Monday, August 19, 2013

An Author's Perspective on Her Book Cover

Guest post from Carol Moreira, author of YA fantasy, Membrane (Fierce Ink Press) about Membrane’s cover art
Hi, thanks for having me on your site. I thought I’d talk about Membrane’s cover because I love it and think Nova Scotia-based designer Anne Verge did an amazing job. I should point out that I haven’t had an in-depth discussion with Anne about the Membrane cover, so this post is mostly my interpretation of Anne’s interpretation of my book!
I was thrilled when I first saw the potential covers from Anne ( Anne created six possible covers and they were all excellent, but I and the editors at Fierce Ink Press all felt that some version of her girls-in-a-globe design would work best for Membrane.  
We felt that way because Membrane opens with Tanya, a 16-year-old from Nova Scotia, breaking through the membrane that separates our world from a parallel universe where she meets her genetic double, who is far more confident and together than she is. The two doppelgangers don’t get on at first, but become friends as they battle threats posed by beings from other universes.
For the cover, Anne used an image of a globe, split into two halves, that floats against a dark background. Each half contains a mirror image of the same girl as well as a looming background tree and a night-time moon. The globe and identical girls represent the parallel universes and parallel girls in the story. Some physicists theorize that parallel universes lie within giant cosmic soap bubbles, so the globe is a good fit for that theory.
The globe also creates a sense of claustrophobia. The head and neck of each girl rise from the centre of the globe; one looking up, the other down. The girls seem to be emerging from water, but in this case the liquid represents the membrane through they travel to parallel worlds.  The girls look confined in their respective halves of the globe, and at various points in the story each does become trapped in another world so that is very effective.
The upper half of the globe is coloured a night-time blue, the lower half is an earthy brown. Both colours leach slightly into the darkness of the surrounding cover, suggesting that they are separate universes within the multiverse.
Anne’s choice of colours is evocative and mysterious. As well as the black background and earthy brown and moody blue of the globe, she has used a pretty, pale blue for the title and author name. Outside the globe, she has incorporated scattered blue symbols, representing DNA, stars and space. The symbols look great against the dark background and refer to the book’s genetic and multiverse themes. 
The book’s title is written in lower case with a drop of something liquid spilling from the first ‘e’ in ‘membrane’ to suggest the membrane’s stickiness. Anne has put the author name close to the title, presumably in order to maximize the impact of the dark background. She’s also kept the prominence of the title by making the author name upper case as well as smaller and paler than the word ‘membrane’.
When laying out the text, Fierce Ink editor Kimberly Walsh also used DNA and star images on the inside pages, which make the book look even more beautiful and compelling.
It’s amazing how talented designers are able to combine their own ideas and concepts with those of the writer and publishing team to create artwork that represents the book and – hopefully – attracts readers to it.    

You can’t outrun the membrane ...

For Tanya turning sixteen sucks. Her former friend Rachel is bullying her, the love of her life doesn’t know she exists and her self-esteem isn’t exactly sky-high. Things go from bad to worse when she gets slimed at a bus stop and finds herself in an alternate universe and faced with another version of herself.

Her alternate universe double is cool and confident, if a bit bossy. P — short for Princess because in Tanya’s eyes she is one — is part of an organization called Resist. Trained in tactical defense, Resist is preparing for an invasion by the Others. But are the Others really mobilizing to take over P’s universe or has there been some kind of galactic miscommunication?

On the other side of the membrane, who can Tanya trust to make it back to her universe alive?

MEMBRANE is available at StorenvyAmazonKoboiTunes and other retailers.

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