Thursday, July 16, 2009

Under Cover

I know, it's been a while. That's what happens when I have a book due and can't seem to get it done. My poor editor has been very kind about the ongoing delays, but that only makes me feel more guilty. I swore I'd have the book done by the time I leave for Alaska on Saturday--but I won't. Life has intervened with one stupid little thing after another. My drysuit (I'm going to Alaska to go scuba diving) is being repaired and won't be ready until Friday afternoon. Blue Shield didn't want to fill my prescriptions because it hasn't been long enough since I last filled them, so I had to convince them that if I went postal and slaughtered baby seals it would be on their heads. Oh, and my hands aren't working right. Too much typing has seriously fucked them up. I'd punch someone in the face, but I can't make a fist.

There is, however, some sunshine in the gloom. Things are proceeding apace for the release of Jane Bites Back. The pub date has been moved up to the last week of December, so all of you who get bookstore gift cards for the holidays now have something to use them on. Entertainment Weekly and Publishers Weekly both recently wrote about the book, and hopefully it will remain on the radar until it's actually available to read. For an author there's nothing quite so nerve wracking as receiving media attention for a book that won't be out for six months. By then some celebrity will have released a tell-all about her battle with anorexia and no one will care about my little novel.

One of the questions I get asked a lot is whether or not I have any control over the covers of my books. The short answer is no. Most authors don't. Usually there's some kind of language in your contract that says you'll be "consulted" about the cover, but generally what this means is that they'll show you the cover and say, "This is what we're going with. Isn't it great?"

Which brings us to JBB. I have an initial design for the cover, and my editor has given me the go-ahead to share it with the world. Again, this is a mock-up. It isn't final, so please don't go posting it all over the interwebs. I'm posting because 1. Everyone has been asking me about the cover and 2. It's interesting to see how cover designs progress.

So here it is. I think it's fun. I especially like the airplane in the upper right. It's meant to convey that this is Jane Austen living as a modern day vampire. They're still playing with typefaces and colors and other things, but I think this is basically it.

What do you think? If you saw this on a bookstore table would you pick it up? Is there anything about it you would change?

As I said earlier, on Saturday I'm off to Alaska for a much needed break from all of this. Well, sort of. I'll be finishing the new novel on the boat. I don't know if we'll have wifi service or not. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. If we do, I'll try to post some pictures. People always ask me why I would want to dive in Alaska. Once they see the pictures, they understand. If you want to see some pictures from previous Alaska trips, you can check out my flickr stream.

One last thing. I recently joined goodreads and Library Thing. If you're a member of either site, add me as a friend so we can torment one another.


Eric Arvin said...

This looks pretty damn cool!

PEA said...

Interesting, but the cover is too much of everything.
Too many conflicting colours.
Too many conflicting fonts.
Too many comflicting messages.

The airplane is just confusing. The main design is not placing Jane in a modern setting, it's more like an airplane has gone back in time.

The cover says very litte of what kind of book you could expect.

Sorry for being a bit harsh....

vvb32 reads said...

yesss, i like the cover. looking forward to it.

titania86 said...

I love the cover! I think it's perfect the way it is. I can't wait to read it.

mistress maddie said...

Great blog Michael! I have been reading for a while, but first time posting. Love the new book. Jane Bites Back. I have read several of your books and have enjoyed them all. One of my favorites is Last Summer. Is this new book a departure from your gay male themed stories? I can't wait to read it. Take care.