We all know that we’re not meant to “judge a book by its cover.” But we often do. We’re judgement machines, aren’t we? Encounter a person, a place, or pick up a book and we’re immediately forming opinions. In the book publishing world—back in the olden days—the common wisdom is that we have seven seconds to sell a book. A reader connects with the image on the cover, picks up the book, looks at the back, and reads the copy on the inside flap. Does she take it up to the counter? Or does she put it back down and move onto the next book?
Of course, books are sold in all kinds of ways, places, and formats. And many people are reading electronically, so that experience of shopping or browsing for a book has changed. But one thing hasn’t changed. The all-important cover image.
UNDER MY SKIN is my sixteenth novel, so I’ve had the experience of seeing the cover image for the first time, well, sixteen times. It’s always exciting, the anticipation of how the art department has chosen to express the essence of the novel. But it hasn’t always been pretty. When the cover of The Darkness Gathers first arrived, it was splashed with bright neon colors. My editor took pains to let me know how happy they were with this departure, and how the book would really stand out on the shelf. I’ll say. Luckily, that cover changed before publication. So … you never know what to expect.
When I first saw the US cover for UNDER MY SKIN, I loved it immediately — edgy, atmospheric, with some bold colors popping in the dark, the shadow of a woman’s form. I just assumed the UK would use the same image or some variation. But they had their own unique vision, and it’s equally stellar. Australia followed soon after, a gorgeous variation on the UK image. I’m loving these glittery, ephemeral packages, the color, the lashes of a sleeping eye.
I’m excited to share them with you here:
Even if you were to judge this book by its various gorgeous covers, I think we’ll be okay. Happy reading!