a Rafflecopter giveaway
Today we have the honor of revealing the cover for THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Zentner, forthcoming from Random House on March 8th, 2016. Jeff is a really cool guy and I was so excited when his book sold, and while book deals are crazy exciting and life changing, I was REALLY pumped when Jeff messaged me with the beauty we’re revealing today. Once you manage to pull yourself away from this arresting cover be sure to continue scrolling to learn more about the book, Jeff’s thoughts on the cover, an insightful look into the cover process between Jeff’s editor Emily Easton and cover designer Alison Impey, how you can win 1 of 5 arcs, and a high-five from yours truly.
HERE’S THE COVER! Isn’t it glorious?
Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, as he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and his very public fall from grace.
The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia . But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. The end of high school will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is happy wherever he is thanks to his obsession with the epic book series Bloodfall and the fangirl who may be turning his harsh reality into real-life fantasy. But Dill’s only escape is his music and his secret feelings for Lydia—neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, Dill must cope with another ending—one which will rock his life to the core.
Debut novelist Jeff Zentner provides an unblinking and, at times, comic view of the hard realities of growing up in the Bible belt, and an intimate look at the struggles to find one’s true self in the wreckage of the past.
JEFF’S THOUGHTS ON THE COVER
ADAM SILVERA: Jeff! Dude. I’m obsessed with this cover. The scaly font is pretty baller and the tone has this cross appeal vibe for both the YA and adult markets. I would’ve cried happy tears to find this attachment in my “Book Cover!” email. But this is YOUR cover so tell me how YOU feel.
JEFF ZENTNER: Let me tell you how I feel about this cover. If Crown had given me money to hire a designer and do anything I wanted, I might have come up with something I love half as much as this cover. Not only is the cover beautiful, the book has a gorgeous velvet matte finish that you just want to roll around on naked. I truly feel fortunate to have a brilliant designer like Alison and a brilliant editor like Emily in my corner.
CREATING THE COVER
EMILY EASTON (Editor): When you publish a book you have taken to heart and nurtured for so long, it is sometimes difficult to know what to put on the cover to help readers love it as much as you do—or at least to make them pull it off the shelf, which is the first step on the journey toward loving it. With such a richly textured story, there were so many directions we could have gone—and did try—as part of the process.
ALISON IMPEY (Cover designer): There was one line in the book that really stuck with me. In English class, Dill is asked what Lord of the Flies is about. He answers, “I guess it’s saying that we’re all born with seeds in us. And if we let them see sunlight and air, they’ll grow through us and break us. Like a tree growing up through a sidewalk.” This inspired a couple early cover concepts. One was a screen-print-style image of a guitar with a tree growing out of it that represented the creative seed in Dill that with a little “sunlight and air” could grow. A second option featured a tree, its branches reaching up through the title, with a snake wrapped tightly around the trunk. We then found the perfect illustrator to help bring these concepts to life.
EMILY: We shared these illustrated covers, and while everyone agreed the images were striking, the consensus was that the illustrated approach was making the book look too young for our targeted audience. There was also concern that the symbolic snake pushed the book more in a fantasy direction, while the content is realistic fiction.
ALISON: At this stage we agreed to go back to the drawing board. We enlisted a couple of designers to bring as many new ideas to the table as possible. We wanted to make sure no stone went unturned. As new ideas started to roll in, some featuring snakes, we realized that with our title—The Serpent King—we had fallen into the trap of saying and showing the same thing.
EMILY: As we moved in a new direction, we were drawn to the idea of showing the main character, Dill, to somehow depict the strength of his inner light, which allowed him to prevail against the darkness that threatened to extinguish it. Dill is really the heart of the story, and we thought putting him front and center could draw readers in.
ALISON: It was very helpful for us to regroup and prioritize what we wanted to achieve with the cover. When we started to discuss “triumph” as the main theme and the emotion we wanted to convey, it really helped us break through and refocus.
EMILY: We had two cover versions focusing on Dill that we were seriously considering. But there was one image from Alison’s early concepts that we couldn’t forget. It captured the sense of place, the power of friendship that was the saving grace for our three main characters, and the sense of hope that readers are left with by the book’s end. Originally I had passed this image by because I was looking for something either more iconic or more character-driven. But when Alison paired this image with a dynamic type treatment she created, it gave the cover concept a whole new power and interest.
