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Sunday, September 13, 2009

It’s that time of year again

My next novel for MTV Books, Forget You, is coming out in July, and things are starting to move. I’ve already written the description for the back cover:

Zoey’s life in her Florida beach resort town is happy and organized. She’s the captain of her high school swim team, and she works for her dad at his popular water park. Then her dad has an affair with one of his employees, and her mother has a breakdown. But Zoey begins a committed relationship with a hot lifeguard, which makes her feel stable, even if things aren’t perfect at home. Everything is still under control.

Until she has a car accident that she can’t remember. She should have been with her boyfriend that night, but he doesn’t seem to know anything about the accident—and he doesn’t seem to care. The person who does care, and knows more than he’s telling, is Doug, Zoey’s darkly handsome arch-enemy who saved her from the wreckage. As Zoey begins to piece together what happened that night, she finds her sense of control over her life was only an illusion. And she inches closer to discovering the darkest secret of all: why Doug has fallen in love with her.

The folks in editorial usually have a different idea about what makes a good description, though. If my description actually appears on the back cover, that will be the first time!

I’ve also had a conversation with my editor about ideas for the cover. I told her I honestly can’t imagine a cover more beautiful than the cover of Going Too Far. Doug and Zoey look very different from Meg and John in Going Too Far, but I would be happy with a similar cover.

This can backfire. I spent three and half years as the contest coordinator for the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and I can’t tell you how many times an author sent me copies of the wrong book because all her books looked so much alike! In the bookstore, I’m afraid this may translate as a reader picking up Forget You and thinking, “Oh, I already have this one,” and putting it back.

There’s one change I know I want to make. Take a look at my critique partner’s first book

and her sixth book, coming out in January.

Is that her name on the cover, or is she just happy to see me? As authors get bigger, their names on their covers get bigger, because readers start buying their books on the basis of their famous names alone. Now check out my name on my first book. (Hint: use a magnifying glass.)

Forget You will be my sixth book, and I’m thinking something like this will be in order:


Well, all RIGHT. But by my seventh book, I will be so big, my name won’t even fit on the cover.

Next stop: revisions. I can’t wait!


Alana, Author of Domestically Challenged said...

Funny post! I just started reading Victoria Dahl's books, so now I can add you too! Congrats on your success. :)

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Oooh, it sounds like a great premise! I really can't wait to read it!!!! And yeah, I think you deserve giant name font by now!

Keri Ford said...

Jennifer I haven't seen/talked to you since I met you in Dallas 2007? (or was it 06?). We sat next to each other during a workshop. You're just as funny now as I remembered you being then.

Good luck on getting your name bigger than your title this year!

*and now you're reading my comment trying to remember who the heck i am. :-)

Louisa Edwards said...

Awesome. I love that third cover! They should design the whole thing around your name. : )

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

I love the idea of your new book, and yes, your name should be bigger!


The Story Siren said...

It sounds awesome. I loved Going Too Far! Can't wait to read this one too!

Anna/ocelott said...

I rather like your mock-up for book 7. Marketing department, take note.

Erica said...

I cannot wait for Forget You! I picked up The Ex Games yesterday...

Victoria Dahl said...

Aw, thank you for the shout-out! And the reason my name is so big is cuz the book is so tiny. See how much smaller it is than the others? LOL

You know how much I looove the cover of Going Too Far, but yes, your name should be big enough to fill the front cover + a step back cover. Like a special edition of Vanity Fair magazine, baby!

Can't wait to see cover of this one. Hope it is a gorgeous couple a la Going Too Far, but with a glowing llama superimposed over them. Mysterious!


Jennifer Echols said...

Thanks, everyone!

Keri: I am so, so sorry. I can just imagine what it's like sitting next to a "funny" person during a workshop. Conferences make me giddy.

Vicki: Note how I carefully left the llama out of the back cover description. Not everyone thinks it is funny to have a llama in their romantic drama. Therefore, it is important not to mention the llama in the back cover description. It is also important that your critique partner does not go around talking about mysterious glowing llamas. This is called Strategery.

Danielle Joseph said...

Your next book sounds awesome! Perhaps all you need is the J on the cover and people will know that it's you:)!

Jennifer Echols said...

I don't know, Danielle. The field of Big-Name Authors (literally) named Jennifer is pretty darn crowded. But... maybe using just the J could help me stand out? A crazy bad PR/hubris ploy, like Prince's unpronounceable symbol? DANIELLE YOU'RE A GENIUS!!!

Victoria Dahl said...

Ooo, I like the J idea!

And, hey, I was trying to be mysterious with the llama idea! Creating buzz!

Jennifer Echols said...

Let's create buzz with the mysterious amnesia or the mysterious car wreck or the mysterious hot arch-enemy. "Mysterious llama" may be a contradiction in terms. I'm just sayin'.

Ana said...

Forget You sounds so so soooo good, can't wait to read it.

(I am also a major fan of Victoria Dahl's books)

Jenny O'Connell said...

I want to know why Doug fell for her!!!!!