This year, several Luckies will be featuring posts about a month before their release date talking about their book covers. We're going to be revealing some behind the scenes info about the process, our involvement and what we think of the final product. I love hearing what authors think about their covers, so this is a series I'll be keeping a close eye on--and I hope you do, too, dear readers!
I feel privileged to write the first Insider's Cover Scoop on my cover for NOBODY BUT US, releasing January 29th.
Right off the bat, I have to say that my editor is fabulous. Before the cover design really got off to a start, she asked me what some of my favorite covers are and what I had in mind for mine. I mentioned that I love black and white, subtle tones, realistic covers and great fonts. I also like grittiness, like the Australian cover for Melina Marchetta's The Piper's Son. I did specifically ask for no bright pinks and no ballgowns--but those wouldn't have fit my book anyway!
When I saw the first mock-up of my cover, I was blown away. It was fabulous! I loved the desaturated color palette, the big, teal title, and those cover models? They actually look like teens! Hallelujah! I feel like this is a cover that will stand out on a book shelf.
I know getting a cover with people on it can be a gamble. What if the models look nothing like my vision of the characters? What if readers want to imagine the way the characters look themselves? On this cover, Zoe is perfect. Her bangs! That vulnerable/supportive embrace! In the first go-round, Will was close. He had these beachy blond highlights that weren't quite right for him. In the book, his frame is tall and lanky, and he's (at least) half-Hispanic. Well, the highlights were taken out--the other changes weren't viable, unless I wanted the photo weirdly stretched or for Will to have an orange-y Jersey Shore complexion. And . . . no thanks.
Ultimately, I love this cover. The colors, the pose, the tagline. And, I recently received two finished copies and so, for the first time, saw the new back cover--so I'm sharing it here for the first time! It's perfect. There's a little bit of that long road feeling, like on The Piper's Son cover. Cover design team, I love you. I can't wait to share this book with the world. :)
Kristin Halbrook is a Seattlite and UW grad who loves good coffee, good food, good music, good sports, good causes, good reads and the word good. She's both intense and a goofball, introverted and gregarious. Her debut YA novel, NOBODY BUT US, will be released January 29, 2013 from HarperTeen. Find Kristin onliine at www.kristinhalbrook.com and on twitter as @KristinHalbrook.