Ladies and gentlemen, the new face of WOOL:
Now, I’ve spent a solid five years of my life as a bookseller, staring at and judging jacket art all day long. I’ve spent thirty years reading voraciously. And in all that time, I’ve never seen a cover like this anywhere. Never. Do you know how difficult it is to stand out and be unique? Well, Random House UK has managed to achieve that. I love this cover. I think it is absolutely brilliant. And the longer you stare at it, the more you realize there could be no other cover for the hardback release. It is bleak and powerful. It is both iconic and timeless. This cover will be recognizable from a distance. Like the title, it raises questions and piques curiosity. It demands to be handled, but perhaps carefully. Warily.
Random House UK also has a few tricks up its sleeve with the fabrication. They are going with a matte finish, which I think is brilliant. Gloss and post-apocalyptica do not mix. There will also be some raised features, which I’ve always loved on quality hardbacks. This will be a treasure to own. I’m speaking for myself, here. Holding this will likely move me to tears. I couldn’t be happier with the design, not one bit.
I immediately wanted to know the process behind this, the committee, how such things are done. I’ve long created my own covers with almost no direction or help (though my wife is a fine hand and foot model!). Who came up with this, and what were they thinking?
I asked Jack Fogg, my editor, some of these questions. He said it was the vision of one of their artists, Jason Smith, and that even though this was one of several mock-ups, everyone loved it straight away. I wondered if I could email Jason and thank him. Jack welcomed the idea.
In chatting back and forth with Jason, I found out what his inspiration was. Jason read WOOL as it made the rounds of Random House (even people who weren’t supposed to be reading it were picking it up). He loved the story so much that he asked if he could be attached to the project. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the sort of people you want involved with your work. Jason brought the same sort of passion, as a fan, that so many of you have brought to this series. And there was this feeling, this particular mood that he wanted to capture with the cover. He couldn’t stop thinking about one particular fiery ordeal in the silo’s airlock. And so he came up with the bubbled glass and the red flames, the feeling of a thing melting down, of a dire view through an airlock porthole or even through the wallscreens at something at once terrible and compelling.
This cover frightens me. It moves me. I can’t wait to see it wrapped around the story, to hold it in my hands. In fact, it’s just about perfect. Maybe there’s one little thing missing, a final touch, the cherry on top. I think I know what that is.
Stay tuned. Tomorrow, another big surprise, a way for you to help, and a way for you to win something truly marvelous.