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New Cover Sneak Peek

You lovely people who subscribe to my blog are the first to see this — the cover for my new book that the Berkley Art Department designed for me. Isn’t it lovely? I’m thrilled. Covers are hugely important in an author’s career. I know we were all brought up with the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” but alas, it’s not true. People buy books all the time because the cover or the title appeal to them, and reject books if the cover puts them off. I’ve had experience of  that — to my cost. My career was almost ruined by a dreary cover — one I hated, but could not get changed. So wherever I get a lovely cover, I’m endlessly grateful.

This book follows on from The Scoundrel’s Daughter, and is also set in one of the houses surrounding the beautiful Bellaire Gardens. It’s about two sisters who have just come to London. In fact, they’re half-sisters, but very close. The heroine of this book is Isobel (Izzy), who is illegitimate. (Her sister’s book comes next.)

Izzy’s father and maternal uncle wanted nothing to do with an illegitimate child orphaned before she was nine, and Izzy was destined for the nearest orphan asylum. But Clarissa, her lonely little half-sister was having none of that. Next week  I’ll post a snippet from the start of the book, showing how, almost ten years before,  the two little girls met. 

In the meantime, feast your eyes on this gorrrrgeous cover. What do you think of it? The summerhouse in the background isn’t exactly how I described it, but it plays quite a big role in this story and I’m delighted it made it onto the cover. And I know you can’t really see Izzy’s face, but I like that. Whenever I read (or write) a book, I get images in my mind of what the main characters look like, and the people on the front cover almost never look how I have imagined them. 

Good books, bad covers

I subscribe to a number of e-zines, and this article particularly caught my eye recently.  
Bad covers slapped on on classic books.

At first I was incredulous — some of these are so very bad and so incredibly far off the mark that it was obvious that the cover designers hadn’t read the books.

But then I started to get suspicious. Some of these classics were so well known that I couldn’t imagine how anyone could get the covers so badly wrong.

I mean, look at this one on the left.

Little Women in Maoist China? Really?

They’re soooo over-the-top bad and inappropriate that I suspect it’s deliberate.

Sheba Blake is printed on a lot of the covers, and I looked the name up and it’s a “publisher”.  The thing is, once a book is out of copyright, anyone can do anything with them — it’s the reason people were able to write and publish mash-ups of classics, like  “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and others of that ilk.

My guess is that they made the most outrageously silly covers — and their name on them — to give them some publicity. 
It obviously worked.


And maybe “any publicity is good publicity” — I don’t know.

Or maybe the idea is to sell these editions as a joke.  I can imagine some people would love to get classic books with outrageously silly covers.

What do you think?