Sunday, May 21, 2006

Book Covers

I was catching up on my reading this weekend and noticed a really interesting article on book covers by James Grainger in the May issue of Quille & Quire. The article is about designing covers, and features three early cover versions of Me and the Blondes by Teresa Toten which I reviewed a few days ago. I found it so interesting. I have to agree with the designer, that the fourth and last version is the best. Side by side photos make it really easy to compare. The final version really invites the reader to "pick me up". Sadly, Canadian covers are sometimes not the best. I think that this has a lot to do with much smaller budgets than US or British publishing houses. It is so important that teen covers especially, are really appealing. Otherwise, the books just sit on the shelves. This is something that both book sellers and librarians agree on totally. Lately, though, we are really starting to see some interesting stuff here in Canada. Orca Book Publishers, for example, has done some really hot covers with their teen reluctant reading series. The Beckoners by Carie Mac, Zee's Way by Kristen Butcher, Sticks and Stones by Beth Goobie, and One More Step by Sheree Fitch are all totally cool and appealing covers. Speaking of Carrie Mac, there is a really interesting interview with her in the June 2006 issue of Quill & Quire which I very much enjoyed. I hadn't realized that she was a paramedic in the down-town-east-side of Vancouver. No wonder her subjects are gritty. She is right up there with Melvin Burgess in my opinion, high realism, with characters that have gut-wrenching experiences. Her books, and she only has a couple, so lots more to look forward to, pulls no punches. No talking down to teen here. It seems she is moving into fantasy, so for those of you who are fantasy buffs, lucky you. I'm not so much, although every now and then an author sucks me in, like the Attolia books that I read all three of in a weekend a month back. I will undoubtedly pick up Mac's new novel too, just because she is such a fine writer. All for now.

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