October 19, 2007

TGI...F? or S? Or?

FIRST! I have been DYING to show you this but it JUST got finalized and I JUST this second woke up with an email granting me permission to post it!!!! It is the UK cover of THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING. I… freaking….love…it. Love the font, love how SUSPENDED the girl looks, love the tea candles, love the fairy lights, love how my name is electric, lovelovelovelove.

UKtgwss.jpeg

DIGRESSION: I love how they used Sara Gruen’s quote on the front, too…I have this thing about blurbs…when I REALLY like a writer’s work, I LOVE seeing my blurb on their jacket. It makes me feel like I was in on a trend before it started or something. And conversely, I love seeing their name on my book. Makes me feel all legit and whatnot.

Here’s the weird: That UK version is one of those covers that evokes a theme and a mood that are vital to the story, and evokes them PERFECTLY, and yet…I feel the same about my US cover, and could they BE any different? (<---emphasis ala Chandler Bing) But still, the US cover (Which you can see HERE!) captures something about the book and makes it an image in a way that feels exactly right. I can look at BOTH those covers and I feel VERY different sets of emotions, but I felt both sets strongly in different places when writing that book. If I had to choose one or the other, I couldn’t. They are both big internal GLORY GLORY YES YES YES covers for me.

As Maisy would say, “That’s FWEAKY!”

I’d love to hear what you think. Which one looks more like a book you would pick up in a store? Why? Or, looking at them, what MOOD or feeling do you get? Do you see how they could be the same book? Are there any parallels you see? CORNELIA scammed an ADVANCE reader copy (she and I share a publisher so we often get our mitts on the other’s books early) so it will be interesting if she chimes in…

MEANWHILE….
HAPPY FRIDAY! I keep thinking it is Saturday because my kids are out of school for a national holiday called Teacher Planning. It is, I think, a day where teachers plan the second nine weeks, but that makes me sad. I used to be a teacher, and I think they ought to get a day to hole up with each other in karaoke bars and play cards and drink frozen belinnis until they feel silly and the only thing they should plan is how to de-stress enough in the next 24 hours to refrain from going all feral troll and lurking under bridges to snatch and gobble down their most horrifying and extra-sticky students. Good teachers are super-heroes, and THIS YEAR my kids have been blessed with two of the very very best ever. I am so happy with their teachers this year that I feel they deserve TEACHER PLANNING CRUISES.

But I digress. My point was…It is FRIDAY. I’ve been up since about three or so, going for Oscar in the role of “DROOLING INSOMNIAC FOOL,” and yesterday my kids wore REGULAR clothes instead of uniforms, and so it MUST have been FRIDAY. And so today must be Saturday, and twice now I have looked at my Calendar and clocked THIS:

Saturday, October 20th - Lawrenceville, GA
Gwinnett County Public Library Reading Festival - 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
1001 Lawrenceville Highway
Lawrenceville, GA 30045

SO then I think I need to be in Gwinette, and I have twice gone upstairs to pick out clothes based on GOING TO A FESTIVAL TO SPEAK IN FRONT OF PEOPLE, and then thought, oh but wait, is it Saturday? No, it is FRIDAY, and I need HOLING UP WITH MY WRITING GROUP clothes which feature lower shoes and a less binding waist, and then I get distracted and wander off still in my pajamas, and later I look at my calendar and go upstairs to pick out festival clothes.

I blame Mr. Husband.

See, every night, before we go to bed, he preps the coffee machine, so if insomnia wins and I go downstairs to WORK, I can be awake enough to actually get some writing done instead of staring my monitor with a slack jaw. HE DID NOT! HE FORGOT! So I had to make my own coffee, which always comes out like undrinkable tar or a pale amber fluid that looks like water a tea bag kissed lightly on the lips in passing. This was an undrinkable tar morning, and I only managed to gag down half a cup and so, you see, I was running on a single underfueled lurching cylinder.

A few minutes before I started blogging, Scott came downstairs and looked at me hunched miserably still in PJs and he realized he forgot to pre-set coffee and he said, “I sense a great disturbance in the force!’ and I said YODA! MAKE COFFEE YOU MUST! so now I am perkier ( DOH! Unintended pun!) and can maybe even go put APPROPRIATE CLOTHES on my coffee-nated and happy hide. SO I think I will.

