Usually once a book is published the cover design is pretty much a done deal. Maybe in the far off future, a new edition will be released but that doesn't happen often. But things, they are a changing. One ECW Press author got the chance to revisit one of her previous titles (cover included) when she and her publisher teamed up with the online writing community, Wattpad. Michelle Melski, Marketing Coordinator at ECW, shares the story behind the beautiful new edition of Dead Politician Society by Robin Spano.
Usually once a book is published the cover design is pretty much a done deal. Maybe in the far off future, a new edition will be released but that doesn’t happen often. But things, they are a changing. One ECW Press author got the chance to revisit one of her previous titles (cover included) when she and her publisher teamed up with the online writing community, Wattpad. Michelle Melski, Marketing Coordinator at ECW, shares the story behind the beautiful new edition of Dead Politician Society by Robin Spano.
Dead Politician Society by Robin Spano was published in September 2010, with a sleek, colour-block cover. Four years later, we decided it was time to update the digital cover of the book to make it more in tune with the covers of typical female sleuth, genre fiction titles. But we didn’t just want to re-do a backlist ebook cover and leave it at that. We saw this as an opportunity to introduce new fans to Clare Vengel, the motorcycle-riding, undercover cop.
To do this we turned to Wattpad, a writing community that allows writers to post stories to be read by fans in real time. Robin Spano joined Wattpad and was given the task of finding new fans for the Clare Vengel Undercover series. She released Dead Politician Society as a serial, re-editing the chapters as she went. Every Monday she would delight her growing number of fans with a few more chapters, uncovering the mystery of the book a little at a time.
After several months of posting, as the serial was coming to an end, it was time for a cover-off. We offered three distinct cover re-designs and then polled Wattpad fans to see which one was their favourite.
The fantastic David Gee designed the three covers, each with their own take on the mystery title. Most people at ECW Press had a favourite, but the decision was in the hands of the fans. The winner was the most light-hearted one of the bunch, number two, portraying the playfulness of the Clare Vengel novels.
I spoke briefly to Robin Spano about her experience on Wattpad and her thoughts about the new, beautiful cover.
Michelle Melski: How did you feel when ECW Press approached you about doing a digital cover re-design for Dead Politician Society?
Robin: I was excited. It’s rare for a publisher to spend time and money on marketing and promotion for a backlisted title. I liked the idea of a new cover so much that it inspired me to make some edits to the text, too, to make the relaunch more complete.
MM: What was it like re-exploring Clare’s first adventure on Wattpad?
R: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reader interaction on Wattpad. It’s like sitting in on a book club that’s discussing your work over the course of several months. I liked seeing readers root for Clare, hate Matthew, and take guesses about who the killer is. Going back to the beginning deepened my fondness for Clare, reminded me how raw and rough she was when she began her undercover career.
MM: The second cover won the cover-off. Were you surprised?
R: Shocked. I was fully expecting #3 to win—the one that looks like an Ian Rankin title. I liked it the best, most people at ECW seems to like it the best. But as the results came in, and #2 was the clear frontrunner, I started to see why. It captures the tone of the book better—it’s fun, flirty, and tongue-in-cheek.
MM: How do you feel about the new cover?
R: I feel good about this representing Dead Politician Society. I loved the original cover artistically, but this new image promises a fast, fun, twisted and lightly comical murder mystery–which I think the story is.
Thank you to Michelle, Robin, and ECW for sharing the story behind Dead Politician Society's beautiful new look!
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