Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm Covered!

Hey, lovies! My publishing houses have got me covered in a major way. Check it out!

This is the new Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man, ala Howard Books/Simon and Schuster. I actually had them design a cover with Jazz looking like I described him in the book (he can pass for White). But a lot of the people I showed the cover to GOT MAD! They kept saying, "Why did they make Jazz White?" I said, "Um, because he looks that way." But that didn't satisfy them. They wanted Jazz looking BLACK! They didn't care how he really looks! I folded and asked the art department to give me a more "ethnic", read that as "Black looking" Jazz so as not to cause a riot among these people. If I ever get a re-design, I'm going to insist that he looks like he does in the books, Mr. United Nations. But that guy is cute! Not as cute as Jazz, but...

And check out Bell! Honestly, she wouldn't wear her hair like that. You know she's into natural styles, to the horror of Carly and her mom. She probably wouldn't do that skirt either. She also wouldn't run in heels since she can scarcely stand in them. But she'd RAWK that purse!

Here is the cover for Death, Deceit, and Some Smooth Jazz. Notice Jazz doesn't look so happy on this one. I'd be ticked off too if I caught a case for killing my ex!

Hey! Did he kill his ex, skanky Kate???

I'll guess you'll have to wait until April to see!

I kinda think Bell is a little tall and skinny and, um, not like Bell here. But that's just me. And speaking of me, I'd say Bell looks a lot like me. And she oddly has my birthday. And skin color. And a good many of my thoughts, only she wears a size 10 and I wear a size 16! But hey, in books you can pretend to be somebody else and be a lot more fabulous than you are in real life.

Here they've got the braids right, but what is with the heels? It's a running joke in the books that Bell always trips in heels. They're a hazard to us! Whoops! I mean they're a hazard to her.

Now, you've seen this one for Zora and Nicky before, but personally, it's my favorite. Not that they didn't do a good job with the Amanda Bell Brown Mystery book covers, but I had the first set of covers from the ill-fated NavPress versions to compare them to. I think I'm still mourning those artful, fantastic covers, where Bell looked like me, even though she was a cartoon and her hair on the Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man cover was all wrong. And Death, Deceit, and Some Smooth Jazz had a SUGAR GLIDER on the cover! And it was purple! The cover that is, not the sugar glider, though he may have been purple, too. That was soooo cool.

But I'm sure I'll get used to these new covers and come to love them.


Please say right. Humor me!

Anyway here's Zora and Nicky. I'm gonna show it to you, again. Yes, the Design Works Group and David C. Cook put their foot in that one! I got to meet the geniuses behind this funky cover at ICRS. Wooo Hooo!
That doesn't mean this cover was without it's own drama. In the first version, Nicky, the guy, had these eyebrows that made him look like a serial killer to me. I asked them to change it. He was cute, but I needed Nicky to be a real hottie! So they gave me another Nicky. And uh, Zora would so not have that weave! But you know. What can you do!? Sistah do rawk those weaves, and these are stock photos. Nobody was going to spend a decade finding the perfect people in my mind.

Anyway, every reader brings to a book their own vision of what the characters look like. Your Jazz ain't mine, and so on. But it makes me wonder, if you saw these characters, would they stick in your mind as you read, even if the descriptions in the books are clearly different? Because the psychology behind cover designs is PICK UP THE BOOK! The images are made to compel you to pick it up and purchase before you read it. It's not necessarily true to the authors vision.

Anyway, you can pre-order these books, and covers! On Amazon! I'm getting a little excited. Can you tell??? I'm a writer! I'm a real writer!!! I'm on Amazon!!!! Even though you so won't see any of these covers posted on there yet. They're coming, lovies. And so are some fun reads, so hook a sistah up and pre-order.

Mwah! <-- that's a big ol' kiss, not a foreign language. And hey, tell me what YOU think.

Love ya!


Robin said...

Oh, my, Mair...gimme just a LITTLE of what you've got, girlie-Q :). Your adrenaline is flowing torrents all the way to Tennessee!

