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Friday, July 1, 2011

How I Got My Cover

You can't judge a book by it's cover... only, everyone does.  So when I decided to put out Destined, I knew the cover had to be breathtaking.  Something that would compete with the look of the big houses without breaking the bank.  And then fortune smiled on me and I met my designer online.  At the risk of sounding cheesy, I think it was destined.  ;)
I entered a blog contest to win a copy of Shade by Jerri Smith-Ready and low and behold, I won.  When I went to the YA Book Queen's blog to read some more of her posts, I noticed that another person had won both Shade and the sequel, Shift. This person -- JL -- had won by designing alternate book covers for the two titles.

In a word, they were amazing.  I knew this was who I wanted to make the cover for Destined.  I contacted the blogger, who got me in touch with JL -- who turned out to be the super-fabulous Josh Longiaru (stay tuned for his interview next week) and he said he's never done a cover-for-hire before, but he'd be willing to give it a try.  SQUEE.

First step, picking a concept.  I knew I really liked the covers of Falling Under and Abandon, so I was going for something along those lines.  With that in mind, we both started hunting for stock photos that would work.

Now, you've got to know this about my novel: it's a retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth, where Psyche is the most beautiful woman in the world.  So you might say I was a bit "picky" when it came to finding a face I liked well enough to fit the bill.

I found my cover photo on DeviantArt and instantly fell in love with it.  Only it wasn't for sale.  And the owner/photographer lived in Norway.  I tried to put it out of my mind and looked for something else.  But when my daughter woke me up at 2 am and I couldn't go back to sleep for hours, I decided, what the heck, it can't hurt to ask if she'd sell me the rights to it.  I sent an e-mail in the middle of the night our time.

When I got up the next morning, the self-portrait artist, Perri Eriksen, had responded that she was flattered and yes, she'd sell me the photo as a stock image for my book.  Cue jumping over the moon.

From there, the rest came easy.  Sure, I had to make sure I paid royalties on the fonts since they were for commercial use.  And I had to write the back cover copy.  And we went through lots of "just tweak this" and "can you change that?"  But in the end, I am SO happy.

I don't know how authors can stand to sit back and have no input on their covers.  I was grateful that Josh had artistic vision and came up with ideas for me to give the thumbs up or thumbs down, but I loved having that choice!

I want to thank everyone for their support of the novel thus far.  We're still months from launching, and I have friends sending me shout outs, which has led to new twitter followers, Goodreads friends, and I'm sure visits to Amazon.  So, THANK YOU!!  The YA reading and writing community is amazing and I love being a part of it.

13 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

It's a really great cover, and a great story. Can't wait to see it out.

GABY said...

It was a great decision, the cover is lovely. I really like the story of Psyche and Cupid, it's one of my favorites! I'll be waiting for your book :D

Dani said...

It's gorgeous! And it definitely does compete up there with the big house's covers. Added "Destined" to my TBR and I can't wait to read it! :)

khashway said...

Thanks for sharing your cover story. I've wondered how people manage to get such gorgeous covers like this!

TheReadingOwl said...

That cover is GORGEOUS! I love it! And I love the story too. Thanks for sharing it with us. Really cool that she's from Norway.

Eliza Tilton said...

The cover is beautiful. I would definitely pick this up in a store.

Thanks for sharing the process. I've always been curious if authors have a say in the cover.

Summer Ross said...

That is truly wonderful! the cover is beautiful and you should be proud of it.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

What a neat story. I do believe in destiny. Gorgeous cover.

Beth said...

Congrats on your awesome cover and the book win ;). You're on a roll.
bethfred.com

Lola7384 said...

You know I love it :)

Tiffany said...

The cover is gorgeous! I just added it to my TBR and my YA mythology list.

Kimberly Sabatini said...

Very cool! You just made the case for taking a chance and asking!

A.G. Wright said...

Your cover is beautiful! And the story sounds great! I look forward to reading it!

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