Friday, 11 March 2011

FINAL SHADOWS ON THE MOON COVER!

It's here at last - the absolutely, positively FINAL version of the UK Shadows on the Moon artwork.


And look, look! Red lettering! This is a drama you guys don't even know about. When I was shown the very first version of this cover, the lettering was red. I was really pleased about that, because red is an important colour in the story, and it's a traditionally lucky colour in China and the east as well. However, some people in the marketing department felt that the red give the book more of a historical novel look, rather than fantasy. They switched to pale pink lettering.

I hate to be an awkward author (can't always avoid it, but I don't LIKE it) and I also know that marketing are far more experienced and knowledgeable on how cover art will be recieved than I. So I tried not to make a fuss about this. But I did express my love for the red to my editor and to Sophie, the designer. Time passed. The ARCs came out, and the lettering was pink. I resigned myself.

But I think my crafty editor was scheming in the background. She got Sophie to mock up a version of the new The Swan Kingdom cover with red lettering, and everyone in marketing liked it so much they asked Sophie to do a mock-up of Shadows on the Moon with red as well. And lo, somehow the planets aligned, the continents shifted, and my beloved red was BACK.

I haven't got a finished version of the book yet (I'm hoping to see layout pages, or page proofs, soon, which is the final stage before the book goes to production) but I have been sent some cover flats, which are actual book covers which have not been bound to a manuscript. They are, frankly, breath-taking. The red lettering is a really deep, blood red, and it's foiled, which means it's *sparkly*. Another lovely effect is something called 'spot UV' on the Sakura - the white cherry blossoms on the cover - which is basically a clear glaze that makes them shiny.

Other features include a QR code on the back which owners of smartphones will be able to scan to see the official book trailer Walker Books plan to make. Next to the QR code is the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation logo. Shadows on the Moon won the Sasakawa Prize before it was even in its final draft, and I'm honoured to see that logo there.


The best thing about the cover, however, is undoubtedly that beautiful face, smiling so sadly and mysteriously around the spine, like a Japanese Mona Lisa. When I was asked what I would like to see on the cover, of course I knew that my suggestions would only ever be that, and that marketing and sales would naturally have a far bigger impact than I. But I begged - BEGGED - that if they use a picture of a girl on the cover, please let her be Japanese. Please let her be young enough to realistically pass for my heroine. And please, please, not wearing Geisha make-up. I'm so sick of seeing books with Asian heroines who are not even Geisha, and yet have a model with a thick coating of traditional Geisha make-up on the cover. This is called exoticising, and I feel it's patronising and wrong.

But despite my fears - and those were realistic fears, given the repeated instances of white-washing and RaceFail in YA - Walker Books came through. They gave this book a cover model who could truly BE my heroine, a cover I can be proud of, a cover that reflects the book in every way. I have been LUCKY with covers, yo, but this cover makes me feel luckiest of all.

In celebration of this my oh-my-God-I-can't-believe-I-got-so-lucky moment, I finished making two book trailers which I had been holding back on until I had the final cover image. Each trailer focuses on a different aspect of the story, and I hope you'll enjoy them. I think they are rather pretty. Feel free to disseminate them far and wide.






Happy Friday everyone!

ETA: I hope that everyone will send their thoughts, hopes and prayers to the people of Japan this weekend. I will be.

47 comments:

Vivienne said...

Well I loved both. The second one the music is more haunting and choked me up a little. However, all loved the music in the first. Either way, the book obsessed gremlin I like to keep hidden is crawling up the walls for this book. Thanks for that Zoe!

Zoë Marriott said...

I'm glad you liked them! I'm going to be putting the book into Lynsey's tour hopefully in a month or so, so you won't have to wait TOO long to get your paws on a copy!

Little Miss Becky : ) said...

The final cover is just amazing---I love the pink, too, but the red just makes it a bit edgier. Will the US edition be red or pink?

The trailers are fantastic! I can't decide which I like best, as they seem to show two very different aspects of the story---the very cool, kick-ass side where she takes on the prince and the romance side.

I will say this: I'm even more excited to read it after watching those trailers!

Isabel said...

Gorgeous trailers - very well done! I just can't WAIT for this book. I NEED TO READ IT RIGHT THIS SECOND.

I'm glad that the red lettering finally worked out. Mind you, I rather liked the pink lettering myself - but I'd prefer the red lettering if it is significant to the culture and plot of the story. Plus, it looks nice. :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Little Miss Becky: I don't know what the US cover will be like, because Candlewick Press are bringing it out in a completely different, hardback edition. I'm really excited about that - as soon as I learn anything, I'll share.

Isabel: Thank you. I agree that the pink was pretty, and I wouldn't have been upset if it had come out looking like that - but I LOVE the red, and I think it definitely fits better.

Nattasha said...

Oooohhhh Awesome, I absolutely can't wait till it come out!!! I like the red lettering too :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Well, of course YOU like the red, Nattasha! LOL.

Shveta Thakrar said...

Beautiful! I can't wait to read it. :)

And will definitely be sending prayers and good thoughts. *sigh*

Zoë Marriott said...

Thanks, Shveta!

Megha said...

OMG. I LOVE THOSE TRAILERS!!! They are SO pretty! I lovelovelove them <3

Okay. To make everyone jealous, I'll just tell them that I HAVE A COPY OF THE COVER OF SHADOWS ON THE MOON. YES, A COPY YOU CAN HOLD!

Sorry. I didn't WANT to make everyone jealous, but I had the NEED to. SOOOOO sorry.

Zoë Marriott said...

LOL, Megha - to be honest, I expected to hear some gloating a bit earlier. I'm impressed you managed to hold back so long!

Anonymous said...

