Tag Archives: Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland

Dark and Brooding Cover Art: Shaun Tan

Outer SurburbiaThey say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but we all know that that’s codswallop. We all do it. The cover can set the tone for the entire book. It can widen an audience, appealing to those who would never otherwise pick it up.

Judging a Book

I feel like I’ve been mentioning 50 Shades of Grey far too much of late, but it is a classic example. On the face of it, with the loosened tie flung casually against the limited blue colour pallette (see picture below, far left), the unsuspecting observer would assume that it was crime-fiction. Judging a book by its cover is the reason that the Harry Potter series begun churning out a simultaneous “Adult” edition and a “Children’s” edition – to appeal to both markets (see picture below, far right). One of my personal favourite set of covers is the original Terry Pratchett covers by Josh Kirby, what a dude (see picture below, second from left). I also recently mentioned a fantastic example of amusing cover art for Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland -worth a peek.

Quality covers

My cover artist of choice: shaun tan

As always, my cart is way before my horse, but if I could get anyone at all to create the cover for my progressing novel (or perhaps series of novels), it would be Shaun Tan. Shaun Tan is an awesome Australian illustrator who has won countless awards. He has an amazing dark imagination which always has a touch of humour. I am a huge fan, and am a proud owner of Tales from Outer Surburbia and The Arrival. His illustrations have a real folklore-ish and fairy tale-like quality which I think would match well with my story in Four and Twenty Blackbirds. There is also a touch of steampunk in his work, which is a genre that I really enjoy. I hope my words could live up to his artwork. Ah, to dream.

*The illustration above is from Shaun Tan’s Tales from Outer Surburbia

50 Shades of Alice in Wonderland? Seriously?

Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland.Sacreligious. Ack. I can feel the bile rising.

It’s not so much that I mind one of my all time favourite books gone to erotica, it’s something that’s often done in porn with quite amusing re-namings (Buffy the Vampire Layer, Men in Black Women, The Thighlander, etc). It’s that I object to the cheap knock off status of the books coming under what seems to be becoming the quasi-franchise that is 50 Shades of Grey. Perchance Lewis Carroll is rolling in his grave.  So sad. So so sad. (*insert violin music here*)

Amazon has described it as “The First Book in the 50 Shades of Alice Trilogy”, and pseudonymed Melinda DuChamp will most likely be inspired to keep writing, as the sales of 50 Shades of Alice in Wonderland are on the up. Melinda DuChamp recently decanted her sales data in an interview on Joe Konrath’s blog:

Alice has sold 3560 copies in the UK, and 2540 in the US (plus 1275 loans in the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library) priced at $2.99. Assuming the loans are $2 each, Alice has made close to $15,000 in the last 20 days. That’s more than many of my advances … Alice peaked at #194 in the US, and #56 in the UK. It is currently #643 and #208. At its peak, it was earning over $1,000 a day. Things have slowed down, but it is still outselling all of my other novels on Amazon.

Perhaps I’m overreacting a little, it’s all in the name of good fun after all. And the cover is highly entertaining, and beautifully done. Having now read the mock reviews on Amazon, I’m a little placated. Some examples as below:

“Sexy as hell. This is really going to turn you on.” – A turned-on woman who asked not to be named

“My wife really benefited from me reading this.” – A friend of the author

“Melinda DuChamp is my favorite author, because she came over and painted my house. Also, her book is pretty good.” – The author’s cousin

So, perhaps I will forgive Melinda DuChamp, and perhaps envy her just a little for thinking of it first. I do still hold fast on my stance that its 50-shades franchise status was a bit of a cheap marketing ploy, but then again, a self-published author needs to use every trick available.

So, Melinda DuChamp, I give you some grudging respect. You never know, I may even read it to see what all the fuss is about.