A sidetrack from my usual book cover comments. Less on cover art and more about serendipity surrounding this particular book jacket.
After the “Genre Luncheon” at the YALSA Symposium in Nashville, all of the authors were posted around the edges of the room signing and giving out their books (free!).
It was kind of a mad dash… like a a big sale in a department store. I don’t have much stomach for that and looked for the lines that were a little less killer.
To my good fortune a line I wound up in was for Kristin O’Donnell Tubb. When it was my turn, I mentioned that I liked the scrapbook-y cover of Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different (Delacorte 2008). Kristin told me that she was actually going to be meeting the girl in the photograph on the cover the next week! She promised to send me a photo (see it below).
So there’s something I hadn’t considered. What’s it like for people who appear in stock photos on book covers? Do they feel compelled to read the book? What if the book becomes a sensation? What if Harry Potter had had a stock photo cover? Where would that person be today?
Maybe there’s the reason, after all, for the half-faces, the body parts, the strange croppings. It renders the subject a little less recognizable…
I’m guessing this – below – doesn’t happen often. Pretty cool.

9780385905589 meeting-amber-21

I haven’t gotten to read the book yet. But the other part of the serendipity of this book for me, is that the subject and story of the book have some close parallels to some things in my own life. Takes place in 1934 – my mother was born that year. It involves Autumn’s grandfather and the startup of Great Smoky Mountains National Park  – my grandfather was an early employee of the National Park Service, having gotten his start in the CCC, and worked at Mammoth Cave around the time that Autumn Winifred Oliver’s story takes place. You can see his story, written by my grandmother, here.

Here’s a book trailer for the book, put up by The Class of 2k8.


3 Responses to “Serendipity”

  1. I think you should do a “Best Covers of 2008” post!

  2. Yes, I have always wondered how these people ever walk into a Borders! When I was watching Maureen Johnson and John Green make jokes about the abnormally large Suite Scarlett book poster Maureen has in her house I wondered, is the person from the cover watching these youtube videos? How weird would it be to see yourself on these covers plastered all over bookshelves. Also, the covers of the gossip girl novels seem to have the same people on them, do you think they took the photos all at once? I really hope they aren’t replaced with their TV counterparts. I hate movie/TV show covers!

  3. I agree. I really dislike it when a movie comes out and then they reprint the book with a “movie” cover – what was wrong with the original cover?? I understand that the publishers are trying to target the audience that has only seen the movie and thinks, “Wait…that movie is a book?”, BUT covers are designed with a lot of thought (most of the time, anyway) and when you change the cover to match the movie you’ve lost all of that!

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