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 (http://www.covercafe.com/). 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.

12 comments:

Erin said...

I am very picky about my books. I guess I'm guilty of picking a book by its cover. But I'm a fan of the matted finish covers, it always draws me to them. I don't know the glossy covers seem cheap to me. Though I suppose I shouldn't judge a book by its cover. lol.

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Erin,

Good to hear from you again. Judging a book by its cover is definitely not advisable because the person who writes the book and the person who designs the jacket are totally separate entities - and probably never even meet. Having said that, we all DO make value judgements from the cover. The important thing is to pick a book up and read the first page. THEN make your judgement.

Erin said...

Very wise words. I know I shouldn't, but maybe its in our nature to judge or pick what looks appealing to our tastes. But you are right, its a habit we should break. And yeah, I'm starting to learn to read a little of it as I go to make sure I would like the style. I found books where I thought it sound good but when I got it home and actually read it I found it painful to finish, though I always finish a book rather it's good or not. I always believe in finishing what you start, especially when its a story.

Erin said...

And forgive me, but Congrats on the award. The artwork is wonderful.

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Erin,

Thanks for the congrats on the award. It's my great publisher Berkley that did all the hard work. But glad you like the covers.

d34562274 said...

Hi Kate! I just read your book, The Russian Concubine. I could not put it down, literally! I read it in one day. It was absolutely beautiful. The cover art was what first attracted me, and after reading the book... wow. Great job. I just felt the need to tell you that.
-Devon

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi d34562274,
Satisfying to hear from a fellow Devonian. Reading it in one day takes some doing but I reckon you would get its full impact that way. Lydia would be delighted! Next book out in November. Happy reading.

AmberBarbara said...

Thank you for this book. I am the Grandaughter of a Russian Princess, who escaped to the US. Currently my Russian Uncle is on his deathbed & I am reading this The Russian Concubine while I struggle through my grief. This is great solace while I am loosing the remains of my noble Russian family.

Gosh I am on this blogger site too (complete with Russian Coat of Arms). You can contact me at http://amberbarbara.blogspot.com/

if interested in meeting more displaced White Russian descendants in exile

AmberBarbara said...

Thank you for this book. I am the Grandaughter of a Russian Princess, who escaped to the US. Currently my Russian Uncle is on his deathbed & I am reading this The Russian Concubine while I struggle through my grief. This is great solace while I am loosing the remains of my noble Russian family.

Gosh I am on this blogger site too (complete with Russian Coat of Arms). You can contact me at http://amberbarbara.blogspot.com/

if interested in meeting more displaced White Russian descendants in exile

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Amberbarbara,
So sorry to hear about your Russian Uncle and touched that The Russian Concubine provided some kind of solace. I checked out your website - impressive! Great bird photography. As for the belly dancing and fire dancing - wow!

Greensleeves said...

Hi Kate! I have just finished reading The Russian Concubine. Splendid and totally breathtaking. Being totally fed up with all the recent chick lit heroines whose only dilemma in life is which Jimmy Choo shoes to choose. I don't know why I haven't read your marvellous book earlier, but I think in my case I wasn't impressed with the book cover.
My University teacher of English was the white Russian immigrant from Harbin, I kept thinking of her while reading The Russian Concubine.
Galina

Kate Furnivall said...

Hi Galina,
Great that you enjoyed The Russian Concubine. It was a hard time and many of the refugees made it over here. Since writing the book I have been approached by dozens of people with their own heart-rending stories of escapes from the Bolsheviks.
I agree with you that chick lit only goes so far - like chocolate! Under a Blood Red Sky, my second book, came out last month and the sequel to The Russian Concubine will be published next year. As for covers, they are in the capable hands of my publishers!