Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Judging a Book by its Cover
A couple days ago Cara asked a question about the length of manuscripts these days. “Are publishers looking for shorter books? 80K rather than 100K?”
I think in general they are. 80K might be considered short, but it depends on how you write. (For example, my writing tends to be very tight, with dropped words and such, so my word count is under what someone might guess.) Generally, I think an 85K-90K manuscript this day is considered good. Especially for a first-time author.
Now for today’s topic. Well, well, guess what. Recently I had a phone meeting with the marketing person at Zondervan. She informed me that the cover to Violet Dawn had seen a change. Change? It was supposed to be a done deal. Those cool branches through my name. The violet colors. The water.
Guess what got nixed.
Seems the serpent was thought a little too spooky for some. Who? you might ask. Answer—not the Christian markets. The general ones. Z’s sales people for places such as B&N, Costco, WalMart and the like said it should go. Meanwhile the sales folk for the mom and pop Christian independents said nothing.
What’s this world coming to?
The final cover is a “big book look,” according to Z’s marketing guru. It is nice. Great colors. And I still love the branches through the name thing. But I kinda miss ol’ Slither Face. It does make me wonder about the Hidden Faces covers and their spookiness. How’d we get away with that for the past four books?
You can see the final result for Violet Dawn here.