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Yesterday publisher HarpersCollins released the cover for novelist Harper Lee’s new novel Go Set A Watchman, the eagerly awaited story that features characters from the To Kill A Mockingbird twenty years later. The New York Times described the cover as “a melancholy image of a dark tree with sparse yellow leaves against a dusky blue sky, with a train approaching from the distance.” The image is meant to reflect the main character’s journey home. The Times noted that Lee’s novel was already selling briskly in pre-orders even without disclosure of the cover art.
Less-anticipated releases must rely on first impressions, starting with the book cover. What will motivate bookstore browsers and online scanners to take a closer look at a new volume? What choice of color, design balance, font type, and images will compel potential readers to explore further?
What if the book is an historical biography of an early woman physician who challenges social and gender norms, speaks her mind, fights with police in the streets, nurtures intimate relationships with women, and opposes economic injustice? Someone like Marie Equi?
Publishers make the final choice of a cover in consultation with the author, and the process is underway for my biography MARIE EQUI Radical Politics & Outlaw Passions. Curiosity prompted me to pull from the bookshelf the biographies of women who were Equi’s contemporaries and friends. Each presents a vision and hopes to pique a reader’s interest.
Watch here for an upcoming release of the cover of MARIE EQUI.
Author Historian Activist