Monday, September 17, 2012

Why Does ASHFALL Have a New Cover?

(Originally posted at The League of Extraordinary Writers)

Three weeks ago I posted about receiving my author copies of ASHEN WINTER in hardback--it's the sequel to my debut novel, ASHFALL. (To summarize the post: squee!) I also got author copies of the paperback edition of ASHFALL with its new cover. Fellow blogger and author Lissa Price (I just called Lissa a fellow. Snicker. Sorry, Lissa!), asked a great question in the comments: why'd the cover change?

To answer the question, let me refresh your memory on what the hardback ASHFALL cover looks like:

I love this cover like Santa Claus loves reindeer. The artwork is a composite of photographs taken and digitally manipulated by Ana Correal--see more of her amazing artwork here. It's perfect for my book--tough, dark, and a little bit foreboding.

So why did it change?

In the world of book sales, there's one retailer that wields a huge influence over covers. Not the biggest retailer, that'd be Amazon. But Amazon carries everything--you can have the worst book cover ever, and Amazon will still sell your book. The most influential retailer of physical books is this one:

As I understand it, there was a rumor that someone at B&N didn't like the hardback ASHFALL cover. That they thought it was too dark and grey--a fair criticism, although life after a supervolcano would be pretty darn grey for a while. I have no idea if the rumor was even true. But here's the thing, B&N is so important to physical book sales, that even the rumor that someone there didn't love the cover was enough to spur a change.

Does this bother me? Not in the least. Because I got new covers out of the deal:

They're also by Ana Correal. See, more color! I love these even more than Santa Claus loves his reindeer. Even more than he loves reindeer even if he loved them in highly inappropriate ways, which he doesn't, but I'm just . . . oh, never mind.

And that's why the cover of ASHFALL changed. Look for the shiny new covers in a bookstore near you on October 8th!