Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Favorite Book Covers

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that last week my editor sent me a couple proofs for the cover of Meant to Be. I believe the postings all had a lot of capital letters and exclamation points ... you definitely couldn't miss them. There were about three different cover designs in different colors, adding up to seven total proofs.

I supposed the number one question I've been asked since I sold the book is, "Do you get to pick the cover?" The answer is no, but it's a little more complicated. The cover is made by an incredible talented graphic designer (thanks Heather!), who collaborates with my editor to get it just right. But marketing of course can get involved, as can actual booksellers like Barns & Noble and Amazon. When I received the proofs, I wrote back with my opinions, but I knew that while the folks at Random House are kind and listen to what I have to say, the decision is ultimately up to them.

Luckily, all seven of the cover options ROCKED. And though I have a favorite, I'd be wicked psyched to see any of them on the shelves at my local Barnes & Noble. I wish I could share it with you, but that's a ways off. For now, I'm going to leave you with a selection of some of my favorite book covers ... since I loved what Heather at Random House did so much, I guess you could say this collection of amazing covers serves as a bit of a hint!

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
The paperback cover is widely known to be an epic fail (even John Green says so), but the original hardback cover was unique and fresh. It captured the spirit of the book and the characters, and definitely made me want to read it before I really even knew how great John Green is. And best of all? Dutton is re-releasing the paperback version, and they're hosting a contest for fans to design the new cover! I also think the cover to his upcoming book, The Fault in Our Stars, is bold and badass, too.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
I love Sarah Dessen books. I don't always love the covers. This one, though, perfectly encapsulates everything that is sweet and delicate and perfect about This Lullaby.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
I had almost no early interest in this book until I saw the cover. It's both beautiful and haunting. And where can I buy this dress?

Love Is A Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
I LOVE GRAPHIC COVERS! I strongly prefer them to photos. The brighter the colors, the quirkier the design, the more it looks like it could be for sale on Etsy, the better. This looks like a print I want for the wall of my office, not just a book cover.

I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies) by Lauries Notaro
If a book is going to have a photo of a person on it, though, I prefer not seeing the face. I know, the decapitated cover girl is kind of an overused trope, but there's a reason. It gets in the way of a reader imagining the character (or even better, imagining herself as the character), when there's already such a clear example of who that person is. Also, if you haven't read anything by Laurie Notaro, I highly recommend it. Her memoirs are a scream, and I've read this one maybe three times.

Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski
I love the paperback cover for Gimme a Call. The colors. The outfit. The vintage phone. The fonts. It all comes together to look like a book that will jump straight of the shelves and into my bag.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
It's pretty hard to have your book cover suck when the name on the front is Ransom Riggs. Ransom freakin' Riggs. And this book cover doesn't disappoint. What looks, at first glance, like a simple cover, is actually really complex and visually interesting. I just keep looking and looking, drawn in by so many elements of the picture.

Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham
Hilary is a fellow Apocalypsie, and I got to see this cover on her iPhone not long after she received it. I was already intrigued by the premise of Reunited, but I'm not an ounce ashamed to say that the moment I saw this cover, I was like, "Yup, going to read this one on release day." Perhaps I'm a very specific breed of YA fan, but when I see a cover like this, I just  know the book is going to be my cup of tea. It's bright and cute, stylish but not cheesy, and gives me a sense of the characters without serving them to me on a silver platter. I can't wait to read Reunited for the book cover alone.

And a final shoutout to all the UK covers of all the Sarah Dessen novels. If I could have book covers like these, I'd be fine just locking myself in a room and staring at them all day long. Aren't they just lovely?

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