UK cover and advance copies

6 March 2021

Last week was the cover reveal for the UK edition of Meet Me in Another Life. My publisher pulled out all the stops for this one!

On Monday, cryptic messages started showing up across Twitter. (I'm not cool enough to be on Instagram, but I'm told they were showing up there too.) If you spotted them, you might be wondering what they meant. The answer is: they are chapter titles from the book, each corresponding to a graffiti message written on the wall of a certain ruined clock tower. (The wall writing concept also shows up in a different form on the gorgeous US cover, designed by Mumtaz Mustafa.) I've linked to the messages above in the order the corresponding chapters appear in the book. If you've read the first chapter, you might have recognised Welcome to Forever...

Then, at midday on Tuesday was the cover reveal. A beautiful animation showed the UK proof transforming into the final cover, designed by Micaela Alcaino. Among her other amazing work, she is the genius behind the dreamlike, trippy cover for Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, one of my favourite books (and covers) of recent years. I tend to describe it as "if Harry Potter was written by Kafka and set at a Russian technical college", which has been surprisingly effective at getting people to read it.

Anyway, I digress. Thanks so much to Abbie and Katy from HarperFiction, and to all the wonderful book bloggers who got involved in the cover reveal - it was amazing to see so many people responding who love the cover as much as I do.

I feel incredibly lucky to have two covers that suit the book so well in such different ways. It's been interesting to learn a little about the factors that go into cover design: from genre, to trends in specific markets, to the intersection of the two. A particular style of cover might say "romance" or "YA" in the US market, but communicate something completely different in the UK (or vice versa). Complicating this still further is the fact that the book is a bit of an odd duck that falls between genres. I've been heartened to see early reviews that appreciate this as a positive, but it can be tricky, too: if a reader feels they have been promised romance or sci-fi or mystery or literary fiction, and then gets something that doesn't quite fit in any of those boxes, you can't really blame them for being disappointed. I hope both covers will help the book to find readers who are looking for something a bit different.

The other big news is that UK advance copies (featuring a variation on the cover and a truly epic amount of gold foil) have been making their way to booksellers, bloggers, and recently, my house. I wanted to take another picture with my cat, but these books are genuinely so shiny they freaked her out and she ran away. I mean, look:

Seeing this proof circulating was a big moment for me. It was both exciting and terrifying to see, emblazoned on the cover of a Real Book, the names of these two people I made up in my head. I can't wait for you all to meet them.