readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cover Stories + Contest: Year of the Horse by Justin Allen

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This week, author Justin Allen is sharing his epic Cover Story for Year of the Horse on my blog, and he's giving away a signed copy of the book! Read on, and comment with your thoughts on melissacwalker.com--then you're entered!

Here's Justin:

"What many readers don't realize about cover designs is just how little input authors officially get. Heck, most times we don't even get final say in the book's title. Really! That's true! By contract, the cover and title are both part of the marketing of a book, meaning that final say goes with the publisher. Authors get to cast their two cents in, and I suppose you could cry and stamp your feet if you REALLY hated something. But the design is mostly out of your hands. More often than not, that's probably for the best...

"The story behind the cover of my latest novel, Year of the Horse, is sort of unusual. Overlook Press went through 5 - count 'em, FIVE! - completely different cover designs over the course of a year, searching for exactly the right image to hopefully make the book just leap off the shelves. Did they succeed? Time will tell..."

Read the full Cover Story. There's actually a ton of discussion going on in the comments already. The book has a bunch of multi-cultural characters, and the title refers to the Chinese heritage of one of them, so there's talk of whether this cover includes them, or whether it registers as simply the traditionally white American West...


Lorie Ann Grover said...

Seems quite retro, male-oriented, and white at first glance. Hm.

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