Monday, August 1, 2011

The New Cover At Last


So, here it is at last! The new cover for the now-to-be-in-trade-paperback Under the Skin - the fifth in the Elizabeth Goodweather series, coming to a store (real or virtual) near you on October 18.

What do you all think of it?  Some interesting changes have been made from the cover originally planned for the mass market edition (which They decided not to do.)

I'm delighted with the mountain background and the  colors that are very different from my previous book. The overall blueness of the first cover proposed looked a lot like the cover for my last book -- a little too easy to confuse the two. And I'm thrilled that they got rid of that Full Circle Farm Mystery tag which none of the previous books carry.
The two women on the cover kind of stopped me at first -- they don't look anything like my idea of Elizabeth and  her sister Gloria -- whose story this is. But they do suggest two women with 'issues' -- which is very much the heart of the book.

I'm pretty sure that what's in play here with the choice of this cover is that my editor and the team at Random House are trying to find a wider audience for my books. This cover looks far more like Women's Fiction than Crime Fiction -- and Women's Fiction is a huge market. Plus, the mention of the Anthony nomination and the comparison to Sharyn McCrumb will tip off mystery readers that this is part of the mystery genre -- even without using the word mystery on the cover.

Perhaps the cover is a little too feminine to make a guy want to pick it up -- and I do have some male readers.  But they could always conceal the book behind a protective covering of Field and Stream Magazine -- or read it as an e-book.

The italicized the still bothers me a little -- it looks interesting but it makes me want to read the title as Under THE Skin -- which make no sense. 

But, in spite of all this petty carping,  I'm very happy with the new cover -- and hope it will make lots of folks want to buy the book.  That, in the long run, is the purpose of the cover.

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29 comments:

Ms. A said...

I like both covers, glad I didn't have to choose.

Martin H. said...

For me, this new cover wins. It just looks right. I understand what you mean about the italicised the, though.

Star said...

I preferred the original cover. It looks much more mysterious. I don't like the two women on the new cover or the atmosphere they give off! I don't like the idea that it suggests women's fiction because primarily you are a mystery writer. It sounds to me like the publishers are going for the mass women's fiction market and that's not where you fit, is it? The new cover looks like a million other books I've seen and it's not for me. Shame you don't have more say in it yourself. The only bit I like about the new cover is the mountains in the background and the colours of them. Cut the people out... please.
Just my opinion, t'ain't right and t'ain't wrong!

Jj Rodriguez said...

Oh! I'm glad I'm not in your position. The two covers will surely have their appeal to your particular target market. But in the end, it's your name and your story that your followers/readers will buy.

God bless and good luck for this upcoming book!

JJRod'z

Pat in east TN said...

I agree that I'm glad I didn't have to make the decision, but the old cover still sparks my interest more then the new.

Brian Miller said...

they certainly set different moods...one dark and mysterious...the other light but emotional....i agree they will certainly attract a different target audience...

June said...

Speaking as a person who picks up books off the shelf and gets my first impression of it from the cover I would be drawn in more by the new cover. Two females, some emotional stuff going on in their story, countryside. My thought would be: "I will identify with parts of this story." Then I'd check the back cover, then the first paragraph, or open it at random. But I would have the thing IN MY HANDS, y'see.
The old cover is pretty but it makes me feel slightly melancholy, and that is a road down which I do not care to go.

Alan Burnett said...

I will go for the ebook edition, not because I have gender issues with the cover, but because I am making a determined effort with ebooks at the moment. Looking forward to it.

nidynoddy said...

I preordered the book for my Kindle so I won't see the cover, darn.

Spending time over at Wolf Laurel this week so I have lots of time for weeding and reading...:)

Thérèse said...

The previous cover is certainly nice but too much blue indeed. Sometimes we just have to accept what professional decide without being too emotional.

Barbara Rogers said...

I'd read it because it has your name on it, but the art? I'm not drawn to the two women displaying emotions, which is actually a trun-off to me. I am drawn to the mountains...and the color is definitely an improvement over the other one. Can't wait to get inside the cover, no matter what it looks like.

Vicki Lane said...

I appreciate your comments and agree with many of them. Of course, Random House will choose the cover that they think will draw the widest audience. I can only hope that those who already like my books will buy this one whether they like the cover or not -- and that I'll pick up new readers who do like it.

