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A New Book Cover for the Australian Version of THE RULES OF INHERITANCE

The lovely people at Text Publishing in Australia have designed a completely new cover for THE RULES OF INHERITANCE and I love it! Every time I look at it I get a little teary. My mother is going to be on the cover of my book. I cannot even express how that makes me feel. I can’t think of a more beautiful way to honor the person I miss most in the entire world.

I still remember the first time I saw this photo. I was about twenty years old and my Aunt Pam pulled it out of a box that she’d had in a closet on Cape Cod, along with about three dozen other cool black and whites of my mother. This one in particular really struck me though. At the time when I first saw it I actually had the exact same haircut, and it was probably the most similar my mother and I have ever looked. It was like staring into a mirror and I’ve had this photo on the wall of every house I’ve lived in since that day.

Over and over I return to the conundrum that publishing this book presents. I want so badly to be able to show it to my parents, to hand them a copy, to say Mom, Dad, look what I did. Look, mom, you’re on the cover. But I can’t. And I can’t because the only reason this book exists is because they are gone.

But to imagine an ordinary stranger walking into a bookstore in Melbourne or Sydney and picking up a copy of this book and gazing down at this photo of my mother, quenches just a little bit of that ache inside of me. That my mother and father might live on in this way, that other people might love them a little bit and think about them a little bit, is more than I ever could have asked for.


  1. That is a fantastic cover. Congratulations!

    Comment by Nora on November 17, 2011 at 10:06 am

  2. Beautiful cover. And I can’t wait to walk into a bookstore in Melbourne or Sydney to pick up a book with this cover.

    Comment by Sophie on November 17, 2011 at 11:46 am

  3. What you’re doing is amazing!

    Comment by Lyssa on November 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm

  4. Stunning cover…serene beauty and a beckoning to engage with her comes through.

    Comment by Amber on November 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

  5. This is so cool. What a beautiful choice for an alternate cover. I love the US cover as well, but would love to find a way to get a copy with the Australian cover. Either way, I can’t wait to read the book!

    Comment by Carolyn on November 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm

  6. That is wonderful that her face will be worldwide. Why do they make alternate covers?

    Comment by Liz on November 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm

  7. I love this Claire – it’s perfect.

    Comment by Lori Williams on November 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm

  8. So beautifully expressed Claire, as always. I cannot wait to walk into a bookstore in Sydney (or maybe even Newcastle, closer to my place) and see it!!

    Comment by Ellie on November 18, 2011 at 1:35 am

  9. What a lovely, lovely way to honor the memory of your mother. It is a striking photo.

    Comment by Wendy on November 18, 2011 at 7:25 am

  10. Thanks, Wendy!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm

  11. Oh, thanks Ellie! You’ll have to take a photo of it in a bookstore for me!!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm

  12. Lori, you commented! Glad you like the cover! xx

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm

  13. Thanks, Liz! Every publishing house is completely independent. Penguin designed the cover for the US version but Text (or any other country that buys the foreign rights) can do pretty much anything they want with the book. In some cases they can even change the title if it doesn’t work well when translated. It’s fun though — I get to work with two amazing publishing houses who are both dedicated to putting so much great energy behind the book. I feel incredibly lucky!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 18, 2011 at 1:07 pm

  14. Thanks, Carolyn! It might be possible to order it online from an AU publishing website — the shipping costs might be expensive though.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 18, 2011 at 1:08 pm

  15. Thanks, Amber! I love it too.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 18, 2011 at 1:08 pm

  16. Sophie, you have to take a photo of it in the bookstore for me!!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm

  17. That’s perfect Claire but I will have to buy two copies so one doesn’t get destroyed – the extract you posted was brilliant and I cannot wait to have your book in my collection and to meet in you in person here in Australia!

    Comment by Emma on November 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm

  18. I will definitely take a photo for you Claire! And maybe if I spot one I can pick one up and send it to Carolyn – just a thought :)

    Comment by Ellie on November 20, 2011 at 12:22 am

  19. OMG……. I can’t wait to get my hands on my copy, Claire. I just came across two pictures I made of you and your Mother in the Summer of ’96. I’ll get them in the the mail to you soon. I need your address. Love, Kaye

    Comment by Kaye on November 21, 2011 at 7:29 am

  20. Aw, thanks Kaye! I’ll email you…xx

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 21, 2011 at 11:00 am

  21. Hi Claire, I’ve been a long time reader of your blog and coming from Australia I just had to say firstly congratulations on your book and secondly I will definitely be on the lookout for this beautiful cover when it hits stores down here.
    All the best

    Comment by Jane on November 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

  22. Stunning cover…and stunning refection about the cover, Claire. Congratulations on all these incredible milestones!

    Comment by Tre Miller Rodriguez on November 23, 2011 at 9:03 am

  23. Thanks, Tre! Can’t wait to see you writing similar posts!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm

  24. Thank you, Jane! Send me a photo of it in a bookstore when you see it!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on November 25, 2011 at 6:50 pm

  25. Hi Claire, I have just finished reading The Rules of Inheritance and loved it. It was so beautifully written and I cried a number of times while reading. I’m in Melbourne so my copy has the lovely alternate cover. I’ve been reading while breastfeeding my daughter and she has been fascinated by the pic of your beautiful mum.

    When are you coming to Australia? I’ve been a reader of your blog since it was Life in LA and would love to come along to any Rules of Inheritance events happening in Melbourne :)

    Comment by Susannah on May 2, 2012 at 5:06 am

  26. Thank you, Susannah! I’ll be in Melbourne the very first few days of September. Stay tuned for more details about where/when, etc. So glad you enjoyed the book! Hope we get to meet! xo

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on May 2, 2012 at 10:07 am

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