ALISON: When we discussed triumph against all odds, I envisioned Dill breaking away and shedding his past. I wanted the title type treatment to represent this, as if the scales of Dill’s past are breaking away, scattering, about to give sun and air to that seed in him. So after a long process and many, many cover concepts, we did in fact land on an image that was in the very first batch of ideas. To some this may feel like the process was all for naught, but it wasn’t, and it rarely ever is. You always discover something new. The type treatment on the final cover is something that evolved through this process, and I am very happy it did.
EMILY: When we showed this concept to our team, it was met with a resounding “yes!” We all believe it has just the right appeal to draw in as wide an audience as this special book deserves. Or at least that’s our hope!
Thank you so much, Emily and Alison! I’m sure our readers will take away a lot from the insight behind this incredible cover.
HOW TO WIN AN ADVANCE READER’S COPY
If you want a chance to win an advance reader’s copy before the book’s March 8th, 2016 publication be sure to tweet about this cover reveal or share the cover on Instagram using the #TheSerpentKing hashtag. Jeff Zentner/Random House will select 5 lucky winners on Friday, July 3rd! You can enter multiple times on Twitter or Instagram (or both platforms!) but you must use the #TheSerpentKing hashtag each time.
What do you think of this cover? Would you like to hear from more editors and cover designers in future posts? Let us know in the comments below!Add a Comment
Folks sometimes ask me if I’ll ever do cover reveals of debuts. It’s an interesting question. Often the books that I’m doing cover reveals of are by authors or illustrators that I admire. If I’m doing a review of someone new, how do I know they’re any great shakes? I don’t, of course, but sometimes you appreciate a book for reasons above and beyond your familiarity with its creator. Take the case of today’s reveal. Called “Rules by Cynthia Lord meets Counting by 7s“, it’s set in Manhattan. That’s nice but if I’m going to be honest I was probably also attracted to the fact that the name “Thyme” is in the title and it reminds me of the old Edgar Eager title Time Garden.
Here’s the publisher description:
When eleven-year-old Thyme Owen’s little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. The island of Manhattan doesn’t exactly inspire new beginnings, but Thyme tries to embrace the change for what it is: temporary.
After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life—she’d give anything for him to be well—but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing. She finds herself even more mixed up when her heart feels the tug of new friends, a first crush and even a crotchety neighbor and his sweet whistling bird. All Thyme can do is count the minutes, the hours and the days, and hope time can bring both a miracle for Val and a way back home.
You can also follow its author, Melanie Conklin, on Twitter at @MLConklin. Many thanks toDisplay Comments Add a Comment
CHECK THIS OUT!!
Landfall is the final installment . . . maybe . . . (I hope not) . . . of The Guardian Herd series.
Unfortunately, you must wait until next February 2, 2016 to get your hands on this beautiful cover.
How cruel, isn’t it, to reveal a cover you can’t touch for 8 months. Well, I cannot wait . . . must not wait . . . I shall not wai . . . okay, I will wait, but only because it is worth the wait and because the story comes with the cover. Ah, the story. What is Landfall all about?
“It has been many moons since Star received his starfire power. He has gone from being born a dud—unable to fly and shunned by the five herds of Anok, including his own—to becoming a strong yearling, ready to lead his own herd as an over-stallion. But now he will face his toughest challenge yet. Nightwing the Destroyer, Star’s eternal rival, is amassing an army to destroy him and all of Anok. The only way for Star to defeat him is to learn how to fight like a warrior—without using his starfire. For if he uses his power, even to heal, Nightwing will know where to find him.
“As the threat of war looms over Star’s head, he can’t help but wonder if the current peace among the united pegasi is strong enough to defeat the powerful Destroyer once and for all.
“With increasingly difficult challenges and brand-new areas of Anok to explore, Jennifer Lynn Alvarez will thrill readers with this epic and exhilarating third installment of The Guardian Herd series.”
But hold on—there is more.
