from manuscript to bookstore -- the publishing process

Cover question 3
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From Merideth:

"What about the new John Le Carre book "Absolute Friends?" (I just saw it in a bookstore and did a sort of double-take!) Will that help or hurt, or is it irrelevant? And do they now want to make sure your book doesn't look at all like that one??"

le Carre is a much bigger name than I am, so any confusion might make his publisher grit their teeth, but probably won't hurt me. For every one of my readers who ends up with his book by mistake, he has ten readers, so maybe two of them will end up with my book by mistake. (I've also read his book - I had an ARC - and it's terrific, so I won't feel bad if anyone does end up with his. As long as they go back and get mine.) As an aside, he's one of my great writing heroes, so this is kind of cool for me. It's too late for a redesign, except maybe a color change, so I don't know what Bantam would do if the covers looked alike, but they don't at all. His has a person on it, and one of the decisions my editor made early was that there wouldn't be any human figures on mine. So any confusion would be only over the title. But what's keeping anyone from having a real cow is the fact that his book will have been out nine months by the time mine comes out.

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