I like the way they look on my bookshelf: Sarabande, Conjure Woman’s Cat, Eulalie and Washerwoman, Lena, Widely Scattered Ghosts, and Special Investigative Reporter.
En route to becoming hardcovers, each book requires a cover design and that’s a bit tricky because the size and layout of the cover depend on the number of pages in the book. The cover for A Distant Flame certainly won’t fit on a Southern Storm or A Stillness at Appomattox. Unlike the paperback, there’s also the space on the front and back cover flaps to consider as well. The dust jacket proof looks like this:
If you plan to keep a book and read it multiple times, hardbacks usually last a lot longer than paperbacks. Of course, that makes them suitable for libraries. Unfortunately, libraries don’t usually keep the book jackets. Traditionally, the purpose of the book jacket was to protect the book, but we haven’t figured out how to protect the book jackets from library patrons who often use the flaps as bookmarks (and other crimes).
Technically, I know how the dust jacket should be set up. But, practically speaking, forget it. That’s one of the many reasons those of us at Thomas-Jacob Publishing are lucky to have, in Melinda Clayton, a managing editor who bit the bullet–or a handful of bullets–and mastered the nitty-gritty details. Clayton, who is also an outstanding author (Appalachian Justice), does all the interior book formatting for each edition of each book as well as the covers. Thank you, Melinda!
Since she’s just finished up all the work for Special Investigative Reporter, I’m going to let some time go by before I suggest that my next novel might be as large as Southern Storm (see photo above).