The Guardian Herd Series cover has inspired readers all over the country. Here is some of the amazing art fans have created to show their love of the series.
As if this Guardian Herd cover and those kids’ pictures are not exciting enough, I am pleased as punch-ing herds to have a partial glimpse at Guardian Herd author Jennifer Lynn Alvarez’s interview with the cover artist, David McClellan. Most of you know about Jennifer. Here is a little about David:
David grew up near Portland, Oregon. He studied illustration at Brigham Young University in Utah. In addition to illustrating books, David works as an artist for Disney Interactive Studios, where they make the video game, Disney Infinity. David lives in Utah with his wife and four boys.
Interview and Art Tips with David McClellan
How did you become the cover artist for The Guardian Herd series?
The art director at Harper Collins had hired me before, but on a completely different kind of subject matter. As she considered me for this job, she asked if I was any good at painting animals and asked for some examples, and I told her that I was okay, but that I was probably weakest at horses. Of course, horses were exactly what she needed. And she agreed with me that my horses were not my best work, but for some reason she took a chance on me anyway. I immediately went and got some books on horse anatomy and started trying to figure it out. In hindsight, I think I was probably equally bad at drawing all animals. It’s just that horses are animals that humans are really familiar with, and have such specific proportions and musculature, that people can always tell when artists get them wrong. If you draw a dog wrong, you can just say it’s a different kind of dog.
Please describe your process, from conception to delivery, for creating a Guardian Herd book cover.
The art director gives me a description of what they want to see on the cover as far as characters and what kind of setting they want. Then I do several sketches to try and turn all those elements into a composition, taking into account where the title and author’s name will be. Those first sketches are usually so rough that no one else would understand them. Lately I have been doing those kinds of sketches on my phone. I then pick out a few that have the most potential and make more finished sketches of those ideas to send to the art director. She will then review the sketches with the editor and author and then either ask for changes or give the go ahead on the one that they like best. Then I will do color studies and work out the big picture before rendering any details.
I will have to do research and gather reference materials, in this case, lots of pictures of horses and wings. I have used toy horses for reference too since the photos usually don’t have the right kind of lighting. So sometimes I set up the toy horse with some makeshift paper wings to help me figure out what the shadows need to do. Then, from that point on, it’s just a lot of hours of painting time to refine and finish it off.
Your perspectives on the covers are dramatic! Can you give readers any tips on how to draw interesting pictures?
As far as perspective goes, on both of these Guardian Herd covers so far I have dropped the horizon line lower so it feels like you are looking up at Star, which makes him feel more heroic. There are so many potential answers to the question of how to make interesting pictures. Coming up with an interesting idea that is worth the time spent creating it is certainly crucial. Doing several rough sketches to get at the best possible idea helps. Making your image clear and legible helps. For example, it helps to have a clear focal point that is the most important thing in your picture and then have all the other elements complement rather than compete with that main focal point.
I believe that contrast is a big key to making things interesting. Our brains naturally look for contrast to make sense of things. And not just contrast of light and dark but just about everything you can think of has an opposite that you can use to set it apart and make it stand out. Of course, not everything should stand out. Only the important things. But if you want something to feel light, surround it with some dark. If you want something to feel big, put something small next to it. Try to keep variety in your shapes and not make everything too similar or monotonous.
Do you have any specific tips/advice on how to draw horses and feathers?
Well, start by getting the best reference materials you can get. You may not be able to see all that you need to understand in a photo of a horse, so a book on horse anatomy or a diagram of the muscles of the horse can be helpful. With feathers, it seems to be a little like drawing fingers or hair. If you are drawing a hand, it works best to mass in the fingers as a group first before trying to depict each individual finger. And with hair, it’s the same thing. You draw the mass of hair and then define only as many strands of hair as you need to in order to show that it’s hair and no more.
With the feathers, start with the shape of the wing as a solid mass with the structure of the bones underneath in mind, and then add the feather detail on top of that foundation. And remember that you don’t have to define each feather with equal importance. Pick a few main ones to be the ones that tell the story.
Can you recommend any software programs that budding artists might want to learn?
