This is partly because this whole month feels like it's been more of a stream of consciousness than my usual, meticulous, *ahem!* ever-so-structured life.... Well, that is, it's been a bit different you see. Usually, my life consists of; getting up, dog-walking, getting dressed (yes, in that order), working, eating, working, eating, So You Think You Can Dance, bed. Things in my life tend not to leap about in pace much. I get work, I panic about work, I panic some more, and then I settle down into a routine to get the job done... and just when things are getting really comfortable, I finish the job, wondering why on earth I was ever worried.
This month has involved me balancing different projects; something I've never done before, which makes the whole process of having a good panic so much trickier to schedule in, I'm sure you'll understand. Sometimes it's been difficult trying to remember which project I was panicking about. In which case, I came up with a cunning plan, and panicked about not knowing which project to panic about- ahhh! See! I don't miss a trick!!!
Anyway, irrespective of everything else, my priority had to be to finish the cover for George and Ghost; in time for it to go to New York (the week before last) and to the Frankfurt Book Fair next week. You might remember me saying everything had gone smoothly with George and that I thought I'd completely finished it. Well, it turns out, the toughest thing about George WAS finishing it.
In essence, I think the problem was, it's a subtle and sensitive story. However, 'subtle' and 'sensitive' aren't really words that sit well with covers, where things have to be bold and eye-catching in order to sell. So the issue, as I saw it, was to find something that was true to the story, but that would still stand out. Not easy.
In the book, I've given the little ghost character a scrap book, so my idea was to have the book look like Ghost's scrap book. This is an idea we carried through in the endpapers, I think, to great effect. However, having put it together this way for the front cover, I wasn't happy about the brightness of the colours and the way the text sat (thinking it looked too modern), and Hodder felt the red was over-powering and it looked too dated! Anyway the result, we all agreed didn't work, and so no one felt too agrieved at the idea of trying something new instead.
We're now going with a variation of one of the inside illustrations instead, which is not quite what I'd expected, but the important thing at the moment, is those crucial (and increasingly rare) co-edition sales. I feel so proud of the book and hope it does really well. However, it is Frankfurt that will have the last say on not just its' cover, but its' future, really. I will post updates on both, as I receive them! Please keep your fingers crossed for George, Ghost, and me!
I've stuck in a segment of the original cover for you to see.