See you in Iasi…

Exciting… I’m finally getting up to Iasi …

Iasi launch

 

With Editura All, I’m launching the book at 11.00 hrs on Saturday morning, 13th May at the book fair, so I hope I’ll see you there.

I’ll be in the city from Friday evening till Sunday morning and look forward to exploring a little. Pe curând!

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Do you judge a book by its cover?

book cover selection

Most of us do, for sure. The art and science of cover design is getting ever more sophisticated and there are some brilliant designers and illustrators working in the market. Each genre is building its own visual vocabulary, so that someone looking for a fantasy novel would never pick up a crime novel or a romance by mistake. Book buyers unconsciously learn the visual shorthand and all the clues which point to the kind of book they enjoy. At least in the UK – if you live elsewhere, is this true for your local publishing world ?

I’d love to know what you think of these covers on my Pinterest board (click for more covers at larger size). They are all covers I like, sometimes adore.

• Which are your favourites – and can you say why?

• Do you like the modern ones, or prefer the earlier design periods – 1960s, 1950s?

• Do the styles of particular geographic regions appeal, eg East European or Scandinavian?

• Are there covers here that put you off?

•Which do you dislike, and are there any you hate?

• Which covers make you want to go to a bookstore and buy the book?

Look forward to your thoughts.

 

Latest review is in

Now a Facebook friend since reading the book, Cricket Gri has this to say:

Eu am citit-o.E minunată, sinceră și caldă!I enjoyed every word of it! 💗 I simply love the way in which it is written, the fact that the words can make me actually SEE/FEEL your world, is just brilliant!
I genuinely adore every line of it! I love that you love animals and I also love the respect you show towards nature! Once again, it goes without saying, that what’s simple is true!
Congratulations on your work! I think it’s one of the best books I’ve read!
May your years be filled with inspiration to keep inspiring people! 🙂
Ps: can’t wait for your next work of art!”

See more reviews here…

Wowee – the book has charted!

no-96-in-elefant-chartsMy new book has made it into the Top 100! Just a month after publication, the book is at No.96 in retailer elefant.ro’s  charts. Hot diggety dog…

Let’s hope it goes further up the charts – do please spread the word!

 

Book launch – the date for your diary

cover-spread

Din Liverpool în Carpati will be launched on Saturday 19 November at the Gaudeamus Book Fair in Bucharest. The time and date to be there is 1700 hrs (5pm) on Saturday, 19 November. Look for the Editura ALL stand on the ground floor – you should see this book cover, and me in my hat.

I’ll be there all day on Saturday, looking forward to meeting you and very happy to sign as many copies of the book as you like. Don’t forget – it’ll make a great Christmas present for anyone who loves Romania.

Cover blurb mashup – better?

Book cover, blurb, tempting sales copy, publishing

Back cover blurb

Thanks to all your feedback, book clan, I’ve mashed up versions 1 and 2 of the cover blurb and now present this new version for your constructive criticism. With the front cover illustration – does this do the job? What do you think?

This candid and engaging book is nothing less than a love letter to Romania. Fleeing from a colourful British city to a half-built wooden house on a hillside in the Carpathian mountains, eight kilometres from a shop and a world away from her busy life as a writer and journalist in Liverpool, should have been a disaster. In her fifties, with no steady income, no pension and no Plan B, she was quizzed by her new neighbours and every Romanian she met. Why? How? … and alone? Triggered by a spate of family funerals, the truth behind her flight from England had its roots in a troubled childhood. Everything suggested she’d fail. Instead, she found the secret of happiness in Transylvania.

In a deeply personal account of her mutation from urbanite to happy Carpathian recluse, Arabella reveals the magic of rural Transylvania in a way that will melt the heart of every Romanian.

Does the cover tell the story?

Book cover, Din Liverpool in Carpati, Arabella McIntyre-Brown, Transilvania

So here it is – the book cover! Something a little different from the usual cover design in Romania? A huge thank you to Andra Penescu for such a bright and cheery statement of the book’s content.

I’m working on the back cover blurb, with the help of all your valuable feedback, so soon you’ll have both sides of the argument…

For now – what do you think, book clan? Imagine the book sitting on a shelf amongst other titles – would this cover make you curious enough to pick it up?

Which would appeal to you?

Book cover, blurb, tempting sales copy, publishing

Back cover blurb

We’re at the point of writing the blurb for the back cover of the book – the paragraph that will entice readers to look inside and – I hope – take the book to the cash desk and buy it. Or (even better) buy two – one for themselves, one as a Christmas present…

So which of these two would most tempt you to buy and read? It won’t be one or the other, but something of a mash-up, I suspect. But would you, members of my book clan, be kind enough to help me once more? Let me know which paragraph appeals to you most – and why, if you know. An instant impression is the best, so don’t think too hard! In the bookshop or the online catalogue the book only has a few seconds to make an impact, so please be brutally honest: would you want to read the book described in No.1 or No.2?

Number 1

A Romanian moving to Britain is no news. A Briton moving – kitchen sink and all – to Romania is not such a common story. And each factor makes the story more compelling: a woman in her fifties, living alone in a remote mountain village; a writer, with no steady income, no pension and no Plan B; a Briton who has no plans to go back to Britain because she feels so at home in the Carpathians. Why? How did she arrive here? Why is she still here? How does she cope with country life after 30 years in big cities? Why doesn’t she feel lonely? what sort of future does she have here? What does she like so much about Transylvania? And how do sheep threaten her sanity? This candid and engaging book, which uncovers the secret of happiness, is nothing less than a love letter to Romania.

 

Number 2

It’s said that travel broadens the mind. It’s also said that moving house is the third most traumatic event in a person’s life after bereavements and divorce. Mix together five funerals and emigration, and you have something of a challenge. Especially when you’re over 50 and alone. Moving from a colourful British city like Liverpool to a half-built wooden house on a hillside in the Carpathian mountains, eight kilometres from a shop and a world away from her busy life as an author and business journalist in urban England, was a huge leap of faith for this Englishwoman. Add in the grief of family deaths, a childhood with alcoholic parents, the menopause, a mental melt-down, the 2008 financial crisis and imperfect health, and you have a recipe for impending disaster. Instead, this English woman found the secret of happiness in Transylvania. In a candid and engaging account of her change from urbanite to country recluse, she reveals the magic of rural Transylvania in a way that will melt the heart of every Romanian.

The author as poseur

Matei Buta is a magician. I’ve always loathed having my photograph taken, but Matei made the day fly by as he conjured up image after amazing image.

I’m in excellent company – here’s Matei’s portrait of King Michael and Queen Ana, from 2011. And here you can see some of his marvellous portraits from the Români frumosi project. To know more about this talented young photographer, read an interview here.

I’ll post my favourites over the run-up to the launch, but here are the variations on the Rembrandt theme. Which do you like best? What captions would you put to each?