Monday, 24 March 2008

Cover art

I just got in from work minutes ago (yes, it's a public holiday here in Trinidad but my employer insisted that there was critical work to be done that couldn't wait, and I ended up working three of the four days of the long holiday weekend). Yup, got in, sat down immediately to check mail. Found that I had another Google alert for Café au Lait in the inbox. Almost discarded it when I realized it was the same link from, that bookstore in Canada where the novel is already available for preorder. I hesitated, then decided to look anyway because I had notified the editor of errors in the story outline on the page and wanted to see whether they had been corrected.

Oh boy. What I discovered instead is that a book cover image is now up. So, voilà! The cover art for Café au Lait is now out in the store, and this is my first glimpse of it.

Hm. Lots of stuff is turning out contrary to my expectations. Like, I thought I would see the art before it went out to the dealers. But then again, I have no control of this part of the publishing machine. Those guys don't need my approval or anything.

I had no idea what to expect of the cover, so I'm going to try to articulate my first impressions, which I'm forming as I write. I like the colours, as anyone who reads this blog might realize - the pinks and purples and plums. The woman looks kind of sassy, which is fine by me. And where is she sitting? Looks like some kind of concourse. Since an airport features prominently in the story then that's okay. I'm surprised that the cover doesn't feature a couple but I'm rationalizing that everyone knows the story is romance so there's no need to have her entwined with a male.

So what we have here (to me) is an impression of je ne sais quoi - not knowing quite what to expect. And that's fine with me too.

P.S. - My mother just trotted past on her way from the yard; I told her the news and showed her the image. Her response: Is that the name of the book? Why did you call it that? Lady, I asked you about the artwork! And off she went to pour some mysterious elixir over her plants, joking that very soon she'll have to make an appointment to see me.

Hrmmph. What kind of reaction is that? The floor is open. What do you think of the cover? Feel free to love, hate or say 'meh'.


Kaz Augustin said...

Now remember that I'm not published with NY...however, from the sounds of things, you don't have much control over the covers. If you really HATE it, then the thing to do is to talk to your agent and get her on board, and then the agent talks to the editor, and it works its way through the chain that way.

I'm more impressed with the fact that your title made it through unscathed. Usually (again, from what I hear), it's almost the first thing to change.

I love your cover and the title. Congratulations! (Sorry you had to work over the long weekend.)

Chennette said...

I like the colours, and the style of it. If I am like the average browser of books in a store - it's the initial style and colour, plus of course the cook title that will grab me. And the woman on the cover clearly has a commanding presence, so I think it was a good job. Of course, not knowing the book's contents, I don't know how well suited it may be, but truthfully, I don't usually look at the book cover as anything more than an identifying outer layer. Its the contents I tend to remember.

Chumplet said...

I think it's funky and cool! My first impression when I clicked on your blog was a little thrill of happiness. Honest. Really.

The colours are like candy. It's not obviously romance which might make the average book buyer hesitate, and it's not the chick lit style cover that's gotten so cliché lately.

Make sure they send you a good copy or at least a high quality file to print out in colour.

And frame it! You go, girl!

JJ said...

Hey Wordtryst, I love it. Striking, sexy and ... clear. The layout is not over crowded which I think is great.

Cannot wait to read it.

Lane said...

When I first clicked on your page I thought 'ooh' and having looked some more I think 'double ooh'. (this is a good 'ooh' btw:-)

I love the colours. That retro green sets off the lilac and pink perfectly. It's not overly sweet or complicated. It's striking and I'd pick it up straight away.
(and I'm hoping to pick it up very soon:-)

Matt said...

The art style is something my wife would pick up for sure. I would guess that they're targeting the 25 - 34 crowd and I really think it will work.

Matt said...

For demonstrative purposes, here's a book series my wife was obsessed with that has a similar style:


The Anti-Wife said...

I love the cover. It looks hip and fun and sexy. Can't wait to read it.

kim said...

I forgot you had doubts and my first impression was that she was in an airport -- she has great hair and I like her shirt.

It will be in the romance section, so we know she's going to hook up -- the cover tells us she is an independant woman. I wonder if she will struggle with the idea of romance and eventually surrender? Maybe she's a softie from the start but can't find the right guy?

I don't know, but I want to know more about her trendy, good hair having self -- so I will buy the book and find out. And I do like this particular type of aesthetic, so that would grab me too. It's kind of "Jetson" with updated colors and skinnier people (person). retro-mod?

...OMG! did you see your name there? on a book cover?
so cool. That would be my favorite part.

Debs said...

I love it and it would definately catch my attention from a bookshop shelf. How exciting.