YOU compel me, that's why I'm picking up your books, but you're right, if I didn't "know" you (as is the case with 99% of the authors I read), a cover could get me to pick up a book. Or a title. And I guess, out of the author's control, placement in the store.

So pleased you're getting (apparent?) marketing support...isn't that crucial to success? Especially in the early days of "becoming..."?

Looking forward to being a spectator in your's gonna be (and already has been) a fun ride :).

Shanna said...

Maybe these are the "inner Bells" of her imagination...the woman she'd like to be if she had the courage. But you'll have to make the call on that.

I'm pre-ordering them all!

Very, very exciting. Wish I was there to hug you silly!

Heather said...

On the one hand, i think i did like the NavPress one better because I was able to picture my jazz and bell more, but on the other hand, it was borderline chicklit, which i really don't read. as a general rule, i don't like actual pics of people on the cover, unless you can't see the faces. it ruins my pics.
it is amazing how much a cover does affect readers, what i'll pick up or leave on the shelf.
but i loved the first book i read of yours and am sold for life.

Paula said...

They are great! Zora and Niki is my fav, too.

I'm with you in that I'm grieving those artsy covers of your first publishing round with the Bell series, but these work. Maybe we just need to grieve the old look and embrace the new. They ARE shnazzy, as my daughter would say.

Jan Parrish said...

Hey Mair,

I have one the first issues. Ordered it used on Amazon 'cause I'm broke after both my kids got married this summer. Now I wish I had the new covers. Yeah, Bell is not like I pictured and neither is Jazz but it's good that he wasn't full face so we can "Make up our own Jazz." These covers are a definate improvement and will draw more people in.

Great tension. I've already blamed you for keeping me up 'til 2 am twice. :)

Elysa said...

Ooooohhh....I am so happy for you. The covers and titles would definitely prick my interest.

I agree, Jazz needs to be lighter and I do picture Bell as being more voluptuous and wasn't she supposed to be shorter? But regardless, she's a strong looking, attractive woman and folks are going to fall in love with her just like I did!

BIG "I'm so happy for you" KISSES!!!!!!!!


Joey Quinton said...

Congratulations, Miss Published Author!!! Will you autograph my copies?!?!?!? Love ya!

P.S. Now I would like to see a book of poetry released by the lovely Ms. Claudia Mair Burney!

upwords said...

Honey, you ARE a real writer and not just because you're on Amazon. (Mostly because you can write your butt off, well some of it anyway. Gotta keep a little booty. :) As for the covers and you coming to love them, you might...

Or not.

But we'll always love you and all your books too. So excited, sis. So excited. I love them all! Wow, I sound like a groupie. I guess I am! LOL

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

Okay, the Murder cover is MUCH better than the last version I saw. Not the NavPress version, which rocked the casbah, but the other "real people" version where he looked like the Riddler. :) Anyway...I CAN'T WAIT TO GET MY COPIES!!! And then I'm sending them to you to sign them. :)

Wes said...

Did bfast this AM with your publisher, D.P, from the Cook crew. He is really excited about Zora and Nickey...eager to see and read it. You go.......!

Amanda said...

When I saw this covers, I thought of THIS BLOG.

Congratulations on your covers! They are great.

I can't wait until the books are actually in my hands (especially Death, Deceit, and a Fine Man, which I've been waiting for foreva' LOL!).

Joni said...

They're different, but definitely have great personality, just like your books and writing...and you!

I'm so excited for you!

spwriter said...

Hey, these are lovely covers, my friend. But of course it's what's inside that really matters. And I KNOW that's good stuff.

Rel said...

They catch the eye, that's for sure :) I'm a bit of a stickler for cover models looking like their descriptions in the book too, but hey, people don't know that when they first see the cover and I think these ones will reel them in to say nothing of the writing inside!!!!! Hope I get a chance to review Death,Deceit and Zora and Nicky for you :)