Vote on My Book’s Cover!

When I announced last week that I am going to be publishing my novel, I was so thrilled and thankful to receive so many messages of support and encouragement from you all! That really makes this process a bit less scary and much more exciting. I really can’t wait to share with you this thing that has been such a big part of my life for several years now. I want to include you all in every step of the way, and I hope you’ll join me!

The first big thing on the agenda (and one of the most fun, I think!) is choosing a book cover design! My talented husband, Toby, drafted up some design options and we’ve narrowed it down to our top three. I would love for you to help choose the favorite!

So here’s the deal, I’m presenting below our top three candidates, and a draft of the back cover copy for your reference. Please select YOUR FAVORITE ONE and let me know via comment here on the blog, on Facebook, or Instagram (only one comment per person, please), and everyone who comments will be automatically entered in a giveaway for one winner to receive an advance copy of my ebook AND a special surprise gift from Thailand, as a thank you for your support.

Okay, are you ready?

Here is Book Cover Option A:

cover-aAs many potential buyers will be coming across the book online or via their e-readers, here’s what the thumbnail version, in color and black & white, will probably look like:

cover a_thumbBook Cover Option B:

cover-bAnd the thumbnail:

cover b_thumbBook Cover Option C:

cover-cAnd the thumbnail:

cover c_thumbWhich one would you be most likely to pick up? And should I be so lucky as to have captured your attention with my book cover, here is a draft of what you’ll find on the back cover:

In a sleepy riverside town in the heart of Thailand, Ae Lin, a former Bangkok bar girl determined to put a painful history behind her, pours her passions into her new coffee shop and her resolve to create a life of her own making. But the past comes to find her in the form of an estranged and angry sister who insists she fulfill one remaining family obligation: to visit and pay respect to their dying father – which is the last thing she wants to do. As Ae Lin grapples with the desire to flee and the pressures to return, she meets Sai Kyin, a refugee from Burma, who had no choice but to leave home and all he loved behind. Prompted by the guidance of Luang Paw, a rather unconventional Buddhist monk, the stories of Ae Lin’s and Sai Kyin’s traumas converge as their memories unfold, in a tale about what happens to the fallen and what it takes to heal.

The Yellow Suitcase is an exploration of the devastating effects of dark family secrets where the lines between victim and perpetrator, and innocence and guilt, become increasingly blurred. The novel offers a poignant and heartbreaking portrait of the deepest kinds of betrayal, and a thoughtful rumination on forgiveness, healing, and the power of truth.

“…effectively examines the prostitutes’ difficult lives, outlining the terror, boredom, sisterhood and despair of their daily routines….An intriguing fictional look at Third World sex workers.” – Kirkus Reviews

Voting will be open for one week, ending on Tuesday, August 19. I’ll announce the giveaway winner and the winning book cover next week! Thanks again to everyone for your support!

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30 thoughts on “Vote on My Book’s Cover!

  1. I like A: becuase I know the real suitcase, and feel the case. Dad likes B because of it represents the story itself.

  2. A) Is the best design, but the green is to dark….. if you left it totally the same but made the green a pale cream and pale yellow stripe with green letters, the design would be strong and seductive!

  3. A. B was a close second, but I'm not sure how many people would immediately recognize it as a map of Thailand (sadly).

  4. I choose B!!!!!!!!!!!! Though A is close contender. I'm saddened by Allyson's comment that some people might not recognize cover B as a map of Thailand.

    • It's possible, especially taken out of context, like if you just picked up the book in the store without knowing me and before reading the back cover copy….though one hopes that once people know the setting, they'd figure out what it was. It's okay if they don't know immediately though….I think the question is how likely it would be to make them pick it up in the first place. :)

  5. I vote for A :)

    Although A is a lot more literal to the title than B, I think it looks more like a professional book cover. I think the contrast of the light yellow suitcase with the dark green background is fantastic. Have you tried pulling the color from one of the lighter areas of the suitcase to use in the typeface? It would be a VERY subtle difference from the pure white, but might be worth trying out (then again, it could, potentially, end up looking terrible…haha).

    I agree that a lot of people won't recognize Thailand by its shape on the cover of B; however, not knowing what it is might spark people's curiosity enough to read the back cover. If you choose this cover, the only detail I would change is the tracking and kerning of the typeface (especially where the "i" and "t" connect), or use a completely different typeface altogether (check out http://www.dafont.com). Sorry if I'm sounding a bit more critical than most people–I took a lot of classes in typeface and layout at Brooks, and stuff like that sticks out like a sore thumb to me!

    I'm really happy for you and the completion of your first novel! So exciting! Best of luck with this!

    • Hahaha good point Mike about sampling from the suitcase… in fact, I did! But I lightened it up a bit more, too. #f9f9ee instead of #ffffff ;)

      And you're right on with the "i/t" kerning, though kerning a handwriting font is always an adventure in and of itself…

      Thanks for the critical feedback, it's very welcome.

      • No problem, Toby! You're right–kerning a handwriting font can prove to be a bit…challenging…haha. I figured that you had already tried sampling the yellow, but put it in there in the slight chance that you hadn't–you got this ;)
        Great job, and best of luck, you two! Miss ya!

  6. Wow! All of those are great. That said, I'd go with B and then C as second preference. I really like A, but it's less compelling to me as a book cover.

    Maybe it's just me, but my BS sensor starts flickering when I see a one-word pull-quote review – and doubly so when it's a word like "intriguing" that could be either 1- incredibly flattering and complimentary or 2- damning with incredibly faint praise. My $0.02 (or am I onto my 3rd cent?) would be to remove it or put a longer snippet.

    Data point, if it matters: I've never heard of Kirkus. (sorry?)

    • Kirkus is one of the industry standards, and since reviews aren't always cheap, I couldn't afford to "shop around" for the most favorable one. The longer quote is used on the back cover copy (I thought it would be too cluttered on the front). I must admit I was a bit ticked off when I got the review and found that the vast majority (like 85%) of the 500-some-odd word review was dedicated to summarizing my book. I KNOW what my book is about, thank you very much. Some more analysis and critique would have been much more appreciated. Anyway, I'm making a sample available for download for free. Hopefully that should give readers a good sense of whether the book is for them or not.

  7. My favorite is "A" for sure! Very drawn to the green, thought I think it would be interesting to see what Thomas' idea looks like . Maybe you'd get enough gree in the letters. So excited for you!!!

  8. Option A! No doubt! The story intrigued me a lot!! I've been to Thailand once and I never read a story settled in there… Unfortunately, the sex market there is sadly famous… You could give us, even in a fictional way, a new idea and help us to think about it.

  9. I love the first one – Option A. The tease of the partial suitcase, with its lock and tags, really intrigues and makes one want to find out more. :)

  10. I like B, A is a bit literal for my tastes I’m not as smart as most of those that read your blog so if I didn’t know you I would pick it up and be like “right, a yellow suitcase.” Where B allows me to create more story in my head maybe turning it over to read the back or even flip through it. Granted it could be covered with a hobos sack I’m still grabbing one.

  11. Jade, I like the first one, too. As a traveler and lover of those beat up old suitcases, that's the one I'm drawn to. I'm actually surprised I don't like the second one since I love Thailand so much, but it just didn't call to me the way the first one did.

  12. It depends what your novel is more about…. Option A seems like it may have some more depth to it, really feeling the nitty gritty of traveling and a deeper experience, and Option B reminds me of the 'chick flick lit' summer reads that are significantly lighter in nature. Option C is pretty but the others seem more real and less contrived. I guess I just voted for Option A :)