OK, Damn France Book Focus Group, gather ’round.
Squint your eyes, or take off your glasses, or finish that coffee cup of breakfast tequila you’ve got by the keyboard there, whatever helps blur your vision enough so that when you take a look at the two covers that I’ve put together for your expert opinion you won’t notice the scotch tape and cat fur and crappy collaging.
Imagine that both covers are pristine versions of the slop that I’m showing here.
Imagine that each cover is on a 9-inch x 8-inch hardback book on the front table at your local independent bookstore.
Imagine that you are desperate.
Imagine that you are looking for a book that isn’t about vampires, circuses, autistic kids with talking dogs, women married to guys who travel through time, women married to guys who drive ironic Volvos, women married to guys who are vampires, women who solve crimes while joking about housework, or — please lord, not this — is a story narrated by a precocious 8,9,10,11, or 12-year-old girl.
Now, imagine yourself having to judge a book by its cover.
Which book would you buy?
I know, I know; I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Why the hell did Vivian put a Cynthia cardui butterfly on that second cover when it’s obvious that a Brenthis hectate is more uniquely French?????
Be assured that if I go with cover No. 2, that papillon will be une Nacre de la Filipendule, and not a Painted Lady, OK?
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.
You’re not finished yet.
You might have noticed that each cover has been designed so that there is ample room on the bottom for a blurb. (In cover No. 1, I have taken the liberty to blurb my own book myself, to show you all how it’s done.)
I have one last Advanced Reading Copy of the Damn France Book to send out on appeal for a blurb.
Who should I send it to? Who? Who?
Who‘s blurb has ever convinced you to buy a book? Who’s blurb matters to your own reading choices? And does it bug you as much as it makes me crazy that writers who did not write Eat, Pray, Love describe their friends’ books as “Another Eat, Pray, Love“? (I could name names, but there are already enough people out there who bitch that I always bite the hand that feeds me.)
(P.S. Gitana, I am of course hand-delivering an ARC to your friend when we meet in Seattle, not that your friend does blurbs, it’s just that I admire her taste in books and I can’t visit her empty-handed.)
All you have to do now is leave your vote for book cover in the Comments section below, along with your recommendation for a fabulous blurb, and you’re obligations as a Damn France Focus Group member are fulfilled and you are free to go make yourself another cup of “coffee”.