I really only work in Photoshop for my illustration work, although I sketch in the Sketchbook Pro app on my phone. I have messed around with the Brushes and Art Rage apps on my iPad. I think the kids probably know better than I do what the cool new painting apps are. I always recommend that kids get really good with real pencils and paints before getting into digital art because I think that foundation really helps.
Partial Interview Reprinted with permission from Jennifer Lynn Alvarez. For more information on The Guardian Herd Series please visit The Guardian Herd series website. To read the entire interview, gallop—or fly—on down to the tour dates and sites. (But don’t go yet, there is “One More Thing.”)
Now for the author of The Guardian Herd series. Just in case you have been living in a WIFI-less barn, here is a little about the author, Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
Jennifer Lynn Alvarez is the author of The Guardian Herd: Starfire, Stormbound, Landfall and The Pet Washer indie book series. She lives in Northern California with her husband, three children, and more than her fair share of pets, including horses.
Guardian Herd #3: LANDFALL releases in hardcover, ebook, and audio formats on 02/02/2016.
If you would like to see more of the cover reveal tour—who knows what else you might learn—check out these sites:
June 15th—Middle Grade Mafioso (running entire interview with David McClellan)
June 16th—Kid Lit Reviews
June 17th—This Kid Reviews Books (Interview with Audio Book Narrator)
June 18th—Beachbound Books (Interview with Guardian Herd Character)
June 19th—Doodles Doodles Everywhere (Artist Interview Debut in India)
June 20th—Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
ONE MORE THING.
Really, there is one more thing, and you really need to pay close attention to this part. To be sure you’ll hear, I’ll yell it out:
“HERE IS THE GIVEAWAY MENTIONED IN THE POST TITLE!”
To enter for a chance to WIN a Tote Bag Prize you MUST leave a comment (with your full name and email address IF your name does not link to a website or blog).
Here is the Tote:
Oh, wait . . . I forgot to open it up. Ooh, inside are the prizes!
A signed paperback of book #1 STARFIRE (reviewed HERE)
Character trading cards (sorry, no image, but Stormbound is reviewed HERE)
AND, to carry home all this swag, you get to keep the actual Guardian Herd Tote!
. . .
That is one good prize package.
Ready to win? Leave a comment.
(Winner will be announced in a future post.)
Stay tuned, a review of LANDFALL will be here as soon as, well, Ms. Alvarez sends a review copy.
It is my infinite pleasure to present to you today a middle grade novel’s cover that amuses me in a way that really speaks to my particular proclivities. Humor is so subjective. Still, it is beyond me how anyone could look at this and not be immediately charmed. And so, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you MR. PUFFBALL: STUNT CAT TO THE STARS by Constance Lombardo.
And for the full jacket . . .
On shelves September 29th.
Thanks to the folks at Harper Collins for the reveal!Display Comments Add a Comment
This morning I have a cover reveal and giveaway for Rachel’s Deception by Karen Ann Hopkins. I enjoyed the Temptation series, and I’m looking forward to reading the continuation. Noah’s sister Rachel and Rose’s younger brother take center stage, and I can’t wait to find out what happens. Check out the cover, revealed below, and then enter the giveaway!
Growing up Amish is difficult…but leaving it behind is even harder.
Noah was Amish…Rose wasn’t. Being together should have been impossible. But somehow they found a way to make it work. They are finally a family, but their happily-ever-after is still a long off. Will Rose and her friends be able to force real change?
Karen Ann Hopkins returns with a gripping new book in the YA Temptation series. The powerful family saga continues with Rachel’s Deception, as events spiral out of control in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview. And Rachel Miller has her own secrets to hide. Noah’s younger sister has been living a double life. That is, until Justin Cameron, Rose’s little brother, catches her in the act. Rachel is not the obedient Amish girl that her sister was, and her rebelliousness takes her to a very dangerous world. A world that only her true friends can help her escape from.
As Rachel questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment, Rose discovers what it really means to be shunned. And an evil shadow looms on the horizon, threatening not only Rose, but everyone she holds dear.
The Temptation Series:
A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.
Karen is generously offering up a $25 gift card (Amazon or B&N) as well as a copy of TEMPTATION (book 1) to one lucky winner! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter formAdd a Comment
I have a Top 5 list and a cover reveal this morning for Victoria Denault’s NA hockey romance, One More Shot. This is the first book in Victoria’s Hometown Players series.