Yo, local beloveds, come to the fest in Gwinette tomorrow! I will be there too, assuming I can remember what day it is.

Posted by joshilyn at October 19, 2007 5:41 AM
Comments

Obviously, I haven't read TGWSS but I have heard you talk about it so I KIND of know what it's about. I will say that I think the UK cover evokes a little book more of the spooky/melancholy that sounds like it will be in the book.

Don't get me wrong, I *LIKE* the US cover a lot, but if I didn't know what it was about, I probably wouldn't get the feeling that there was a ghost in it, whereas with the UK cover kind of makes me feel like there MIGHT be. Does that make any sense.

I heard about the Gwinnett festival and I'm dying b/c I really, really want to go. The Sweet Everlasting by Judson Mitcham is one of my favorite books and I know he's going to be there. Plus there's YOU! But alas, we had already made other plans by the time I heard about it.

Posted by: Leandra at October 19, 2007 6:09 AM

Is there a reason they do two different types of covers and not use the same? I remember seeing the UK covers of the Harry Potter series and I thought the US covers looked much better.

Either way, I think the covers are extremely well done.

Posted by: Angela Jackson-Brown at October 19, 2007 7:39 AM

The UK cover seems a bit "fweaky" because I cannot tell if the woman on the cover is floating or deceased.....and with the US cover, it's pretty obvious the girl is neither. HOWEVER, knowing how popular "Water for Elephants" has been around the reader blogosphere, I cannot imagine how her endorsement won't help your sales, stardom, and/or general popularity, either in Jolly Old England or here in the States.

My kids are off for a 4-day weekend also up here in the Northern Plains.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by: Pattie at October 19, 2007 8:05 AM

I had a day like that a few days ago, except it lasted ALL DAY and involved me making a fool of myself INNUMERABLE times. And one of them involved you! ('Cause you're special, y'know!)

I was on my library's website, trying to figure out where the inter-library copy of Between was, and lo and behold, the computer cheeps and says that there's a copy of The Girl Who... in the stacks.

I was so thrilled the word 'advance' didn't make a dent in my head. Well, maybe a second. But! I live in Canada, who knows? Maybe it was published earlier over here! After all, our McDonalds sell Black Forest shaved ham sandwiches, so....

I was PLEASED AS PUNCH to sashay into the library yesterday, where it took the librarian about ten minutes to explain to my no-coffee-muddled-head that the regional library had purchased four copies...IN ADVANCE. It won't be here until NEXT YEAR.

*sigh* Must buy coffee and force husband to make it for me.

Posted by: daysgoby at October 19, 2007 8:14 AM

Okay, well I love both covers and would buy either one. The UK cover looks like a book up with which I would want to curl on my favorite chair, preferably at night when everyone else is asleep, with a warm beverage and maybe a nice cozy blanket in case I get the willies and have to cover my eyes. The US cover looks like a book I would carry with me everywhere, reading bits of it in the car while waiting for my kids to get out of school, and in the pediatrician's waiting room, and in line at the supermarket checkout, and while stirring the soup for dinner. Both are good!

However, my 9 year old daughter was looking over my shoulder while I viewed both covers, and when she saw the US version she said, "Buy THAT book, Mom." But she has a low tolerance for the atmospheric, so there you go.

Posted by: Badger at October 19, 2007 8:36 AM

My husband says every book I read has a slightly fuzzy photograph on the front cover. To him they all look like the same book. So anyway, given that criteria, I'd pick up either book. That's assuming I hadn't heard of you, which involves some sort of space-time continuum warp, so it's hard for me to wrap my brain around, not having had my own coffee yet. I picked up Gods in Alabama off the library shelf, and then I knew your name and when I saw Between advertised, knew to get it. Which reminds me, when can we order signed copies of TGWSS off your site? (Again, no coffee, so if we already can, I apologize for being clueless.)

