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.