Welcome to the New Year and a new year of #InkRipples. This month we are talking about book covers.
I have a thing for book covers. As a matter of fact, I have folders on my computer where I store the jpgs of each book I read. It makes me remarkably happy to open those folders and browse the images.
Have you ever wondered how the book covers come together? Each one happens a little differently, but some of the general rules are that the author gives the artist some basics about the book’s theme, the characters, the setting, any key item, etc. The artist designs a mock up and asks what the author thinks, the author says what they like and what they don’t like and the artist makes appropriate changes.
I know, you’re probably falling asleep by now. Such a clinical explanation. So guess what? Each Monday in January I’m going to share with you the progression of some of my very own covers. You’ll get the behind the scenes look at how the covers came together.
Today let’s start with two of my middle grade novels.
Save the Lemmings With this novel I had a pretty clear view of what I thought should be on the cover. I expressed the desire to have a school girl surrounded by media. I was super excited with the first draft even though there were things that had to be changed, most expressly, Natalie’s hair color.
Notice how the images in the mock ups are fuzzy. It’s because the image hasn’t been purchased yet. Good thing, since we changed it a couple times.
You’ll notice the sweater changes and then goes back again. I might have been pretty obnoxious about the fact that Natalie is a priss and I wanted that to be evident from the get-go. Featherweight was great to work with on this cover and I love the final image.
Unfortunately this book never had great sales and the rights have already reverted to me. One day I’ll repackage the story and republish it. But for now I still have a few print copies available with this awesome cover. You can buy a signed copy direct from me.
Beware of the White This book I had NO clue about the cover. So when asked what I envisioned I was like, “Uum…IDK. This is what Terra looks like. There is a scary bad guy who looks like ‘this.’ He is a death janitor.”
When I got the first draft I was like, “OOOOoooo.” But there were two things that struck me as not right. One I didn’t want another blue book cover. I had two other covers with blue or blue/green themes. And more importantly, I thought it gave the feeling that the story was scary. Which it isn’t. Though I LOVE the feet and arm sticking out of the janitor's cart. *Snort* Anyway, I shared a little more with the artist about the story, like how the underground city Terra protected is bright – all the colors of the rainbow - and peaceful. The poor artist could not find a good Terra, and finally asked me to look for one. I found a girl that was perfect looks-wise, but wore a hood in all the photos I found of her. The clever artist was able to remove the hood and use her. The new color scheme also made me super happy. It even ‘pops’ in thumbnail size. So after a couple minor changes, the final draft was very satisfying. This book is available in eBook.
So see how even though all the original drafts are great, an artist and author work together to try to best represent the story inside the cover?
Come on back next week and I’ll share more collaboration stories.
#Inkripples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.