Cover Re-Reveal: Parts per Million

Forest Avenue Press has an invaluable asset: the eyes of our full-service distributor’s sales team. The Legato Publishers Group staff wants our books to have the best chance in the marketplace. So months in advance of the publication date, we have marketing meetings that offer input on metadata, blurbs, and covers. Their years of experience in working with many publishers on many titles feeds directly into the quality of our titles. When sales conference rolls around, we’ve tweaked all the pieces according to the marketing meeting and are ready to give the reps strong tools to sell each title.

These experts know how to sell debut fiction. They know how to sell literary novels. They know which pieces of my metadata are working for the book, and which need to be changed or expanded to work better. During our marketing call for Parts per Million, Julia Stoops’s debut novel, Legato staffers strongly urged us to consider a different cover. Our original one had a gritty, monochrome, street-art attitude that–especially once they learned more about the book–didn’t fit their vision of how to sell the story inside.

We loved that original cover for its fierce grace and its protest-oriented spirit, and Gigi Little, our designer, worked really hard to perfect the spraypaint look.

But advice from people with decades of publishing experience–the very people who will be in charge of pushing this book into stores and wholesalers–is hard to ignore, so we asked Gigi to try a different direction. True to her nature, she gave us an incredible number of new samples, all of them lovely, using art Julia had made when writing Parts per Million.

And this is what we ultimately chose:


The character on the front is Nelson; while Parts per Million is told in three points of view, the story revolves around him and the power an individual can have in times of political unrest.

Gigi manipulated the painting and the colors, worked on these fonts and placements, and all within a really tight timeline. We had to get ARCs out for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association tradeshow, Oct. 8-10, where Forest Ave will have a booth and where Julia will speak as part of the “7-Up and Coming” panel.

We love this new cover, we’ve gotten the thumbs-up from Legato, and once again Gigi has proven herself an invaluable (and did I mention patient?) part of the Forest Ave team.


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