Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Making Of A Book Cover

I'm overwhelmed by the cover love for CANARY.  It's been crazy to find my cover show up on blogs and in tweets.  I'm glad you're all digging it as much as I do.

The cover process was one that both excited me and made me nervous as heck.  A cover can sometimes make or break your book (even though we all like to believe the saying that you can't judge a book by its cover).  I knew the day was coming close when I would get a copy of my cover, and anytime I got an e-mail from my publisher, I'd approach it with a bit of trepidation.  Crazy, right?

I didn't have any say in my cover, but I was able to give a little bit of feedback.

Do you want to hear about it?

My input all took place in a sheet I got from my publisher called PPTS (Pre-Pubbed Title Sheet).  It was over twenty pages long and contained questions about everything you could think of in terms of marketing my book (I promise to do another post on this in the future...some of the information is really interesting!).  There was a section in the packet that asked me specifics about my cover.  Questions such as (with my responses):

Height, weight, hair/eye color of my main character:

Kate:  Brown hair (long enough to pull into a ponytail)

Jack:  His eyes are a greenish-blue…kind of like looking at earth from space.

Personality descriptions:

Kate:  She’s going through some tough times for a lot of the story…she misses her mom and feels alone during most of the story because her Dad can’t/won’t connect with her and her brother has enlisted into the Army (which scares her).  She wants to find a connection to people, but has a hard time doing that because she doesn’t want to compromise herself. 

Jack:  A bit cocky because he’s a star athlete and feels he gets privileges, but he’s also a good guy…he respects Kate and her father (the coach)

Movie stars that I could compare my characters to:

Kate: Ellen Page, Willa Holland, Molly Ephraim, Ashley Rickards

Jack: Chord Overstreet, Chad Michael Murray

Clothing and outstanding physical features or items:

Kate:  She's current with the trends, but not too trendy…jeans (maybe skinny jeans), ballet flats…I picture her shopping at Old Navy or American Eagle.  She also wears a navy blue uniform skirt with white blouse at school.

Jack:  I picture him in typical preppy type clothes (Hollister, American Eagle), I reference him wearing jeans with Converse sneakers, a hooded sweatshirt.  He wears navy blue or khaki dress pants, white dress shirt and tie as part of his school uniform.  His basketball uniform is maroon and canary yellow.

Main locations where my book took place and important scenes:

*The state of Indiana

*Basketball court (Kate’s dad is coach and her boyfriend plays on the team)

*Beacon Prep School (old brick school)

*Swimming pool at night (Kate often swims laps at night, her mom swam at night when she was sick)


*The main character fights off a sex assault (after being slipped a date rape drug) by a player on the basketball team.  She finds the courage to speak up about it, but her dad silences her in order to protect the basketball team. She must decide whether to say something or not.

*The main character has lost her mom and feels like her dad has shut himself down and won’t talk to her and her brother.  She feels like she’s alone with no one to talk to.

*The main character is pulled into the world of privilege and perks given to the basketball players at her school.  The players are basically treated like gods and can do no wrong (they get away with everything).

Important Colors: 

Maroon and canary yellow (the basketball team’s colors)

I also attached pictures of what I thought my characters looked like, pictures that evoked the mood of the piece, and covers that I liked.  

My cover artist, Michal Wlos, created the whole cover with original artwork.  I sure do love it (especially the part with my name on it!).  The symbolism in the cover is amazing, and I can't wait for people to read the book and connect to all the little details that he included.  Hot diggity dog!

If you haven't entered to win an advance copy of my book (the first that's being given away), jump on over to IceyBooks and enter.  You have until Friday at midnight!


Krispy said...

Cool! Thanks for this peek behind the cover design. Interesting to see what information the designers/publishers go from in making the cover.

Kelsey said...

I'm starting to see some symbolism already! Can't wait to read this, congrats again on an amazing cover.

Jaime Morrow said...

This was fascinating to read, and the first time I've ever seen this aspect of cover design. The questions they ask are really interesting! Thanks for sharing this. :)

Anita said...

Thanks for sharing this info...fascinating...and good luck with your book!

Meredith said...

Wow, that is such a beautiful cover--vintage and cool. I'm so excited to see it on the shelves!