Mal­tese novel bags top Cover Design Award

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE -

2019 kicked off brightly for Mal­tese nov­el­ist James Vella-Bar­don, when his stir­ring de­but ‘The Sher­iff’s Catch’ won the re­spected eBook Cover Design Award on Wed­nes­day 9 Jan­uary. This monthly award is the brain­child of lead­ing US cover de­signer Joel Fried­lan­der, a dis­tin­guished win­ner of the Print­ing In­dus­tries of Amer­ica Gold Award for his book design and pro­duc­tion.

‘The Sher­iff’s Catch’ placed first out of 62 con­tes­tants in the fic­tion cat­e­gory. Fried­lan­der de­scribed its cover as an “out­stand­ing ex­am­ple of us­ing hand let­ter­ing to cre­ate a unique and his­tor­i­cal look for this cover. It also im­plies an ad­ven­tur­ous and grip­ping tale”.

The cover was de­signed by award­win­ning UK de­signer Mark Ecob, who has also worked on best­selling books by Roald Dahl, Barack Obama, Wil­bur Smith and Ar­turo Perez-Rev­erte. James col­lab­o­rated with Ecob on his de­but’s cover af­ter be­ing signed up by Un­bound, a UK press that is rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing publishing:

“The idea be­hind this cover design was to con­vey his­tor­i­cal fic­tion in a fresh, dy­namic, un­prece­dented way. The novel is in essence a thriller ex­cept that it’s set 500 years ago. It’s also cross­genre so we didn’t want to go with the usual Bernard Corn­well or Conn Ig­gulden cover which gen­er­ally only ap­peals to men above a cer­tain age.”

Since its in­ter­na­tional re­lease on 15 March 2018, ‘The Sher­iff’s Catch’ has also gone on to achieve a num­ber of other firsts for Mal­tese fic­tion in English. It is the first novel by a Mal­tese au­thor to be ac­cepted by the cu­ra­tors of dig­i­tal book club The Pi­geon­hole and on­line lit­er­ary plat­forms Net­gal­ley and Book­bub. It also made his­tory when its YouTube novel trailer was nom­i­nated in the cat­e­gory of ‘best trailer for a novel’ at the 19th Golden Trailer Awards held in Los An­ge­les in May 2018.

In Septem­ber 2018 Agenda Book­shop con­firmed that ‘The Sher­iff’s Catch’ be­came the first novel by a Mal­tese au­thor to break its best­seller list in English fic­tion, ris­ing to third spot just be­hind ti­tles by Dan Brown and Ken Fol­lett. It is avail­able for sale in­ter­na­tion­ally and has sold thou­sands of copies to date. These achieve­ments re­cently came to the at­ten­tion of the Pres­i­dent of Malta Her Ex­cel­lency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, who in Septem­ber 2018 in­vited James and his young fam­ily to pay her a cour­tesy visit at San An­ton Palace dur­ing their lat­est visit to the is­land.

“Meet­ing the Pres­i­dent was truly a great hon­our,” said James of the oc­ca­sion, “es­pe­cially since she loves books and is the first Head of State to have set up a li­brary in the palace. I’ve lived over­seas for over a decade but I mean it when I say that Her Ex­cel­lency’s in­vi­ta­tion marked a wholly Mal­tese tri­umph.

“Sales of ‘The Sher­iff’s Catch’ to date have been strongly driven by Mal­tese read­ers and I’m re­ally grate­ful for the way mem­bers of the Mal­tese me­dia, artis­tic and lit­er­ary scene as well as Malta’s book­sell­ers have thrown their sup­port be­hind it.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.