ebook covers: reimagined

One of the things on the to-do list for 2012 is a new cover not just for The Rival, but for the rest of the series (prequel The Mentor, sequel The Emissary, finale The Pretender). I was really impressed with Mayapriya Long’s presentation to my eBook DIY class at WriterHouse this spring, and I learned a lot from it. I’ve been spending some time researching what’s selling well in YA Action & Adventure. Next week, YA Dystopian Fiction. I’ve been impressed with some new tales, but also some old favorites reimagined. Some favorite examples here:

El Palacio de la Noche Eterna
Palace of the Eternal Night

This one caught my eye right away. Those teeth! The spooky text! And what a title. Especially on Amazon, where the storefront background is white, the black cover really stands out. This might not work on a dark wood bookstore bookshelf, but on a website with a white background, this does grab the eye.

Animal Farm

When I read Animal Farm in high school, the cover looked nothing like this! I love the bold color, the blood spatter, and the creepy way that pig is standing on his hind legs. This is a pretty good example of an old classic getting an eBook cover makeover that makes some sense.

The Hobbit

I’m starting to think for eBook covers, black is the new black. Unless you squint, you can’t really see that it says “75th Anniversary Edition” at the bottom… extra words really don’t work on an eBook cover. That sun really looks like an evil eye, doesn’t it? The Tolkien font is consistent with his published work, so the vibe is familiar. Overall, if I hadn’t just read The Hobbit again, this cover would tempt me.

True Grit

The paperback cover for True Grit looks like an old time Western wanted poster. This is a fairly good reimagining – most of the extra words have been removed, although there’s still a lot in there that I just can’t read. But the title really jumps out, and all you really need to capture the vibe is that Playbill font. What it’s not really showing is the feminine side of this story… but there’s only so much you can do in a single image, I guess. Less is more.

Reason to Breathe

Not sure what to say about this one. This book is apparently very popular in YA Action & Adventure… I don’t know a thing about it. The cover looks more like angst teenage romance to me. But I’m definitely getting the picture: black is back. Black is in. Once you go black, you don’t go back.

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whoa: ebook exports up 332.6% in 2011

And the surprise winner is: Africa!

“U.S. trade publishers are seeing huge growth in English language eBook sales to other countries. According to a new report from the Association of American Publishers, eBook net sales revenue for 2011 was $21.5 million, which was up 332.6% from 2010. The press release explains more: “…this represents 3.4 million eBook units sold in 2011, up 303.3 %. As comparison, print formats (Hardcover, Paperback and Mass Market Paperback) increased 2.3% to $335.9 million in 2011.” In 2011, eBook sales grew 218.8% in Continental Europe, 1316.8% in the UK, 201.6% in Latin America and 636.8% in Africa.

Overall, U.S. publishers earned a net sales revenue of $357.4 million from export sales in 2011, for both print and eBook titles. This was a 7.2% increase from $333.3 million the net sales revenue earned in 2010.”

– Dianna Dilworth | MediaBistro.com | 5/18/12

I’m sad to say that while The Rival is available in several foreign countries thanks to Google Play and Amazon, I haven’t sold a single copy overseas. But I haven’t done any networking or marketing overseas either, so that’s not really a surprise! Something to brainstorm about for when The Mentor comes out.

a favorite mom from literature

ONCE upon a time there were four little Rabbits,

and their names were —

Flopsy,

Mopsy,

Cotton-tail,

and Peter.

They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir tree.

“NOW, my dears,” said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, “you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”

“NOW run along, and don’t get into mischief. I am going out.”

THEN old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and went through the wood to the baker’s. She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.

– The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter, 1902

I always loved it when my mom read Beatrix Potter to my sister and me, and then I loved reading them to my sister. It was a real treat in 2003 when we got to go to Beatrix Potter’s House in the Lake District of England. Her instructions to the National Trust were that her house should always look as if she had just stepped out and would be back home any minute, and that is just how it felt!

Thanks for all the great stories big and small, mom, and for a lifetime love of reading.