Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Shiny new jacket

I received some very exciting post today - a set of covers for The Dead of Winter from Kate Clarke of Bloomsbury Children's Books design department. I had seen versions of this before, but not the finished thing. I have taken a photograph rather than scanned it in so that you can see that it has a foil effect to accentuate the frosty feel.

Covers are a source of frequent complaint by authors and I've spoken about this before. Everyone understands how important a cover is and obviously authors want something that does justice to their book. Often they can feel a little powerless to intervene in the process. It can be soul-destroying to put so much effort into the writing of a book and then see it go out into the world with a lackluster jacket.

My take on covers has always been that - without misrepresenting the book - they should stand on their own as a piece of design whose function is not to illustrate the story (though it can do that as well) but to sell the book - to make the book desirable. Increasingly that means producing something powerful enough that it will catch a potential reader's eye at the size of an Amazon thumbnail. I am clearly biased as I did the image, but I think this is a very strong cover.

Of course, none of this will matter if the book does not capture the reader's imagination. But getting someone to choose your book from the myriad of others out there is half - maybe more than half - of the battle.

The Dead of Winter is out in October.


  1. Very nice! I love the cover and the foil isn't overwhelming at all. Looking forward to it very much.

  2. Thanks Janet. The foil works well. You're right - it can be a bit much. But in this case I think it really adds something.

  3. Gosh - I have to add - I just read your other post about the cover. Didn't realize it's your artwork. That is fantastic.

    Thanks for sharing info on your process. I knew it was ink, but could not for the life of me figure out the reversal. Very clever. :)

  4. Thanks again Janet. It was one of those weird moments of inspiration. I was looking at pictures of frost and has been trying all kinds of ways to try and portray that effect when this technique suddenly occurred to me. It was an effect I had used many times before, but it was the notion of reversing it out that popped into my head one day. It's nice when that happens. It would be even nicer if it happened more often!