Wednesday, February 22, 2012

About the New Cover

As you might have seen on The Story Siren earlier this week, The Mapmaker and the Ghost has a finalized jacket. It also has a new cover.



I first found out the cover was changing at the very end of December. There were various reasons for this, the main one being that booksellers and the marketing team were worried that the old cover was too crowded.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you might remember that I did a rather giddy weeklong series of posts when my cover was first revealed, detailing the whole process from initial sketches to final art. (You can find the sketches here, an interview with the illustrator here, an interview with the designer here, and my initial reveal here.)

So...I have to be completely honest. When I first found out that my cover was changing, I was reeling. I think it’s a little bit akin to having a baby, doting on how perfect that baby looks for six months, and then, one day, having the baby’s face completely change on you (I smell a prequel to Face-Off...). It’s jarring to say the least. This is what I was used to seeing:


And what arrived in my inbox in December was a mock-up of this:


From ten characters down to three. I missed the other seven so much that, emotionally, it was hard for me to come to terms with the change.

But, here's the thing. I genuinely believe that all the wonderful people at Walker know how to package and sell a book infinitely more than I do. They have sold many, many books. I have sold none.

And the other truth is, I probably never should have become so attached to my original cover to begin with. Covers change, especially if I'm lucky enough to have the book go into reprints and stick around for a while. It's what's inside that really counts (sound familiar?) and it's what's inside that I can ultimately control.

All that being said, the new cover has gotten tons of positive responses (see what I mean about Walker knowing what they're doing) and I've been able to see the silver lining, too. I still adore the illustrations and I'm SO GLAD that did not change. I'm also infinitely relieved that they found room for the rest of my characters on the back. And I'm madly in love with the back cover copy. It's quirky and adorable and (I think) captures the voice of the book so well.

I hope my book's facelift compels even more kids to pick it up! And, more importantly, I hope they love the adventure they find inside.

10 comments:

  1. I so appreciate what you've gone through here, Sarv. There's so much that goes into our work and when you're given something that you love and then you invest in it emotionally, it's hard to turn on a dime when that gets changed. But I love that you've come through this to appreciate the wisdom of those who are working behind the scenes to make sure our books are as awesome and eye-catching and MARKETABLE as they can be. I loved your first cover, but truly, absolutely love this version more, for the exact reasons they gave you for changing it. HUZZAH to you and the fine folks at Walker for putting together a wonderful package for an amazing book!

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    1. Every word you say is the truth, Joanne!

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  2. I really liked the old cover, but I have to say I love the new cover. I like that Goldenrod is much more prominent on the new version. The new cover made me realize that when I looked at the old cover, I kept thinking Spitbubble was Goldenrod, despite having a sticker sheet on my desk clearly telling me that was not the case.

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    1. I'm really glad you like the new cover so much!

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  3. I've really come to love the new cover!!!! Plus all the rest of the gang is on the back!!! <3

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  4. I really like the new cover and the way they incorporated the left out characters onto the back cover! This got me so excited! I cannot wait to read it!!

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  5. Congratulations on the new cover! It is wonderful! And much empathy on the anxieties along the way. My first Kat cover changed twice before it was published (even the title changed along the way!), and I panicked every single time...but my publishers were so smart to do it, and I'm guessing that yours were, too. It's so worth it to end up with a cover that'll really appeal to booksellers and kids!

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    1. This is really comforting to hear, Steph, especially because I absolutely adore your cover and title!

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