Top 5 Fun Facts about Victoria Denault
1. I’ve run the bulls in Pamplona, Spain – twice.
2. The title One More Shot was inspired by a song by a band named Kane.
3. The characters are from the fictitious town of Silver Bay, Maine. It’s roughly based on Old Orchard Beach, Maine, but I swapped the ocean for a lake.
4. The relationship between the Caplan sisters (Jessie, Rose, Callie) is inspired by the relationship I had with my best friends growing up.
5. I LOVE hockey and was lucky enough to be at a Stanley Cup winning game. Total bucket list item.
ONE MORE SHOT by Victoria Denault (June 2, 2015; Forever Yours E-Book; $3.99; Hometown Players Book #1)
They say you only get one shot at making your dreams come true. Jordan is determined to take two.
Drafted by the NHL at eighteen, Jordan Garrison was headed for fame, and there was only one person he wanted to share it with-Jessie Caplan. He was crazy in love with her, and had finally told her so. They shared an amazing night . . . and then everything fell apart.
Jessie tries not to think about the night she gave herself to Jordan-or how he broke her heart. She tries not to think about it, but she does. Especially now, when she’s staring into his sky-blue eyes for the first time in six years. After so much time and torment, she can’t tell if she loves him or hates him. But Jordan has learned enough to know a connection like theirs is rare. He was lucky to find Jessie once. No way will he lose her again.
About the author:
Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in LA but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.
Social Media Links:Add a Comment
Cover Reveal Day is here once more! This time it’s a true doozy. A Sara Varon (and you know how the kids clamor for her). Here’s a bit of a description and the book itself. And I know my mom would approve of how they’re holding their knitting needles:
Back before Odd Duck, before Robot Dreams, Sara Varon created Sweaterweather. This endearing, quirky volume is a captivating look into Varon’s creative process. It combines short comics stories, essays, and journal entries, and invites the reader into the world of Sara Varon: where adorable, awkward anthropomorphic animals walk the streets of Brooklyn and a surprising, sideways revelation is waiting around every corner.
First Second is proud to introduce Sweaterweather to a new generation of readers in this gorgeous jacketed hardcover, with a new cover and plenty of new content.
Many thanks to the good folks at First Second for this sneaky peek!Add a Comment
Girls solving mysteries is one of my very favorite things! It was great fun for us to host the cover reveal for Robin Stevens’ Murder is Bad Manners last year, so we’re delighted to be hosting her again, this time with the North American cover for the second book in the Wells & Wong series. Daisy and Hazel find themselves in more puzzling predicaments, with the central mystery taking place at a grand old English manor…that just so happens to be Daisy’s home. Poison is Not Polite won’t be released here until next April 2016, but we have your exclusive first look right here and now–along with the opportunity to win one of the very first ARCs hot off the presses. Without further ado–here is the fantastic cover!! It’s wonderful how the designer has changed the color scheme, but you can immediately tell that it’s part of the same series.... Read more »
The post Poison is Not Polite: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway appeared first on The Midnight Garden.Add a Comment
Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year, she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hookup, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But the worst mistake was her first one: destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.
Now, after two semesters of silence between Harper and Declan, Declan is home from boarding school for summer break. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger . . . handsomer. But Harper has changed too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.
While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on with her. But after she betrayed his trust, he’s also the one person she’s lost all right to seek comfort from.
As shared friends and shared histories draw them together, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still possible to fix and which parts they’ll have to live with forever.
I could go on and on about this book, but I know you’re dying to see the cover, so here it is!
Isn’t it GORGEOUS? We are so lucky to have Karina Granda, Designer at Simon & Schuster, here to discuss the process that went into the design.
Where do you start when it’s time to design a cover? Do you get a chance to read the book? Do you consult with the editor? How do you pull together those first ideas?
Every book is its own world and has its own process, which keeps my job varied and fun! Sometimes we just have an outline, author or editor’s concepts, comp titles, icons, etc. to work with, but whenever possible, I do LOVE to start by reading the book! I was fortunate to be able to read THE YEAR WE FELL APART, and it really helped me to get a deep sense of the tone and to develop a package that feels as special as Harper and Declan’s story.
