Posts Tagged ‘covers’
Promised (Birthmarked #3) will be released as an ebook in the UK on Thursday, February 7th, and Simon & Schuster Children’s Books UK has come up with a third cover to complete the series. Isn’t this striking and mysterious? The copy reads: “When the cost of the freedom of others is your own future, would you pay the ultimate price?” Put that way, it sounds heart-wrenchingly difficult. It fascinates me to see what elements are distilled out of a story to be highlighted on the cover, and I have to admit, that dilemma sits at the crux of the novel.
Ever since I saw the second cover (for Prized), with the woman’s face in an evocative, three-quarters turn, I hoped we would see her complete her pivot from profile to full face forward for the third book, and that’s what has happened. It’s so cool to think that Nick Stearn, the cover artist, foresaw this effect years ago, back when he designed the first cover for Birthmarked. I like to think he did it to please me, too. I managed to blurt out once when I met him in London that I hoped the third book would resolve this way. Our latest Twitter correspondence confirms that he remembered.
My editor sent me the cover of Promised, so naturally I wrapped it around a copy of Birthmarked to see what it looked like for real. Not too shabby!
I’m particularly pleased with the description on the inside flap. Go, Gaia, go!
After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and overthrowing Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her greatest challenge yet—to lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge. But in Gaia’s absence, the Enclave has become even more ruthless, picking girls from outside the wall to serve in an experimental baby factory. Babies with the right genes are now a priceless commodity, with the potential to reshape life inside the wall and redefine humanity. The key to it all comes back to one fearless, young midwife. When negotiations devolve into terrorist threats, Gaia finds herself at the crux of an insupportable decision.
As a leader, a woman, and an idealist in love, Gaia must choose whether she can sacrifice what—or whom—she values most.
We have the final cover for Promised!
Luscious, if you ask me. I have a thing for bright, bold book covers, so I’m thrilled about the red and the way the bracelet zings forward against the fabric background. I love the continuation of the distinctive, lyrical Trinculo font from the first two books in the series, too. Tim Green of faceoutstudio designed this cover, as he did the paperback of Birthmarked (Book 1) and the hardcover of Prized (Book 2).
I believe a cover should invite a reader in visually, and create a vibrant initial impression upon which the novel expands. Ideally, the cover art and novel should not only match, but add to each other, so that by the time a reader has become wrapped up in the story, she also feels like she has been wrapped inside the cover. Forever after, the story and the cover art should be inextricably meshed.
In the case of Promised, I was still revising while we were designing the cover, and my editor and I discussed possible objects from the story that could serve as focal points, the way the ribbon and the monocle were visually appealing and symbolically resonant for the Birthmarked and Prized covers. My draft of Promised had a significant anklet and a blue ribbon worked into the sleeve of a dress, and as I pondered them more, I discovered they would work better combined into a bracelet.
I came up with a description of a bracelet with many glowing bands and filigree, and my editor sent that along to faceout. When Tim Green sent back an image of a single band, with the exact glow and filigree I’d imagined, I was mesmerized. From then on, I adjusted the description in the book to match the bracelet, and that’s what is used on the cover.
It was satisfying and fascinating to collaborate on ideas for this cover. Normally, cover artists work from the text of a completed book to come up with their cover designs. In our case, the cover artist and I sent text and images back and forth, and I was able to work from the draft images of the cover to revise my novel. How cool is that?
In case you’re wondering, Promised is due out on October 2, 2012.
A month from now when Prized comes out in the U.S., it’s also coming out in the U.K., Australia and La France. I find it cool that the covers are all different, and that the cover artists for each country not only designed one cover, but clearly planned for the subsequent covers to evolve through the series. They had to do this before the books were even written. That boggles my mind.
My editor and I have recently been discussing cover art concepts for Promised, the final book in the trilogy, which can give you some idea of the lead time for cover art since that novel isn’t due out for another year. Considering ideas for the cover this early, while I’m still revising, opens up the possibility for me to insert visual objects, the sort that might be cover-worthy, into the novel. In fact, I’ve combined two of my existing objects into a new one which I like much better. Regardless of whether the new item ultimately figures in the cover design, considering how it is used and what it stands for has helped me clarify the touch points of that item in at least three scenes. It affects character and plot, and makes a visual and tactile element in the novel more real. Who would have guessed?
Maybe we should design covers first, and write the novels afterward.
Below is the cover of Prized in France, where the title Bannie means “Banished.” The green ribbon, the scar pattern, the eyes and the overall color tone have changed from Birth Marked Rebelle, the first novel.
And here, again, is the first cover for comparison.
Take a look!
Here’s the cover of Prized, the sequel to Birthmarked, which is due out November 8, 2011. April Ward at Macmillan worked with Tim Green of faceout studio on the design, which I think is fantastic. If it seems like a departure from the first book in the series, take a look at what has been done for the paperback of Birthmarked, due out in October.
Pretty sweet, huh?
In the spirit of Frankfurt and the Book Fair this week, here’s a curious tale of translation for covers. When the German translation of Birthmarked popped up on Goodreads, I was delighted to see the cover was a striking and mysterious image of two vivid profiles over a dark background. I went right to an online translator to find that the new title “die stadt der verschwundenen kinder” meant roughly “The City of the Missing/Vanished Children,” and I was like “Oooh, that’s cool.” It all fit my novel in a whole new way.
Imagine my surprise when a Facebook friend pointed out that she knew the cover already: it belonged to Glimmerglass by Jenna Black. Sure enough, they were the same except for mine was a mirror image of the other.
I asked my agent to check on the situation, and the upshot is that my German publisher, Heyne, liked the Glimmerglass cover so much that it bought the exclusive rights to the art and the design to use in Germany. It’s legal, if not commonly done, and since it would have been far more economical for Heyne to do a cover in-house, the purchase of expensive rights shows the publisher’s commitment to the book. The translation of Glimmerglass will have a different cover in Germany, incidentally.
It was kind of an odd feeling, at first, having a second-hand cover, though I’m used to it now. I couldn’t help wondering if people would secretly snarl and think I stole something, when in fact the rights were fairly bought. I sometimes fear that Germans might pick up my book, hoping it’s Jenna Black’s, only to be disappointed that it’s not. Sometimes I wonder why a pale, distinctly Caucasian, beautiful, blue-eyed girl is on the cover when Gaia is of mixed heritage, unremarkable in terms of beauty, and brown-eyed. Then I think of the ideas of genetic merit in the book, and the history Germany has with a scary society that valued certain people over others, and I think it’s actually a pretty gutsy cover. In the end, I’m grateful my German publisher is so deeply invested in my book, from the inside translation to the outside cover.
Life is strange. So is publishing.