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Friday, April 16, 2010

A Book With My Name On The Cover

It's always exciting when you first see the possible covers for your book. Well, to be honest, I was horrified with some of the initial plans for my last one, Crime Time: Australians behaving badly, but the final product was terrific. Perhaps too terrific; it looks like an adult book till you open it up, so bookshops kept putting it into the adult true crime section, where it was a lot less likely to sell. And if they had thought it was for kids, they would have been horrified. Innocent little dears shouldn't be offered this sort of thing! But the students at my school grabbed it the minute they saw that gruesome picture on the front. And school librarians knew what their library users wanted; I think I will do quite well in Education Lending Right for this one. The cover of my Allen and Unwin books ranged from a library image of a roaring monster for the first one, through a woman with a test tube (cliche!) for the women scientists book to a delightful bewildered-looking cat and a spy with a maginifying glass for the spies book, Your Cat Could Be A Spy.

Now I've been sent three possible covers for my new werewolf novel, formerly Bisclavret, now Wolfborn. One, which I rather liked, was a blue cover clearly influenced by the cover for Melina Marchetta's Finnikin Of The Rock, had a silhouette of a wolf howling in front of a full moon with leaves and forest around. The second, which I believe the publishers favour, was red with a photographic wolf which, unfortunately, seems to be fading into the white background. I liked this least. A third had a photographed silhouette of a wolf against a bleak landscape and splashes of blood. Despite my own feelings on the matter, I've been showing these around and I've put them up in my library with the new books, asking students to vote on them. So far, the overwhelming vote has gone to the third one. The kids love it. They assure me that's the one they, personally would pick up, of the three. My bookseller said that was the one librarians would be most likely to take, but he is carrying copies of the covers on his rounds and asking for opinions. My friend Bart, a teacher-librarian at a large private school, has offered to show them there.

Whichever cover with my name on it ends up in the bookshops, I am very excited.

As always.


Ruzkin said...

Things sure are advancing fast for you! The idea of the photographic wolf doesn't do much for me either. Any chance you could put the covers up on the blog?

Sue Bursztynski said...

Yes, it's really going fast! Normally, turnaround time on a novel is a couple of years, but they needed a finished manuscript and I had one and they had a slot in their schedule for it and a budget, so... :-)

I have asked permission to put the images up, but even if they say yes I will need low-res jpg images - they sent it in Word.

If I can't do this, I'll drop a printout in the shop next time I come. I will be interested to see what you and Jon think, as booksellers.

So far, at my school, the kids are overwhelmingly going for the third image, with a photographic wolf silhouetted against a bleak landscape.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Okay, I have asked. They said they'd rather I don't put up the draft covers, so I will bring printouts to Of Science And Swords next time I come.

Morva Shepley said...

Congrats! It sounds exciting. It's a laugh that the kids actually went for the gory cover.

Speaking of covers, I've found a site that shows awful SF covers. Not all of them are as aweful as all that, but it's a matter of personal taste, I guess.

Morva Shepley