As I mentioned, our projects are hugely varied–sometimes I get to work with a really cool artist, other times I compose my own iconic or type-driven covers, occasionally I’m able to direct and style a shoot, and sometimes we just comes across an existing image that perfectly jives with the story—and there are many factors that go into deciding the final direction: what is the tone of the book; are there any compelling icons; is it important to show the characters; what other books do we want to be associated with; and of course, what is the budget?
The editor, Sara Sargent, and I both immediately knew that THE YEAR WE FELL APART needed an illustrated cover since it would give us huge range for creating a unique package that would capture many aspects of the story. Which brings us to that question: The editor is hugely involved through the whole process, and our editorial team does a tremendous job of providing ideas and feedback and ensuring that the images and tone are right for each individual project.
Tell us a little about the cover design for THE YEAR WE FELL APART. What choices did you make, and what did you want to convey?
In the case of THE YEAR WE FELL APART, we were able to work with the fabulous artist, Sarah Dennis, whom I’ve been wanting to work with for a long time! She not only illustrates, but she creates her illustrations through cut paper rather than drawing, which just brought that extra special touch that we wanted for this cover. We knew she could bring the right feel. As a team, thematically, we wanted to emphasize the course of the year and time and the seasons through the cover. So much of the book is about what can and cannot be changed over the course of time (and the emotions that come with that!), so we felt that depicting the course of the year with images that felt relevant to the story would make for a good cover.
Though all projects can (and do!) take many different directions and turns, ultimately the end products are always the result of a very collaborative team effort, and THE YEAR WE FELL APART was definitely no exception. The author pulled a bunch of images from the story that felt most relevant to her—the oak leaves were specific to the type of tree that was special to Harper and Declan, the friends spend a lot time in a quarry during the summers so it is a place of tension now that Declan and Harper are at odds, etc. Among many other ideas, the editor made the key suggestion that we should bring a hand-written feel to the type design. I found and art directed the illustrator, provided direction for the palette and composition, and created the hand-written elements on the jacket. Sarah Dennis brought her own ideas, compositions, wonderful details, and most importantly, her killer illustration skills!
How many concepts did you consider, and how many drafts did this one go through?
Honesty, I cannot even remember how many specific concepts we considered for this book! So often tons of ideas are tossed around in conversations with the editor or at team meetings—many get left right there, some make it into rough comps, and sometimes we are picking between options at very final stages. THE YEAR WE FELL APART has been through two “final” iterations—though in this case they came consecutively rather than simultaneously. We strongly pursued the idea of focusing on the tree or a tree stump, and though our art team tried several iterations of that concept that were beautiful, it was ultimately a bit too young and did not capture the depth and scope of the story. However, that process did lay the groundwork for developing the ideas that made it into our final cover. Even when concepts are rejected, they are always a crucial step in the process!
Thank you so much Karina!
Author Emily Martin is also here to answer a few questions!
Congrats on your beautiful cover! Karina mentioned that you had some input into the design, in that you offered some images from the story. How were you brought into the process? What was that like?
Thank you! My editor and the team at S&S were amazing about keeping me in the loop on the cover design. We discussed which places and moments in the book felt most important, and it became clear we all wanted a similar look for the cover. Being able to see the cover evolve from sketch to final product was an awesome experience.
The designer said that lots of ideas were considered, and that there were two “final” versions of the cover. Were you able to see different drafts? If so, how much did they vary?
I saw sketches of both covers that became contenders, and from sketch to final version, neither of them changed too drastically. However, the two concepts were very different from each other.
I really loved the first design, so it was painful to find out the team had decided to go in a different direction. But I was fortunate enough to be brought into the conversation again, and I was thrilled when we settled on Sarah Dennis as the illustrator. I wound up falling even harder for the second design!
Since you were somewhat involved in the process, did you develop an idea in your mind of what the cover would look like? Does the finished cover reflect your expectations, or did it surprise you? How did you feel when you saw the final version for the first time?
