Sure enough, there was a small padded envelope next to the door. Too small to be an actual book (and a little early in production, too) but it was from my publisher.
I wrestled with the plastic for a couple minutes, then gave up and went in the kitchen for a pair of scissors. I very carefully slit open the envelope and found two cover flats. Now that’s something worth answering the door in your bathrobe for!!
A cover flat – for those of you who don’t know – is a book cover before it’s folded around the printed pages. (Thus the name “flat.”) For promotional purposes, there is an extension on one end which contains additional information about the author, marketing bullet points, and a description of any special marketing plans from the publisher, among other things. In addition, it has sales and ordering information – ISBN, pack size (how many books in a case), number of pages, cover price, release date, etc. This is one of the tools the sales force uses when presenting the book to book store buyers.
The cover flat is usually the first time you see the actual cover design come together in one piece. It is the work of a cover designer, a person who takes the various elements and combines them into the eye-catching package that entices the buyer to pick up your book, carry it to the counter, and lay down their hard-earned dollars. In my case that job was done by Rita Frangie (as I mentioned earlier), and I am delighted with her work.
As you can see from the picture, she’s taken the cover art, the review quote (Thank you, Joyce & Jim Lavene!), the cover copy, and the Prime Crime logo, selected a typeface, arranged them with the title and author name, and other required elements (like the bar code), to create my cover. Which, in my not-so-humble-opinion, is really cool! Look closely, and you will see that she mirrored the front cover art on the back cover, underneath the box with the cover copy, and she took a little slice of the cover art and used it to decorate the spine – with one of the Airedales (I think it’s Buddha – Daisy would never sit that still!) displayed below the title.
(sigh - This post has been sitting for a week while I wrestled with my scanner, in order to post a scan of the full cover flat. Alas, the scanner has taken 2 falls out of three, and I am posting without the scan, so as not to delay any longer. Don't you just love technology? Scan will follow if I can ever figure this out!)
All in all, I am way happy with everything that has gone into this process. SINK TRAP is getting closer to the bookstore every day. There are several more steps along the way, and fun stuff to come.
Stay tuned, there's more to come. And a couple surprises in the next week, I promise!!