My original suggestion for the cover was two women seen from the back walking down a road (much like the road on the first cover.) And I didn't envision one leaning on the other. Ah, well.

Coco Ihle said...

To me, without knowing the story line, it's difficult to make an educated choice on the covers, but it doesn't matter because I'll buy anything by you, Vicki. I've loved all your books. I've told all my friends about your work and several have the same opinions I do. The best of luck on all your books.

NCmountainwoman said...

I'm a bit surprised that the women seem so young. Unless, of course it is meant to be Elizabeth and Gloria in earlier times.

I would tend to be more drawn to the "original" cover, but then I am not part of a new audience and will purchase the book regardless of the cover.

Tipper said...

I like it! I don't have a sister-but it does make me think of my 2 girls. I just cannot wait to read it!!!!

Vicki Lane said...

It seems to me that the rationale behind most covers these days is not to portray a scene or characters from the book in question but rather to give some idea of the 'feel' of the book. Inasmuch as the core of the book is the antagonistic relationship between Elizabeth and Gloria, this is...okay. But there's so much more to the book than just that.

The copy on the back cover will tell a bit more.

Reader Wil said...

I like both covers. The blue one is without people and gives me the feeling of a great mystery somewhere in the blue. The second one is more realistic and promising: two women looking at the distant mountains, where the unknown lies.At least that's what I feel!
Thank you for your comment. You are right: there are no condominiums in Cooktown. The buildings are not higher than two or three storeys. So no blocks of flats.

Bouncin' Barb said...

I actually liked the blue one I have to say. That road looks ominous. But the new one is good too! So exciting!

Darla said...

I definitely prefer the new cover, but then I do generally gravitate more to women's fiction than to mystery so there you go! LOL Here's hoping you sell lots and lots!

Star said...

I'm definitely buying it whatever the cover looks like!

Friko said...

I prefer the first cover but if it is very similar to the previous cover then it's maybe not a good idea to have it.

Whichever cover, I hope your book will be a great success.

Witch of Stitches said...

I prefer the first cover, but the important thing is that the book gets published so I can read it! The cover is not what draws me to a book.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm very impressed by the beautiful mountains in the background. I'm drawn to it, so it's my favorite.
Sam

Victoria said...

I'm so glad They dropped the nonsense of A Full Circle Farm Mystery and replaced it with mention of your Anthony Award nomination and the comparison to Sharyn McCrumb.

I like the mountain background, but I'm not so sure about the two women. Honestly, I liked the first cover better, but that may have been because I thought it would make a great painting, lol.
I feel like this cover will have a broader appeal than the first cover, though. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that this book will be a HUGE best seller!

Jon Lee said...

I really like this cover. You're right. It does have a modern women fiction appeal. I love mysteries, and I love women's fiction, so I really like it. I can't wait to read this book. Congratulations to you.

Tammy said...

Well, first off, I'm buying the book, no matter what the cover looks like. :-) That said, I like the first cover best--it looks very mysterious and a bit spooky. This cover would have drawn me to it, where I not already a reader of yours. However, I'm a mystery reader and not so much into women's fiction. The second cover...well, the scenery is pretty. ;-) It does remind me of the bunches of women's fiction that have cropped up lately, and frankly doesn't seem to have allot to do with the type of storyline in the book. But--reading your thoughts on what the book cover is suppose to do made a whole lot more sense, if they are trying to pull in a larger audience via the women's fiction market. Thanks for letting us have fun critiquing the new covers! :-) Can't wait to get the 'real' book in hand.
Tammy (hope it comes out by my vacation!!)

Jill said...

I think that the brightness of the cover is eye catching. I am just imagining seeing it next to others on a store shelf. Do you get to have input on the design of the covers or does the publisher just pick them out?

jennyfreckles said...

So much hangs on the cover, it's true it's what makes you pick up a book. But I wouldn't like to say which is better. The italic 'the' is a bit odd! Best wishes for the success of the book in whatever form it is read.

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks for all the interesting comments! I really enjoy hearing different opinions.

And as for Jill's question -- do I have input on the cover, yes and no. I can make suggestions at the beginning and they ask if I like what they come up with. But in the end, it comes down to whether they think they have a cover that will make people want to buy the book. And it's really up to them.