Despite knowing who the illustrator would be and having an idea of the concept, it was still really difficult to visualize the finished product. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the cover completely blew me away. It just felt so special to me, such a perfect representation of my characters and their story.
Has your love of this cover caused any interesting new behaviors? Do you carry a miniature version of it tucked in a locket, or sleep with it under your pillow? (You can tell the truth. We’re all friends here!)
Ha! I am fairly obsessed with it, and did immediately save it on my phone… but I only peek at it a dozen or so times a day! Pretty sure it’s only a matter of time before a framed copy finds its way onto my bedside table.
More about the author: Emily Martin lives and writes in the Greater Boston area, though she will always call Michigan home. When not writing books, you can find her hiking New England’s peaks, searching for the perfect cup of hot chocolate, or baking something pumpkin-flavored. She is a member of The Sweet Sixteens and the Class of 2k16. Visit Emily online at her website, and on Twitter @thatEmilyMartin.
Thanks to Karina Granda from Simon & Schuster for sharing her process with us, and to Emily Martin for not only letting us host her cover reveal, but also generously giving away an ARC of THE YEAR WE FELL APART! (Emily will happily send an ARC to the winner’s US or Canadian address, once they are printed later this summer.)
You can add TYWFA to your “To Read” shelf on Goodreads and pre-order it on Barnes & Noble and/or Amazon. Please join us in congratulating Emily in the comments below!Add a Comment
Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani is Tu Books’ first New Visions Award winner. Seventeen-year-old Claire Takata discovers a secret about her deceased father that should have remained a secret.
The New Visions Award, modeled after LEE & LOW’s successful New Voices Award, is for unpublished writers of color who write science-fiction, fantasy, and mystery YA or middle grade novels.
Ink and Ashes is set to be released Spring 2015!
Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away ten years ago. But on the anniversary of his death, she finds a letter from her deceased father to her stepfather. Before now, Claire never had a reason to believe they even knew each other.
Struggling to understand why her parents kept this surprising history hidden, Claire combs through anything that might give her information about her father . . . until she discovers that he was a member of the yakuza, a Japanese organized crime syndicate. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed.
The race to outrun her father’s legacy reveals secrets of his past that cast ominous shadows, threatening Claire, her friends and family, her newfound love, and ultimately her life. Winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, Ink and Ashes is a fascinating debut novel packed with romance, intrigue, and heart-stopping action.
Thanks to the following blogs for participating in the Ink and Ashes cover reveal:
We can’t wait to hear what you think of the cover! Thanks to Sammy Yuen of Sammy Yuen Interaction Art and Design for the cover design.
Consider, if you will, the strange relationship that exists between a book jacket created in America vs. a book jacket created in the United Kingdom. Both are appealing to an audience that speaks primarily English. But the perception of what will sell/appeal in one country can vary widely from that of another. Over the years I’ve seen a whole host of British covers translated (so to speak) for Americans, and American covers translated for the British. Today we’re going to look at a couple of these and then I shall reveal a new book jacket that makes me inordinately, enormously happy.
First, we will consider the most popular books and how they’ve fared. For example, there was Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
British Adult Cover
Then there are authors like Laura Amy Schlitz who have done very well on both sides of the pond with her covers.
Harry Potter is a series with book jackets that experience quite a lot of scrutiny. Recently the books got new American and British jackets. Which do you prefer?
And today, ladies and gentlemen, it is my greatest pleasure to announce that I am allowed to reveal the American cover for the Frances Hardinge fantasy novel Cuckoo Song. I recently finished the book and it is everything I ever wanted in a new Hardinge novel. Released as a children’s book in the UK, it will come out here in the States as YA. With that in mind, it is a perfect companion to Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone as well as the works of Holly Black, Laura Amy Schlitz, and others. Indeed I kept thinking of Splendors and Glooms as I read this book.
So here we go. In the spirit of this post, here is the British cover:
And here is the American:
If that isn’t the finest creepiest book jacket you ever did see I’ll eat my proverbial hat.
Many thanks to Abrams for the jacket reveal!
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I am so excited to reveal the absolutely gorgeous cover for VENGEANCE ROAD, my historical fiction western YA novel coming out from HMH on September 1st.
