Monday, January 21, 2008

You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover. . .

. . .Or can you???





Today, I've held in my hand copies of our FIRST (ever) cycle of Heartsong Presents--MYSTERIES! Be still my heart! I know my joy can't compare to that of the authors'/creators', but seeing hardcopy proof of our labors leaves me with a mighty good feeling.


There's no mistaking these books for pure romances, that's for sure. (Even though each one has its share of love brewing.) One glance at these covers and titles and the prospective reader can pretty well peg the genre--Recipe for Murder, Mysterious Incidents at Lone Rock, Homicide at Blue Heron Lake, and then there is the quirkier Trouble Up Finny's Nose, with its cover art depicting the boots of the story's poor victim poking up from the Finny town square fountain. In future cycles, we'll see titles such as, Murder on the Ol' Bunions, Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket a Casket, and Pride and Pestilence, to name just a few.


Some authors start a writing project with their title already written at the top of page one. Others wait until the very end to give their manuscript a name. . . Okay, this reminds me of the day I was scheduled to be released from the hospital after giving birth to our third son. They wouldn't let me go home until I gave that poor baby a name. Having been confident I was going to finally give birth to a girl, I refused to even consider boy names. The joke was on me. Here's a dark family secret: we named our youngest son by reading through credits of a Tuesday afternoon rerun of Emergency until we came across a name my husband and I both liked.

As an author, you may have sweat great drops of blood to come up with just the right title to your book. . .only to have your editor change it. Before you go throwing darts at your editor's picture or jabbing pins into a doll made into her image, try to understand the dilemma in which your editor may find herself. If your book is one of four book club selections, the editor needs to make sure there is a good variety of titles releasing together. Perhaps the cover art will influence the title direction for your book. As hard as it may sometimes be, trust your editor to assign your baby the perfect name.

--SKD

12 comments:

Janet Spaeth said...

I am so anxious to read these! They look absolutely yummy.

I can't wait to see them in my own mailbox....

Crystal Laine Miller said...

Can't wait to read these!Congrats to the authors!

I do hope this line is very successful and am praying it is well received.

squiresj said...

The book cover does a lot to draw readers to it. It used to me in the past. But as I've gotten to know a lot of Authors this past year, I am now drawn more by the Author's name and what I read on back or flaps about the book. I have just ordered these books. God Bless.

Kaye Dacus said...

The covers are fabulous!!! I can't wait to get my copies, because I know the stories inside will be even better!

Mary Connealy said...

I think the covers and titles are so fun. You are taking a terrific approach to this line, Susan.

Interesting Title Tidbit. I had a multi-pubbed author tell me her publisher changed a title they told her they loved because the first letter of one of the word didn't look good in the font they wanted to use.
She's learned not to get attached to her titles.
So something as small as that can influence a decision.

Erica Vetsch said...

You've got me so curious as to what you named the baby. Randolph Mantooth? Robert Fuller?

The books look wonderful. I love how the pictures make you feel as if you were peeking in on a secret, behind the curtains, inside the gate, through a window. Very clever.

The Barbie Girls said...

We named our youngest son KEVIN. I think the actor's name was Kevin Mantooth? Boy, that was over 30 years ago now, so I could be slipping. LOL We had decided if we had a girl her middle name would be MATTHEA--the feminine version of MATTHEW, which means "A gift from God," so we just switched to the male version for our livewire son. He's lived up to the Gift from God part, that's for sure. Always fun and a great encourager!

The Barbie Girls said...

Ah, I was wrong. Not Kevin Mantooth. Must have been this guy: Firefighter/Paramedic Roy DeSoto was played by actor Kevin TIGHE.
(I know nothing about this guy's character, so don't crush me by telling me he's a crud-bum.)

Pam Hillman said...

Great covers! Perfect for the cozy mystery genre. Congratulations, Barbour, on the launch of an exciting new line of books!

Martha W. Rogers said...

The books look great! Can't wait to read them.

I had to laugh at your naming experience. The exact same thing happened to me with our third son. I couldn't believe we had another boy! We had no name picked out. Finally, after the nurse pestered me two days for a name on the birth certificate, we called home and asked son #2 because he's the only one who wanted a little brother. He named his brother for us.

Congratulations on getting the series out. Hope we'll have them coming for many years ahead.

Martha

Katy McKenna said...

Susan, Ha! We named our youngest son Kevin, too, but it was completely predetermined. And since it was only 23 years ago, we probably wouldn't have been watching Emergency re-runs to bail us out on the naming process. In fact, my mother and sisters and I were watching "The Guiding Light" in the labor room two hours before his birth. Kind of surprised we didn't name the boy Josh, since Josh and Reva were having one of their famously funny fights that day..... :)

Your line of books is gorgeous! Major congrats on seeing them born and named! I've joined the club and can't wait till they're delivered to my doorstep.

Katy McKenna www.fallible.com

Darlene Franklin said...

Yeah for the book launch! What a boon for mystery fanatics ... like me!

As for titles ... I keep expecting to be asked to change my title. Aside from changing "Murder" to "Puzzle" in my third mystery, it hasn't happened yet.