off with their heads

You see it everywhere. Girls posed like furniture, standing solo or in a herd of lookalikes....minus their heads. Who chopped the skulls off the girls on YA paperbacks? The blog, BookBurger, asks the same question. It's like a Billy Idol song: books without a face.

Some find them dehumanizing, but I've never had a problem with them. I assume the girls are headless for a reason. Everyone wants to conjure their own picture of the protagonist. That's why movie adaptations of books often let me down. "That's not the way I pictured it!" is my usual complaint.

Imagine my surprise when HarperCollins emailed the latest version (third time's the charm) of my cover. They scrapped the illustrative layout and opted for a more mature, photographic design...with a face. Yes, a full face. It's a bleary girl in profile (impressionistic so that readers still have room to imagine their version of my main character).

So my book flaunts a gorgeous new pastel cover...with a face...and the title in bold letters that remind me of construction paper cutouts. The quote from my literary goddess is there, too. I think this design is a go (seems like everyone in the publishing house must approve it first). I will post a picture of it as soon as my editor grants me permission.

The advanced reading copies of Total Constant Order are almost ready to hit reviewers. I'm still thinking about hiring a freelance publicist to carry the slack. Until then, I'll be meeting with the Harper publicity team in March to discuss our plan of attack.