Because I know you’re going to immediately scroll down to the cover, lets just right to the good stuff!
I don’t have official jacket copy yet, but here’s the short-and-sweet synopsis on retail sites:
When her father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, eighteen year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers–and justice. In the spirit of True Grit, acclaimed young adult novelist Erin Bowman brings to life the unpredictable and cutthroat days of the Wild West.
Guys, I am so in love with this cover. The Design team at HMH did a fantastic job brainstorming how to capture the atmosphere of VENGEANCE ROAD, and then the illustrator behind the artwork–Teagan White–hit it out of the park. From the pistols to the cactus to the skulls to the bits of gold, I could not imagine a more perfect cover for this book. It feels true to the time and setting (1877 Arizona), but still feels fresh and relevant to today’s YA landscape.
I had an absolute blast writing this book and am so excited for you to read it! VENGEANCE ROAD is radically different than the TAKEN trilogy, but if you like spitfire characters, gritty worlds, and a good revenge tale, I think you’re going to love Kate’s story.
But don’t take my word for it! Here’s what other amazingly talented writers have had to say about VENGEANCE ROAD:
“A story of grit, love, and deadly revenge that climbs off the page and into your heart–saddle up for a thrilling, harrowing ride!” –Alexandra Bracken, New York Times bestselling author of The Darkest Minds trilogy
“Vengeance Road is a page-turning, unputdownable story of revenge. Bowman paints a thrilling, vivid picture of 1877 Arizona, and Kate is a heroine to be reckoned with.”–Jessica Spotswood, author of The Cahill Witch Chronicles
“Gritty and honest, Vengeance Road captures the heart of the Wild West.” –Mindy McGinnis, author of Not a Drop to Drink
“A take-no-prisoners heroine with a bloody debt to settle. I’m still breathing in the dust and hot Arizona sun.” –Megan Shepherd, author of The Madman’s Daughter
“Relentlessly readable, Vengeance Road is a perfect western. You won’t be able to turn in until you get to the very last page!” –Saundra Mitchell, author of The Springsweet
“Flinty and fierce, Kate is a formidable addition to the pantheon of tough young adult heroines. Her story and voice crackles to life.” –A.C. Gaughen, author of the Scarlet trilogy
“Gold madness, a good-for-nothing posse, and frontier justice: Vengeance Road is everything you could want in a Western.” –Jodi Meadows, author of the Incarnate trilogy
“This is the kind of book I’ll re-read again and again.” –Susan Dennard, author of the Something Strange and Deadly series
If you feel so inclined to pre-order a copy of VENGEANCE ROAD, you can do so on most major retail sites: IndieBound / B&N / Amazon / Book Depository. You can also add VENGEANCE ROAD to your goodreads shelf here.
And because I’m feeling super grateful for the opportunity to put this story into the world–not to mention the gorgeous cover and the kind words from fellow authors–I’d like to give away an ARC of VENGEANCE ROAD to one lucky reader. This is US only (sorry, folks!), and the ARC will ship once I receive them from my publisher. Use the handy widget below to enter.
Erin Bowman is a YA writer, letterpress lover, and Harry Potter enthusiast living in New Hampshire. Her TAKEN trilogy is available from HarperTeen (book three out 4/14/15), and VENGEANCE ROAD publishes with HMH on September 1st. You can visit Erin’s blog (updated occasionally) or find her on twitter (updated obsessively).Add a Comment
I am lucky in my profession. Lucky not simply because I have a blog where I am offered the chance to reveal the American cover of Frank Cottrell Boyce’s latest book The Astounding Broccoli Boy. No, I’m lucky because I work in a profession where I even know who Boyce is and how fantastic his books can be. And if you’ve read Millions or Cosmic or The Unforgotten Coat then you know what I’m talking about. His latest is an exercise is absurdity that maybe owes more to Cervantes or maybe Ionesco than your average everyday middle grade novel.
Here then, is his latest cover.
Rory, the main character, is half-Guyanese by the way. And penguins make everything good.
Beautiful.Display Comments Add a Comment
|A Piper-approved necklace and $10 Starbuck Card|
A Piper-approved bracelet