Turns out there’s been a change of plans (either that or I slightly mixed up 1 March and 1 April – it happens) and the cover reveal is going to be… today. (YAY! [does happy dance] April seemed SOOOOOOO far away.)
So here it is. What do you think? [bounces in anticipation]
We’re also up on the Faber & Faber site! [Teehee!]
Watch out for the new blurb coming soon…
Although it’ll be another few weeks before the official cover reveal for The Bone Dragon, I am now allowed to talk about our interim cover draft and the design process in more depth.
You may (or may not) remember that the first draft cover looked like this:
The book starts with a human rib-bone in a pot. It seemed a good place to start with the cover too. This initial cover draft released in August 2012.
What I love: I love the bottle – much more striking than what I saw in my head: the little plastic pot my very own rib sits in (among my socks in the drawer under my bed). I also love that the design isn’t genre or age-group specific: it doesn’t scream YA READERS ONLY! Also, it points to the fact that the book is a psychological thriller as opposed to fantasy. Not that I have any problem with fantasy (I may well end up writing some later on in my career) but it would be misleading to class The Bone Dragon that way.
Cons: I’m not terribly keen on was having the carved rib shown on the cover. I’d prefer for readers to be free to imagine this for themselves, with no visual prompting. Plus you could never carve a human rib like this. For one, they’re too narrow and for another they’re hollowish so it wouldn’t work, no matter how tiny the overall dragon.
My feedback to the designers: If the cover is to show the rib-in-a-pot that sets the whole story in motion, it needs to look more like a human rib, rather than an ox thigh-bone.
Then, in October, I received the new cover, which was supposed to be the final cover. Only it wasn’t. I can only share part of it (and I can’t explain what I mean by this being only ‘part’ because that’s a secret too). Anyway, here it is:
What I love: I love the hazy, impressionistic feel: I really like that the image isn’t too clear and that you can’t tell what Evie looks like. The feel is right for the book too: the slightly out-of-proportion arms and the way she’s holding them out, almost like wings. And the colours are fantastic. Even as a little thumbnail, the title stands out and the colours are eerie, though there’s slightly too much yellow and red for me: in my mind, the book is black and blue and purple. But I think the image is striking both in thumbnail size and in larger scale. Again, I love that it’s not YA specific and doesn’t speak strongly to any particular genre, though it hints more at literary fiction than the previous cover, which is fine. The book sits astride a whole bunch of genre boundaries without being one thing or another, though literary fiction and/or psychological thriller are the best fit with the book. What I love most is how this image combines with the second part of the design – the secret bit I still can’t show you. It’s the two together that make this magical.
Cons: Only tiny quibblettes. Not that it really matters what I see in my head, but the nightdress (?) isn’t something Evie would wear and her hair is longer than this. Also, I like the idea of readers being able to picture Evie for themselves without too many visual clues. Plus, while I really like the typeface, perhaps the crayon effect is too young, not just for Evie but for the intended readership (16+).
My feedback to the designers: Basically, what I said on Twitter.
As for the official cover…
The new design is perfect: absolutely gorgeous, sumptuous, stunning. I can’t wait to share it with you all… and to explain more about the missing part of cover #2 that explains why I adored that design, even though it’s not a patch on the official cover. I’m not positive that the ‘secret part of cover #2’ will turn up as part of the final cover (I still haven’t seen the finished version of that aspect of the design yet), but I’m hoping so.
So, what do you think of our interim cover?
… Only it’s still a secret. Sorry about that. I know it was a little sneaky.
But I’m so excited about the cover I just have to write something about it, even though it is going to be very vague.
I’m not sure when the reveal will be but probably around Christmas/New Year. The wait will be well worth it. The cover is absolutely stunning. THE perfect cover. I opened the file and the design just clicked. “Ah!” I thought. “So this is what the book is supposed to look like!”
So what can I say about the new cover? Well, it’s clever, fun and full of secrets.
And completely different to the ‘old’ cover. Which I did really like too. The concept was something I’d thought from the start that Faber might pick and I loved the fact that it was a good ‘cross-over’ concept in that it didn’t appeal specifically to the YA market. But, for me, it was a bit weird to see the bone carving in such detail and so prominent. I quite like the idea of the reader being left to imagine that for him/herself.
The new cover… Well, it’s not that it doesn’t feature the ‘bone dragon’ of the title but it’s not that it exactly does either… Very helpful, I know. (Well, I never said I didn’t enjoy being a tease. :P)
In other news… Advance Review Copies (ARCs), as I now know they’re called, will be printed soon, so the proofs are nearly complete. No update on where we’re going with the breaking words over the line/text justification issue yet, but it is something we’re working on. Or rather my wonderful Project Editor is working on it. It was a very liberal use of the word ‘we’, there. But then I am being sneaky here… Might as well go the whole hog and be sneaky AND plural while I’m about it.