My husband also sets up the coffee maker in the morning. See, he gets up early and leaves before I'm awake, and I was getting annoyed at my utter inability to make coffee without having had coffee, and I couldn't set it up the night before because HE does for himself, and so I asked sort of politely but really actually more cranky, could I either have my OWN coffeepot to set up the night before, or could he set it up again before he leaves? And so he does.

Posted by: amy at October 19, 2007 8:38 AM

Ooohh... I like b&w-ish covers. Intriguing...

In Maryland it is a state school holiday called "union convention" which means the teachers are probably in a beach bar drinking bellinis (except for me). Fortunately, it is finally raining.

Posted by: dynagirl at October 19, 2007 8:41 AM

My coffee must make itself, because if it doesn't I would have to give my husband credit for being mildly domestic in the kitchen, which he is most definitely not. Therefore, I have a magic coffee pot. And a magic self-emptying dishwasher some mornings.

LOVE that cover. Very cool girl with the tea light candles. I think my favorite thing there is the font for you name. And it's oh so subtle hint of color. Love it.

Posted by: Michelle at October 19, 2007 9:12 AM

Even though I do nearly all the cooking in our house, my husband is also our official King of Coffee and those mornings when he's out of town or sick or something and I have to make it myself, well...it's Not Good. So I sympathize.

About the covers, I really like both versions a lot. I keep trying to imagine which one I'd find more intriguing if I didn't know anything at all about the story or had never before read any of your books, but I'm finding it really hard to do that because I do and I have, and I can't figure out how to shut up that part of my brain.

The UK version seems darker (in mood, not just visually). The colors in the US version make me think of Florida or the Caribbean. But see, here's what I mean about not being able to turn off what I know - do the colors make me think of Florida because that's what the artist was going for or do they make me think of Florida because I know that's where part of the book takes place??? I just don't know!

Anyway, whichever it is, the US version seems less menacing...like without reading a cover blurb, my first impression might be that the girl stopped swimming in the sense of developing a phobia about it or something, but still being alive. The UK version though, definitely implies something darker and more sinister to me. The girl in that one looks as if she's a sacrifice in some dark ritual.

I *think* I'd be more intrigued by the UK version if I had no knowledge of the story at all, but it's so hard to say for sure.

Posted by: DebR at October 19, 2007 9:30 AM

First off, have to say, daysgoby now has me thinking of Black Forest shaved ham sandwiches. Now I think I must take a trip to Canada -- Black Forest shaved ham sandwiches, Poutine, Tim Hortons, just saying. Can you tell I haven't eaten breakfast yet?

OK, now that I'm down thinking about food, I must say...

I lurve the US cover. It's very pretty and would entice me to pick up the book, read the blurbs, back cover, and probably the first couple pages. Then, of course, I would buy it (assuming, of course, I had no prior knowledge of Joshilyn Jackson and her literary wizadry).

However, I LURVE, LURVE, LURVE the UK cover. It's the type of cover that would make me pick up the book and buy it instantly. It had more emotional impact on me personally.

Love both covers but love the UK one more. Regardless, I'm sitting here looking at my bookshelves trying to decide what book can possibly appease my reading appetite when what I really want to read is TGWSS. *sigh* Oh well, not of us can be as lucky as Cornelia.

Posted by: Patti D. at October 19, 2007 9:48 AM

You gotta love getting a free Saturday this week. That's cool--like when you wake up on a Tuesday and wish you can stay in bed longer, then realize it's actually Saturday and YEA!!!!!

Covers--LOVE 'em both. You are correct--they both have different moods. . .so now I can't wait to read the book to see what the WRITTEN mood is.

The U.S. cover makes me feel heat and humidity--smell chlorine--and suggests that there is more to the story than meets the eye. The colors are beautiful.

The U.K. cover makes me feel dew on my feet--smell grass and water--it suggests that something eery is going on around that water. The colors are beautiful.

The MAIN reason I'd pick one of them to read, however, is YOUR name on the cover. Can't wait to get one.

Posted by: Roxanne at October 19, 2007 10:21 AM

AND I am a teacher. . .and I am at school with nothing stronger than a diet Coke to drink. . .albeit on my own personal vacation of sorts (on your blog) while my struggling readers play reading board games that they've earned for good behavior--no lie--one is Main Idea and one is Inference. Although one girl IS braiding another's hair while they wait for their turn.

