Glimmerglass by Marly Youmans

Introduced by Clive Hicks-Jenkins


On writer Marly Youmans‘ Facebook page, a commentator kindly mentioned that she picked up and then purchased a copy of Marly’s novel, Glimmerglass, because she was initially drawn to the cover. This is something that as a sometime book cover artist I aspire to. But if it happens (and I think it must do), then I never hear about it.

I always think the most important part of my job is to catch the eye of anyone who may not know the book, or even the author, and to interest him or her enough to pick it up from the bookshop shelf. I probably have a second or less to catch the eye of a passer-by, and for that the image needs to work at a distance, and yet then be rewarding in close-up.

Once the book is in the hand and open, then it’s all down to Marly. After that, if it leaves the store as a purchase, then I aim in time to win over the reader to the realisation that the book and its cover are as one. It is a symbiotic relationship, the cover and book. When they properly come together, it should feel like a marriage.

On my own shelves are many books in paper covers or dust wrappers that I learned to love as much as the stories they enclosed. That is how I would like people to feel about the covers that designer Mary-Frances Glover Burt and I collaborate on for Marly, and the covers I produce for the small handful of authors I regularly work with.


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