I can't believe you had to work for most of the holidays.

wordtryst said...

Kaz, no control is more like it. I too am surprised that the title made it through. I'd braced myself for that change, and I'm really glad they kept it. So glad you like it!

Chennette, I don't buy books based on the look either, but the marketing people seem to think it's critical to get the cover right. And I have to admit, I've reached for books because of the attractive cover - but I decide to buy only after reading the jacket copy and browsing through.

Chumplet, you did? Honest? That gives me such a warm glow inside. Thanks for the advice about getting a decent file to print. If they don't send one I'll demand it! And yup, I'm framing it, all right!

wordtryst said...

JJ, Lane, thank you! I love that you love it! I really like the colours too, and it's a relief to find that others do too.

Matt, I checked that link of yours and I love it! I see what you mean about the similarity in style. I want that book! It looks like such fun - and I don't even read paranormal! And the title - Undead and Unwed. Fan-tastic.

Hi, Anti-wife! Glad you like it - and thanks for the feedback!

Kim, it's not so much that I had doubts as that I was approaching the thing really, really s-l-o-w-l-y and cautiously. I suppose I was expecting the typical cliched man-and-woman-in-passionate-clinch image, so this was a bit of a surprise. And there's a delayed reaction thing at work too, disbelief that the book is now a tangible reality. I mean - yeah! My name is on that cover! **faints dead away**

Debs, I too can't believe I worked through most of the long weekend. Not fair! Thank you for the feedback. It's really, really important to me, and I appreciate it no end.

Thanks, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Liane, I don't know what it is about my browser but I didn't see this post on Monday to Thursday...I hate it when I am last.

At the bookstore books are judged by their covers. Sad but true to a large extent. Café au Lait is a romance, and a youthful romance I suppose and that is what I get from the cover. The cover, together with the name of the book would suggest a multi cultural romance so the first impression someone gets at the book store may not be wrong. I like the cover, I like the colors and the girl on the cover looks hot :)

Martha Alderson said...


What a thrill to see the true manifestation of what was once but a dream...........

I'd definitely pick the book up to explore.

Exciting time

PS -- why is our families can leave us breathless with so little effort????????????

wordtryst said...

akalol, you're not last after all! Judging from your comments (which I appreciate because I'm too close to the project to be objective) then the designers of the cover achieved what they wanted. Thanks for the input.

Martha, thank you. It is indeed a thrill. There's no time like the first time...

KeVin K. said...

The cover is fine. My first impression is chic lit, but if it's shelved among the romances I'd have no trouble figuring out what it is.

I wanted to call my first novel Lycanthrope's Guide to the Gallaxy. Publisher thought I was joking (which, actually, I was) and changed the name to Wolf Hunters. My second novel was about reforming a Balkanized nation and the working title -- To Ride the Chimera -- struck a chord with everyone from the beginning.
In both cases I was asked to suggest a few scenes from the narrative I thought could be on the cover. The cover of WH depicts a climactic moment with fair accuracy. The cover of RC.... Well, one of my suggestions was the four women who drive the story against a field of stars. The cover shows four women lounging companionably in front of an ancient map of the former nation. The map is valid, but the women pictured bear no resemblance to anyone in the story.

But enough about me.
You're cover looks terrific. I am really looking forward to reading this novel of yours.

PJ said...

The cover's cute - I'm sure I would pick it up and read the back cover if I saw it in a store.

Mothers can be strange creatures sometimes; mine would probably act in a similar way if I showed her some creative work of mine.

wordtryst said...

Thanks for the positive reaction, Kevin. I appreciate it.

I actually like Lycanthrope's Guide to the Galaxy as a title. Clever pun on Adams' opus. But Wolf Hunters does the job simply and directly. As for To Ride the Chimera, that's an awesome title. I know the cover art can be a crap shoot: you love it or you hate it but you have no control over it.

wordtryst said...

PJ, strange is putting it mildly... But then, my mother insists I'm the crazy one. **shrug**

Thanks for the feedback; now that I know the universal reaction is not revulsion I can relax - sort of! :)

stephe said...

This cover is...

Easy on my eyes, wonderfully appealing to the part of me that is drawn to vivid pastels, and even tickles my taste buds (the title and your last name both conjer the image of something tasty--did you realize that?).

Congratulations! It's nice to be invited along on your journey.

wordtryst said...

Thanks for dropping by, Stephe! You're always welcome! And thanks for the feedback on the cover art. No, I didn't realize that both my name and the title have gustatory appeal...! Maybe I should write a cookbook? Only thing is, I hate the kitchen!