Posted by: Roxanne at October 19, 2007 10:27 AM

See...I have pretty much the opposite opinion of, well, apparently everyone.

The UK cover to me is the *LESS* serious of the two, especially because of the font, I guess. But also, it looks more like a cover that I would find on a teen/young adult book. TO ME.

The US cover looks, to me anyway, more spine-shivery and intriguing, with her gauzy dress and her bare feet and the more "serious" font.

But I am like everyone else in one respect, I do like them *both*.

Posted by: Casey at October 19, 2007 10:44 AM

Oh, wow. I love that cover! I think the UK one is spookier and more atmospheric. Like the rest of the title might be "...and started drowning" or something. It makes me want to know why she's floating, and why she stopped. Oh, and I luuuuurve that font.

But there's something very welcoming about the US cover, too. It's not as spooky, and so looks more welcoming. Honestly, I'd buy either one. PLUS, the title is just wonderful and automatically raises so many questions that I'd *need* to have answered. Wait! That I *do* need to have answered. Gah! It's too long to wait!

Posted by: Aimee at October 19, 2007 10:51 AM

I love BOTH covers! But I am loyal to the US cover because that was the cover I read first, so I feel like the UK cover is a bit of an interloper. Even though it is beautiful. Am I weird that I think the girl on the UK cover has been photographed from overhead, and she is about to make a Mexican cliff dive, only at night? Yes, I am weird.

My husband is useless at making more than one coffee at a time, for himself only, so when I had a dotcom job I blew my last paycheck on this German espresso machine that makes espresso if you push one button, including grinding. We still have 50s floor tiles as our countertop, but our coffee is yuppie splendiferous. It's a priorities thing, I guess.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at October 19, 2007 11:37 AM

I can't believe you're coming to Gwinnett! And just a stone's throw from where I live.

Unfortunately I happen to be at college this weekend , so I'll miss you. But maybe next time i go home, your scent will still be lingering in the air and can get a good sniff, if not the chance to actually meet you.

Posted by: Haley at October 19, 2007 12:10 PM

I think that the US cover is more "ghosty" while the UK cover is more "is-she-deady".

I like the UK cover better. There's stars and pretty sparkle lights.

What?

You can't tell me you don't like sparkles.

Posted by: aka nik at October 19, 2007 2:30 PM

Cornelia, if you're weird, I am too. I thought the same thing--she looks like she's about to dive--but I couldn't formulate thought this morning, before coffee.

Posted by: amy at October 19, 2007 3:51 PM

I finally read and loved Water for Elephants. :) Cover is awesome!!!

Posted by: Heather at October 19, 2007 4:06 PM

I prefer the UK cover. But I just can't WAIT to read it, period!!

Posted by: Angel at October 19, 2007 5:41 PM

Me likey UK cover better. I like the blackness and the sparkliness - those are things that have always had great appeal for me and always will...

I used to be a teacher. Teacher Work Days were not bellinis-on-the-beach, but they were WAY better than regular just teaching. I hated teaching. That is why I don't do it any more. But I do agree that teachers SHOULD SO get a day that's really just to hang out and rejuvenate instead of actually having to WORK.

Posted by: JenA at October 19, 2007 7:54 PM

Not knowing anything about the book, I think I'd be more likely to pick up the one with the UK cover. I like the mood it evokes. I found myself wondering why there are two different covers for the US and UK editions anyway, but I know nothing about the book publishing business so I assume there is a perfectly logical reason.

Posted by: Terri at October 19, 2007 11:45 PM

The UK cover is Thalia and the US cover is Laurel. I love them both, but there's something about Thalia...

Posted by: Fran at October 20, 2007 1:12 AM

I also have always been more partial to black than to aqua-blue, so that alone would have me lean towards the U.K. cover.

I felt the same as DebR, in the U.S. version she looks like she stopped swimming but is probably still alive, while the other one looks like maybe she's NOT, which intrigues me, sick girl that I am.

