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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TUPAIA IN PRODUCTION: the jacket

Before I even finished writing the book, my editor at Praeger Books and his designer were working hard on the jacket. The publishers had already been in touch with me about filling in an Author Questionnaire, which includes every question imaginable that a journalist or reviewer might ask, and is the basic armory in the promotion of your book.  It can be a little intimidating to think up advertising copy for a book you haven't even completed yet, so this is where your original query letter (see post below) comes in handy.

I particularly wanted one of Tupaia's artworks to be featured on the cover, and the one I had in mind was of war canoes off a beach in Tahiti.  Tupaia was an enthusiastic character, very keen to share his privileged knowledge with his new friends, and was willing to pick up a pencil and sketch as he was talking, to help get his message across.  In this instance, he was describing the action on war canoes during battle, and in the throes of his driving excitement, he picked up a sketch he had made already, of a longhouse and trees, which is very reminiscent of certain tattoo designs.  He ruined the balance of the drawing by adding the canoes beneath the beach, but inadvertently provided a wonderful contrast between the careful style of the longhouse etc., and the spontaneity of the battle.    

The designer combined this with an equally eye-catching title, with great effect, in my opinion.

Now, for the jacket copy ....

3 comments:

Caron Dann said...

The cover is stunning. Thanks for sharing it! Are there any other artworks by Tupaia in the book? Are they exhibited anywhere?

Joan Druett said...

Really good to hear from you, Caron. Interesting questions, which demonstrate you are a great interviewer as well as a great writer, and merit a blog post.

Jamaica Rose said...

The cover is beautiful. I love the design and use of Tupaia's art. I look forward to the book.