So jealous that you have a copy... I wan't to read it NOW!!!!!!! Waaaaaaaah. It looks like it's going to be such an amazing book. I can't wait.

Katie-Lynn

Zoë Marriott said...

Katie-Lynn: Megha doesn't actually have a copy of the book, she has one of the unbound cover flats I mentioned. And the release date is getting really close now - just over three months!

bfree15 said...

The final cover is gorgeous Zoe I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Not long to wait now.

The trailers are great, I just know the book is going to be fabulous. I think I was more pulled towards the second trailer. What can I say I’m a sucker for a love story I can’t help it.

Zoë Marriott said...

Thanks, bfree - you would not *believe* how much I sweated over those trailers! They are such hard work!

Megha said...

I wish I could make one! How on earth do you make them, Zoe? What programs do you use?

Zoë Marriott said...

I use Windows Movie Maker, but I don't recommend it - it freezes and crashes constantly. I just use it because I can't afford to buy anything better. I buy or borrow images and special effects online. It's something you can teach yourself to do, but it takes a lot of time and messing around and I normally have a raging headache by the time I've finished.t

Megha said...

Oh my gosh! I use Windows Movie Maker ALL the time, but I was thinking you'd use something else because WMM isn't THAT good and your trailers are AMAZING!!! I'm SOOOOOO glad you use WMM, I don't know why. I guess I trust it more noee.

Zoë Marriott said...

Well, thank you - but it's possible WMM is the reason making book trailers causes me so much aggravation!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy because I applied to four (great) schools and I've gotten into three of them. I've been wait-listed for Milton Academy. You may have heard of them, maybe not, but they're BB&N, the Winsor school, and the Park school. Milton, BB&N, and Winsor are actually some of the best schools in the country, even in the world. I'm so happy, even though Milton was my top choice.

Oh yeah, and I literally JUST received TIW and The Demon's Lexicon in the mail.

Isabel said...

Sorry, Anonymous is me. :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Well done, Isabel - I'm really happy for you. And I hope you enjoy Sarah's books.

Anonymous said...

Two followers to go!!!

- Megha

Zoë Marriott said...

Erg, stop reminding me!

Megha said...

LOL, if you say that I'll just remind you more XD I can't WAIT to hear you sing. I just KNOW it'll be lovely!

Isabel said...

I'm totally with Megha. And, anyway, I could use a good laugh. :)

Zoë Marriott said...

You're all horrible to me!

Isabel said...

Aww, no we're not! YOU'LL BE GREAT!

Isabel said...

I started The Demon's Lexicon yesterday, and it is SO GOOD. Thanks so much for recommending it! I'm only on page 54, but I like to read books thoroughly, so it doesn't mean I'm not really into it. Plus I'm reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas for school. *Feels guilty* I should have waited before starting this book, because I knew it would be fantastic and now my Holocaust book is being neglected. *Sigh*

But anyway, I'm really enjoying it. When can I get my hands on the third book?

Zoë Marriott said...

I'm glad you're enjoying it, Isabel - I did tell you how good it was, so you can't say you weren't warned! I believe that book#3 is out this June or July, so it's not all that long to wait.

Isabel said...

Oh, good! But is it out at a later date in the US? Will I have to order it on book depository?

Zoë Marriott said...

Looks like June 14th in the US: http://www.amazon.com/Demons-Surrender-Lexicon/dp/1416963839/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1300033582&sr=8-1

Isabel said...

Fabulous! Thanks. Let me check out the link... It's The Demon's Surrender, right? Let me go see.

Isabel said...

Haha, that looks like Alan! It is Alan, right?

Zoë Marriott said...

He's wearing glasses, so I'd think so.

Isabel said...

LOL. Yes, well, I rather prefer Nick. *Feels guilty about it* Alan is more deserving, though. I mean, Nick is a bit of a jerk, thus far in the story.

Zoë Marriott said...

Keep reading.

Isabel said...

LOL okay. Something tells me there's going to be a lot of character development going on...

Hey, the music for the first trailer: I love it. What's it called and who's it by? I could use it for my story.

Zoë Marriott said...

It's called On the Precipice of Defeat, and it comes from the soundtrack for the anime Bleach, which is one of my favourite animes and mangas.

Isabel said...

Cool! Let me go check it out on YouTube...

Isabel said...

I'm listening to it now. I adore the little video! Except for this part where that little person with the sword is stabbing the giant spider... yuck.

This is intense... wow. Jeez... that was amazing! WOW! Thanks for telling me about it!

Isabel said...

I really want to make a trailer for the book I'm writing now. I mean, how fun is that, once I've actually done it and get to watch the entire thing. But I'm lost on how exactly I'm supposed to do it... could you tell me a little about it?

Zoë Marriott said...

Well, basically you need to have an editing programme (like Windows Movie Maker - I'm not really an expert so I don't know what other projects you would use) and you need to have images or pieces of footage, and music or perhaps a recording of yourself speaking as a background. Then you cut them together. That's about as specific as I can get - I just follow the instructions!

Isabel said...

Hmm. Sounds tricky... I might not take the trouble to do it. Thanks, anyway.

Lynsey Newton said...

You clever thing, you! LOVE the second trailer and of course I'm looking forward to reading the book! I'm even more excited to learn that there will be a hardback!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (you know I'm a fan of the hardback, right?!).

Zoë Marriott said...

Yes, your teeny tiny hardback obsession is known to me. I'm excited about that myself, actually! I'm excited and apprehensive about what Candlewick Press will do with the cover.

Isabel said...

Somehow, I prefer paperback. Hardcover is annoying because the flap thingymajig is always slipping out of place. Books come out in hardback here. They are more expensive, too, so it's good that I prefer paperbacks.

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