Friday, 4 May 2012

Not just a pretty face

They say one shouldn't judge a book by its cover. But let's be honest, we all do, don't we? So when it came time to decide on the cover for Misfortune Cookie I gave it a tremendous amount of thought. I wanted a cover that conveyed the story, about Hannah making the leap to move to Hong Kong, possibly with disastrous consequences. The illustration needed to tie in with the title. I wanted it to highlight the most iconic parts of the city. And I wanted it to reflect the book's style: romantic comedy, aka chick lit.

After bouncing several ideas around with my agent and my cover designer, we came up with the design. It took several iterations to get the colours right, but I was happy with the result. I liked the richness of the colours, the figure's thoughtful pose and the way it really offset the Hong Kong skyline (and that IS the view from Hutong, my favourite restaurant, and the location of a pivotal scene in the book).

So we uploaded it.

And the more I saw it the more convinced I became that it wasn't a traditional chick lit cover. Which may be fine. But then again, maybe it's not. Maybe it was missing one of the elements I wanted it to convey. Maybe it wasn't chicklity enough.

Chick lit detractors will shudder at the idea that any writer would want to pinkify her book, but then, chick lit detractors don't read chick lit, so they don't know how we judge our covers. I set about reworking the colour scheme, and this was the end result. 

What do you think?

Oh, and I also shaved down The Peak behind Hong Kong to accommodate the title. Apologies to residents for making a molehill out of your mountain.


  1. The new cover is certainly a brighter overall. And truth be told, I'd probably go for the "pinker" version too. :) Either way, it's a great story.

  2. Thanks Kat, I think pinker is more eye-catching, and it's more striking when you look at it in its teeny tiny thumbnail on Amazon.

  3. I really liked the first cover. But now that I've seen the second...

    I think you made the right choice. The darker version seems to make the meaning of "Misfortune" play darker than it should. In the new version, it's "happier", and from an Art Direction point of view, the colors in the title draws your eye to the glass of wine--and the cookie--much more effectively.

    On the other hand... the original cover makes it seem like Hannah is contemplating her day while evening falls on the city. ...while the new cover looks a lot more like dawn to me. I suppose it MIGHT be construed as Hannah having wine with breakfast...but who hasn't done THAT!

  4. Thanks AuVox, I did wonder if lightening it made Hannah look like a morning drinker! But hopefully the context (wine, updo and dress) and the sparkly lights in the buildings convey dusk. If I get lots of angry emails saying I'm promoting morning drinking I may have to airbrush out the wine in favour of a cup of coffee :-)

  5. Great choice with the brighter cover!

  6. The second cover looks brighter!
    Although I loved the first when I saw it :)
    I love reading chicklit...hope I get to find your book in a Nigerian bookshop!
    Much love :)


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