Voila: the cover of the paperback

Well, you recall that, earlier this summer, my publisher was fiddling with designs for the paperback version of Hannibal and Me, and you guys had some input.

I now see that the paperback is up on Amazon and on Penguin’s website (Penguin owns Riverhead), though it won’t be released until February 5, 2013 (13 months after the hardcover was released).

If you compare the actual to the earlier designs, you see that

  • the helmet has changed (become more fearsome) and
  • the “Us” in the subtitle has moved up one line, because it had caused such offense in its previous position.

Getting ready for the paperback

Even as reviews are still dribbling out — such as this one from South Africa — my publisher is preparing to launch Hannibal and Me in paperback.

I got an email with the two cover-jacket designs above that they’re choosing between. All that takes me back a year or so, when I first saw the hardcover jacket.

Your aesthetic opinions are welcome, as ever.

And so I discover my designer

Do you remember our little debate seven months ago (that long!), about the design on my book’s jacket cover?

As usual, you didn’t hold back. (And may that never change!) Thus dafna, for example:

… it has the right parts, but they are not in the right place nor in the right proportions for the reasons listed. a few tweaks and you might have had a more memorable cover…

And then, in a follow-up comment:

as a first time author, you were probably assigned to a designer, perhaps “junior designer” who was over-worked and under paid.

Well, as a connoisseur of irony, I can’t help but delight in the one I’ve just discovered. The first hardcover copies of Hannibal and Me are out now, and my agent and I were holding them in our hands for our first look at the real thing (a feeling you e-bookers will never know. 😦 )

And there, on the back flap, we saw it:

Jacket design by Devin Washburn/Rodrigo Corral design

Wow, said my agent, Rodrigo Corral is huge.

I wouldn’t know anything about this, but in the world of book design, that agency might be the Apple, or the Ferrari, or the Le Corbusier, or whatever might be the appropriate analogy. And I actually do see a certain visual DNA inheritance in my cover, compared to some of the others you see here, wouldn’t you say?

So Riverhead actually had shelled out for the best. I wonder how that might have influenced my own reaction, and yours, if we had known. Do weigh in.

The only puzzle remains: why did Riverhead not simply tell us?