Monday, March 14, 2011

Before Ever After: Book Cover Reveal and Virtual Tour



When I was pregnant with each of my kids, I used to imagine what they would look like. Would they have my eyes or their dad’s? Would they get their father’s nose? I would stare at their ultrasound images and try to make out their faces.  For nine months, I waited.
And wondered.
I felt the same way when I wrote Before Ever After. I’ve lost count of all the “pretend” covers I made for the book. My computer skills are limited at best (uploading photos into Facebook remains a challenge), but that didn’t stop me from copying, pasting, and cropping pictures to give the story a face.
Each mock-up explored different elements from the novel - a sundial, a mosaic, a Volkswagen van – but they had one thing in common: they were HORRIBLE. Don’t believe me? Ask my hubby who mastered the art of mustering the most polite and encouraging smile whenever I'd show them to him and ask, “So, what do you think?” (He quickly learned that the correct answer was the same as the response to the question, “Does this make me look fat?”)
I have since accepted the fact that, just like cooking, designing book covers is definitely NOT one of my talents. (And yes, I will now admit that my white blouse with horizontal red stripes does make my waist look five inches thicker.) Apart from looking like a six-year old’s craft project, there was something missing. The designs failed to capture the essence of the book, the concept of a story being told within a story.
Still, back then, my latest “masterpiece” was there when I needed an image, however crude, to hold in my head whenever I felt like giving up - an image that would make me smile, as I waited.
And wondered.
At long last, I can stop wondering. Before Ever After finally has a real face smiling back at me. In a moment, it will smile back at you too. You will also get to see the premiere of the “virtual tour” we made of  “The Slight Detour,” the offbeat European tour Max, my main character, runs in the book. The virtual tour uses quotations from the book as well as images from two extremely talented photographer friends of mine: Cecilia Beltran and Bopet Gillego. (Thanks, guys!! You ROCK.)
For those of you who have not yet read the synopsis of the book, I’m posting it here so that you can have some background on the novel before you watch the tour.  If you’ve already read it, please skip ahead, hop on the van and enjoy the tour!
Meet Before Ever After…

Three years after her husband Max's death, Shelley feels no more adjusted to being a widow than she did that first terrible day. That is, until the doorbell rings. Standing on her front step is a young man who looks so much like Max–same smile, same eyes, same age, same adorable bump in his nose–he could be Max's long-lost relation. He introduces himself as Paolo, an Italian editor of American coffee table books, and shows Shelley some childhood photos. Paolo tells her that the man in the photos, the bearded man who Paolo says is his grandfather though he never seems to age, is Max. Her Max. And he is alive and well.

As outrageous as Paolo's claims seem–how could her husband be alive? And if he is, why hasn't he looked her up? – Shelley desperately wants to know the truth. She and Paolo jet across the globe to track Max down–if it is really Max– and along the way, Shelley recounts “The Slight Detour,” the European package tour where they had met. As she relives Max's stories of bloody Parisian barricades, medieval Austrian kitchens, and buried Roman boathouses, Shelley begins to piece together the story of who her husband was and what these new revelations mean for her "happily ever after." And as she and Paolo get closer to the truth, Shelley discovers that not all stories end where they are supposed to.



So, um, what do you think? Does it make me look fat? ;-)





55 comments:

Hillary Jacques said...

That is truly gorgeous, Samantha.

Daphne said...

I'm looking forward to seeing it!

MuMuGB said...

Very nice pics! I look forward to reading it. The words and the shots complement each other. very nicely done!

Janonymous said...

It's perfect--it already looks like a well-loved book from your shelf.

The trailer is great, too!

Clovia

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Awww...thanks, guys! (p.s. Clovia - This isn't the trailer. That will come out in a month or so. Stay tuned! :D)

Cathy Kozak said...

Yes Sam, you look oh so fat...with talent! Nifty trailer, which really isn't a trailer ;)

Kelly Andrews said...

Gorgeous!!!!

Dawn Brazil said...

Awesome!!! Can't wait to read the book.

