As my fellow emu Joshua McCune so correctly pointed out in his cover reveal post, books are judged by their covers. Sure, word of mouth, blog buzz and personal recommendations can get readers past a misleading cover but that first look can bring out the Judgey McJudger in all of us.
When Joy Peskin, my editor at Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, emailed me the cover of EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN in December, she was very circumspect, giving a lot of props to the designer Elizabeth Clark, saying how much the sales and marketing folks like it and ending with “I’ll hope you’ll feel the same.” Then she attached this cover:
Fortunately, I was sitting at my desk when the email came through and as soon as I opened it, I gasped (a wow kind of gasp), hit reply and said, “OMIGOSHOMIGOSHOMIGOSHOMIGOSH….WOW…I love it…omigosh.”
Yeah, I know, way to be articulate, right? But I’m so glad I did that because Joy wrote back instantly and shared that showing authors their covers is her #1 most terrifying part of her job and receiving my email in response is the # 1 most awesome part of her job.
So what do I love about it? Well, I love the boy. I love the ghostliness of his image since the book is about a boy who disappears. I love the landscape because it is nearly exactly what I pictured as I wrote the book. I love the abstract symbols of connection because so many of the characters in the book struggle with belonging and disconnection. I have no idea about the subliminal magic of typeface but I love the way NOT SEEN ironically pops off the cover.
Thank you Elizabeth Clark for designing the perfect cover. I was lucky enough to see some of the versions that the team at FSGBYR had rejected and all I can say is I am one lucky author because these folks who hardly know me are really looking out for my book.
EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN is due out September 16, 2014.