Posted by: Brigitte at October 20, 2007 7:41 AM

Oh Dear! I think me likes the UK cover bestest, too. I thought she was contemplating a dive. But have any of you noticed how many covers of recently published books have girls in dresses with no head? Or just feet? Except gods in Alabama. It's just got a head - the back of. The American version of TGWSS has the sweepy swingy blowey dress, which I like. It's what I wear when I want to feel like a writer, which I am a little one. I need some more coffee. Which I make. And it is good.

Posted by: Rhonda at October 20, 2007 12:55 PM

I like the UK cover best. And how very kewl that an author you adore blurbed the front of your book. I totally agree with the comment that this will send you above and beyond, getting you the recognition you deserve.

Posted by: Cele at October 20, 2007 1:06 PM

I loved the first book cover best until I saw this one - now I don't know.

The US cover is so crisp and clean, the UK is darker and mysteriouser.

It must be fun to be able to collect your books in all their various designs. Makes me want to publish books just so I can collect my own covers.

Very nice - both of them.

Posted by: Cheryl at October 20, 2007 8:34 PM

Being lucky enough to have read TGWSS, I would have to say that the US cover reminds me of the beginning of the book and the UK cover reminds me of the end. Both are absolutely perfect!! Congrats on winning the poker game! Jack and Sam got a huge kick out of the dancing cockatoo!

Posted by: Kym at October 20, 2007 8:36 PM

I love-love-love both covers - I can't pick a favorite!
I think that both covers would catch my eye in a bookstore, although I'd have somewhat different reactions to them...
UK Cover:
"Ooo! This book looks spooky! I wonder - Joshilyn Jackson! I AM SO BUYING IT!"
US Cover:
"Hmm...this book looks promising. I wonder - Joshilyn Jackson! I AM SO BUYING IT!"

Posted by: Tina at October 21, 2007 3:05 AM

BTW... I hate Kym because she's already read TGWSS.
(I'm sorry - that wasn't very nice. I don't know Kym. I'm sure Kym is a very nice person. But I hate her anyways because March is soooo very far away!!)

*stomps her foot*
No, I am not pouting!

Posted by: Tina at October 21, 2007 3:13 AM

Sorry Tina!!!

Posted by: Kym at October 21, 2007 8:25 AM

Well I'm British but I prefer the US version...
HOWEVER! I do think they're both very pretty.

I just want to read one of them, I don't care which!! x

Posted by: diane at October 21, 2007 11:10 AM

I haven't read it yet. I would instantly go for the UK cover, I might pass over the US cover entirely if I saw it in a store. The pastel colors the yellow tones, it doesn't grab me at all unless maybe I"m thinking to find a beach read.

The UK cover is INTERESTING, and arresting, and I want to know why this girl is sort of floating in the dark wearing something pretty and lacy. I would pick it up.

Posted by: carrien at October 21, 2007 11:22 PM

... but the UK cover has the same fonts as Stephanie Lehman's books in the UK, whereas the US cover is a continuation of the JJ 'brand'. (similar pictures and fonts etc)

I like Ms Lehman just fine, but the cover doesn't scream 'totally orginial design!' to moi. It's Stephanie Lehman mixed with Julie Oringer. Not necessarily a bad thing, and pretty for sure, but I'd prefer the American one.

However, the UK version of Georgia is *much* prettier than the American, IMHO. xx

Posted by: diane at October 22, 2007 6:32 AM

I like everything about the UK cover except the size of the font. I like the font, but the size of it, especially on the dark background makes me feel like it's yelling at me. When I'm in my warm and fuzzy bookstore cocoon smelling lots of coffee and hearing piano music in the background, I want to be beckoned by books. Intrigued. A bit courted. I don't like books that yell at me.

Love the US cover.

And with my hand to God, I'd pick up any book with your name on it -- as the writer, blurber - whatever.

Posted by: timmi at October 23, 2007 11:16 AM

I think they BOTH look like something I would pick u p in a store because they both have Joshilyn Jackson nice & visible. But if I didn't know the author--probably the US cover because the British one is beautiful but a little scary for someone who cannot handle the scarier moments in Disney movies. Please don't ask, "what scary moments". They are there if you are me!

Posted by: Laura Florand at October 24, 2007 7:51 PM

Google

Posted by: tcwpt at October 26, 2007 2:24 PM