Escape to the Country.

I’d like to welcome Patsy to my blog to tell us about her debut novel – Escape to the Country.  If you’ve read Patsy’s short stories in Woman’s Weekly or The Weekly News, or My Weekly, then you will be, like me, looking forward to reading her first published novel.  Hoping it’s the first of many Patsy, and thank you for your blog where we all get lots of links to competitions.  I don’t think anyone will mind that you won this one….

Can you judge a book by its cover?
Publishers spend time, money and effort producing covers for books, although it would be quicker and easier to simply print the title, author name, ISBN and price onto a plain background. Doing that would be of some help to the reader. If we already knew the author’s work we could guess whether we might like to read something else by them. The title might give a few clues – ‘The Princess who Seduced a Bricklayer’ is likely to be rather a different story from ”Zombies on a Spaceship’. I don’t think that would be enough to tempt most people to read a book they hadn’t heard of by an author they hadn’t heard of.
How about printing the title onto a genre specific background colour? Pink for romance, I suppose and something the shade of putrefying flesh for zombie stories and blue for erotica. But I digress… This doesn’t happen; books have cover artwork on the front and writing on the back. Does any of this matter?
The blurb on the back is probably the most read part of any book. I’m sure it’s not just me who bases many of my reading decisions on those few paragraphs. While it’s true that decision might be not to read, in the long run I think it’s better for everyone if people don’t repeatedly buy books they don’t enjoy.
What about the cover artwork then. What can that tell us? I used to think the answer was ‘not much’ until the publishers of my book ‘Escape to the Country’ asked me for suggestions. It hadn’t occurred to me I’d get a say (I understand new authors often don’t) so I wasn’t prepared. There’s an important scene in the book that’s sort of repeated so I felt an illustration of that would be good – and said so.
Then I panicked. The scene I’d described was dark (black and brown, not suicide pact like) my book is light and romantic. People who liked the cover might not enjoy the story. I tried to think if there were any books I’d read just after glancing at the cover. There were – I first discovered JD Robb because there was an image of a snowdrop on the cover of one book so I picked it up (and then read the blurb on the back – but I’d not have got that far with a sci-fi book if it hadn’t been for the snowdrop). There were other examples, all of them involving something pretty. My cover wasn’t going to be pretty!
Fortunately Phillip Grizzell who actually designed the cover isn’t an idiot. He used my suggestion to create something that I feel sums up the book quite well. It’s fun, light and romantic – I hope readers will agree the story is too.
Thanks for that glimpse of what’s to come Patsy.  I must add that Patsy wrote in nice paragraphs, somehow it’s all closed up, never mind, I’m sure you get the picture.  Good luck with your lovely book Patsy that I can’t wait to read.  If it’s anywhere like your short stories, then we won’t be dissapointed.

Author: susanjanejones

I write pocket novels for My Weekly and also enjoy writing short stories. Gardening and reading are my other pastimes.

30 thoughts on “Escape to the Country.”

  1. Oooh, Patsy’s book has such a gorgeous cover illustration – I like the font they’ve used, too.
    Looking forward to reading it!


    1. You’re more than welcome Patsy, I’m commenting on comments, I think I should butt out though. Great to see your fans gathering to support your blog tour Patsy, we’re all on the march with you now.

  2. Kitty tried to leave a comment but couldn’t log into wordpress. She says –

    “Hello Sally, hello lovely Patsy! Wow!! My first time to test my Patsy Collins stalking skills! LOL!

    But seriously!! I think your cover says: bright, breezy, fun and utterly romantic and great with a hot chocolate and an iced bun!

    Yay for you!! Take care
    x “

    1. Kitty, I have the same problem sometimes logging in and commenting, that’s why I have two blogs. You are official, Patsy’s No1 stalker, I think I come a close second;))) We’re just so happy for her aren’t we?

  3. Hi Susan .. I had to log in to WP – I do have an a/c .. just had to remember the p/w – luckily I did!! Patsy’s book looks really interesting and I’m sure I’ll read it sometime soon .. good luck with the tour – it’s going to be a wonderful year for you. Cheers Hilary

    PS I had to re log in to WP again .. but this time saved it .. so perhaps I won’t have to next time … I don’t usually have to log in to WP blogs … one more blog quirk in life! … still we are lurking in the country!

    1. Thanks, Debbie.

      Kent is a beautiful county so it was no hardship to visit and write and edit a fair bit of the book there.

      The farm and village the story is mostly set in is ficticious, but I hope it feels like a place you could find down a pretty lane in Kent.

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