 5 October 2016

The love/hate of cover reveals.

 Cover reveal day - the first big date in the life of a book.

It has already been quite a journey to get to this point - writing the damn thing - and at this stage, the love can be spread very thin - then editing it, then all the process of getting it ready for the reader. And now it passes out of the author's hands - your baby is flying, or maybe fleeing, the nest.

Ask most authors and they will confirm that getting a good looking cover is a very important part of a book's success. Probably the first thing that prompts a reader to take the book from the shelf or track it down on digital or audio platforms. And the cover is very often something that is entirely beyond the author's control. A self published author has more autonomy, but there are still the issues of conveying a mood to a chosen artist, and paying for it. For those in the hands of a publisher - well, the industry abounds with horror stories of incorrect setting, time periods, hair colours, mood, even of authors not even seeing their cover until it is already in the public domain. My two so-far published books have fabulous covers - thanks to the talented Berni Stevens - and I know my publishers work hard on getting the right look.

Then, once you have this perfect cover - one that totally conveys the experience the reader is going to get when they open the book - then it has to be announced to the world. Cover reveal day - the day when the book becomes 'real'.  Lots of social media - maybe some posts with bloggers, maybe even an on-line event - everyone loves a party. I haven't had a new cover to celebrate for a while, but I am hoping - and I know it will be fun, and a bit scary. A day to love and hate? What if no one else likes it? And they say so? Probably worse, what if no one notices it? Like I said, fun and scary.

I was prompted to write this post by a brilliant cover reveal from Nicola Cornick - who writes historical/time slip. The books are great, and the new cover for The Phantom Tree is beautiful. But the way it was revealed, in the form of a jigsaw, was brilliant. I'm impressed and, of course, a bit green with envy.

I'll put in a link, so you get the idea and see the lovely cover - unfortunately, as I've completed the puzzle, I can't get it to unscramble itself, so you can  play too. Defeated by technology!


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