In an effort to talk exhaustively about the Novel (by now, you know which one I mean), today I'm going to give you a sneak peek at the cover. You will, I hope, forgive me as I wring every last drop of trivia from this conversation about Fobbit. I am, after all, a hyper-excited debut novelist and I'm only going around on this particular carousel one time, so I think I'm entitled to these spontaneous Happy Jigs at every new step of the process. By the time the second novel comes around, I'm sure you'll be calling me Mr. Cool Cucumber.
The mustard-colored cardboard envelope arrived on my porch just like all the other mustard-colored envelopes I get from publishers every day. But this one was different--it was from Grove/Atlantic. And it was flat. Unless it was How to Win a War by George W. Bush, there was no way this could be a book.
I opened the envelope and this is what came out:
At first I was alarmed, thinking the UPS truck had driven over my book and squashed it flat. But then I realized my editor was sending me a mock-up of Fobbit's covers--everything but the 372 pages to go between them. If you don't already know by now, Fobbit will be released as a trade paperback and will have French flaps (oo la la!). I always knew the physical artifact of my book would be a thing of beauty, but this mock-up took it to the next level of loveliness for me.
I sat there holding the cover, rubbing it between my fingers like it was a crisp $1,000-dollar bill (which, if enough of you buy the book on September 4, it very well could be). I stared at it for what must have been a good 15 minutes, long enough for my wife to pop her head into the room several times, her eyebrows going higher on her forehead each time. But I ask you, what debut novelist doesn't lavish the same amount of ooh and ahh over every baby step their new book takes? We're all holding onto the galloping carousel horse, hair streaming in the carnival breeze, laughing with giddy delight, enjoying this moment and knowing it will be over all too soon. One day in the not-too-distant future, we'll walk into a Barnes & Noble to find our pride and joy in the Bargain-Priced section, a pathetic $4.99 sticker on the cover. That's when I hope Future Me will remember this day, this exquisite moment when he opened an envelope and his flattened Fobbit fell out.
Here, then, is an anatomy of the cover:
|Front French Flap|
|Back French Flap|