Tanya Reimer said...

I have goosebumps on my goosebumps. Can you believe that? Do they make me look fat?

I can not wait to read this. Incredible. I am so happy for you!

Traci said...

Oh my gosh - so exciting! Beautifully-done!

Jan O'Hara (Tartitude) said...

Beautiful!

Kara Mustafa said...

GORGEOUS cover!!

kellyhashway said...

The cover is amazing! Simply gorgeous! Congratulations! I'm so happy for you.

Janel said...

I loved it! All of your beautiful words mixed with the beautiful pictures was just wonderful!

lizmichalski said...

Absolutely gorgeous. (And it makes you look fabulous!)

Kate Evangelista said...

It's beautiful! I dream of all those places. :-)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Oh, gosh. You guys are AWESOME. I'm overwhelmed. Thank you soooo much. I'm going to be grinning the ENTIRE DAY. :D

mymommyology said...

SAM! Super duper Like! I want my copy signed ha! :)
Congratulations! It looks so exciting!

Scrollwork said...

It looks like a well-loved book that's been on our shelves for years! I love it. And those photos of your friends are haunting. Just the snippets from your book are enough to make us want the story to end well for Max and Shelley.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks!!!! I could never have dreamed up the cover myself. I can honestly say this design never even crossed my mind, but when I saw it, I was awed by how the designer "got" the book. As for the pictures - how I came to meet the brilliant photographers behind them is quite amazing as well - another awesome surprise at a corner of this twisty path. :D

Jennifer Hillier said...

Stunning! You must be so happy. It's gorgeous. Huge congrats!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, agency-mate! Can you believe how fast our pub dates are coming up? You'll be seeing CREEP on the shelves SOON! :D

M Kathy Brown said...

Hi Sam ~
Beautiful book, appropriate cover, amazing writing and absolutely love your vid promo!! Thank you for posting it! I may want to do a promo for you at my site if you wouldn't mind...and use the vid...what d'ya think?

Your colleague and friend,
Kathy

Meredith said...

The descriptions you've included are so vivid! That plus the gorgeous pictures make me feel like I'm actually there. Just beautiful!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hi, Kathy! Thank yo so much! And of course I'd LOVE to be on your site! Thank you so much for the opportunity! I'm beyond thrilled :D

Meredith - Thank you!!! :D I wanted to include all the countries featured in the book, but the video got waaaay too long. The original was over 5 minutes! LOL

Jen Daiker said...

I love the sound of this book however I have the misfortune of looking at this at work so they've blocked whatever special thing you wanted to show! That being said you've been bookmarked so I can look at home!

Regardless, HOW FLIPPING EXCITING!!!!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hey, Jen! Can't wait for you to see it! Promise to let me know what you think, okay? :)

Elaine Cristina said...

Wow. Just. Wow.

The bits and pieces from the book is a teaser to everyone, but me (Look, modesty flew out of the window! :D). For me, it was a reminder of how wonderful a journey it was. Damn it. I'm crying all over again...

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hey, Elaine!!! So happy to see you here! *hugs* I'll now admit that I was SUPER NERVOUS about you seeing the tour since you've already read the book. I am SOOOOOOOOO relieved that you like it!!! I'm going to go to bed now with a HUGE smile on my face. Thank you, thank you, thank you, my dear! :D

C.M. Villani said...

Oh wow Sam! That was beautiful and that cover is absolute perfection!!!! It seems to fit your novel perfectly - I love it!

Deborah Lawrenson said...

I'd be thrilled if that were my cover! Very elegant and appealing to a wide readership. Love the line in the trailer about the taste of Venice.

vinobaby said...

Fabulous!! The cover is beautiful, the words enthralling, the pictures breathtaking. I simply cannot wait to read your book.

Congratulations!

hot girl said...

nice post.

Serendipity's Library said...

I Love it! I can not wait to read it. I have been bragging to all my non blog friends that we are blog friends. They are so jealous of me. I am so excited for you and can not wait to add your lovely book to my library.
Have a wonderfully exciting day!

