Sunday, 20 July 2008

Cover success

I was delighted to learn recently that The Russian Concubine's cover won the Historical best award for 2007 in Cover Cafe's bookcover competition ( Many thanks to everyone who voted for it and also a big thank you to the art department at Berkley Publishing for designing it.

I think both US and UK covers for my new book The Red Scarf/Under a Blood Red Sky are great pieces of artwork that will jump off the shelves right into readers' hands. I have enlarged versions of them pinned on my study wall and am still baffled how two such different designs can both convey the atmosphere of the book so unerringly.

It is interesting to consider how important a cover is in attracting buyers. What draws the eye of one person might have quite the opposite effect on another, so publishers spend a huge amount of time, effort and talent on creating the perfect cover for each of their titles. Just take a look at a display table next time you're in a bookstore and notice which ones catch your eye. Take a moment to wonder why. Some covers just work, some don't. But it's a fine line to walk. So I count myself very fortunate indeed to have such talented teams creating covers for mine.

Thank you Berkley and Sphere - and foreign publishers for all the excellent cover designs for my books abroad, especially those in the Netherlands (thank you, Unieboek) which are truly beautiful.