Andrew Leon said...

I just found your blog. Congratulations on your book! The video is great. I'll be looking forward to picking up a copy when it becomes available.

http://strangepegs.blogspot.com/

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Christina - Yay!!! Thank you! I'm really happy you like it! Now you know why the music you posted on your blog gave me goosebumps. I think that song has a similar tone and feel as the one in the video :D
Deborah - Knowing your excellent taste in art, I'm thrilled you like the cover!!! Thank you! :D
Vinobaby - Thank you so much!!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :D
Hot girl - Thank you! (and thanks for stopping by!) :D
Serendipity - *blushes* Awww...thank you so much! It would be beyond awesome for Before Ever After to find a home in your library. :D
Andrew - Thank you and welcome to the blog! *Offers a cupcake* Hope to see you around often! :D

WhisperingWriter said...

Love it. Congrats!!

C.M. Villani said...

It is! Its fabulous, and gorgeous and just plain lovely. And I can't wait for it to hit the book stores, Sam. :D

Kara said...

I love it! And I am so excited for you! I can't wait to read it, share it with my friends, and say, "I know her, she's my blogging friend."

Danielle said...

Your cover is beautiful, Sam! I love the description of your book too, and I especially love that they go to Paris! I can't wait to buy it when it comes out! Congrats!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Whispering Writer - Thank you so much! :D
Christina - Thank you, my friend. :D
Kara - Aww...thanks! I'm so glad our blogging paths crossed :D
Danielle - Thank you! There was no way that I was going to leave out our fave city from the tour. :D

Joy Page Manuel said...

I'm excited!! The book cover is 'poetic', so delicate...love it! Oh and I love the color too! :-))

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, Joy! I'm glad you liked the color! The designer tried other colors, but in the end the green design was the one that best captured the feel of the story. :D

(Florida) Girl said...

Super cool. You are such an inspiration.

Connie said...

It is absolutely lovely! Even my kids gathered around to watch it. I'm salivating to read the book. :)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Florida Girl - Thrilled you like it! Thank you so much!!!! :D

Connie - That's sooo cool! I hope they liked it. My kiddos like to watch it too (which ultimately leads to pleading about going to Europe for summer break) LOL Thank you!!! :D

WynnieBee said...

Loved the YouTube Vitrual tour - the snippets of your book, the music, the photograhpy all go together beautifully. My husband has a similar reaction when I become frustrated with whatever it is I'm trying to do at the moment! (smile) Much success with your book!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, WynnieBee! So glad you liked it! (And yay for well "trained" husbands ;-) )

mymommyconfessions said...

Love the cover! Love the virtual tour! LOOOOOVE EVERYTHING!!!

Cupid and I were at Fully Booked last weekend, and we said that we would soon see Before Ever After right smack in the middle of the Best Seller wall/ section...we are THAT excited, and happy for you...not to mention, PROUD! Oh, you cannot imagine how much!

mymommyconfessions said...

Oops...before I forget...and I know that this is nothing compared to everything that you have accomplished...but I want to let you know that I have (also) awarded you with the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD! Yay!

Here's the link:

http://mymommyconfessions.blogspot.com/2011/03/another-lovely-blog-award.html

You truly deserve another one of these....and EVEN MORE, really!

It's just my little way of showing and letting you know, that I appreciate you, your blog, your support, and your friendship.

More power to you!!!!

p.s. I sent a comment earlier. But Blogger said that something went wrong and that my comment could not be sent. Weird huh?! So, I decided to just compose another one. Just couldn't pass up the chance to congratulate you! :)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Oh, WOW, Mia! Thanks for the award and all your support!!! I'm truly flattered and touched!!! I'm relieved/excited/thrilled you like the cover and video! :D

Julie Flanders said...

This is so wonderful, Samantha! The cover is beautiful, and fits so perfectly. I loved the "tour," and can't wait to read the book! :)

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thank you so much, Julie!!! :D

Jennifer Walkup said...

Love it!!!!!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks, Jennifer!!! :D