Catherine Greenman's Hooked has a cover that gets right to the point. Here's Catherine to talk about her debut cover's creation:
"I didn't have a very clear idea about anything as I was writing Hooked. The writing process, at least for me, as it was my first time, was all-consuming and very mono-focused on the characters and what was happening within the story. Looking back now, I'm amazed at all the things outside of it that I didn't think about at all. For example, I wasn't fully aware that Hooked would be marketed as a young-adult novel. But I guess that's what happens when your protagonist is seventeen years old and speaking in the first person!
"I originally was picturing using an old looking photograph of a young girl standing on a beach in a crocheted bikini. This photo is a touchstone throughout the book that eventually inspires Thea, my protagonist, to design her own bikini line. I was very interested in the idea of what positive steps one can take when they're in crisis, and Thea taking the steps to conceive of and start a business was one of the positive things that came out of her difficult situation. So I thought the photo would be a good illustration of one of the themes of the book.
"A friend was kind enough to lend me her six-year-old daughter and we put her in this bikini (you can see this photo here). To me it illustrates one of the story lines of Hooked -- a photograph taken when Thea was very young inspired her to recreate a bikini she loved wearing as a child. Of course, she didn't just love the bikini, she loved what it represented -- an earlier, less troubled time in her life.
"When I first saw the cover, I worried that it was a little racy. It's a profile of a tee-shirted pregnant belly and half of the belly is exposed and her fly button is undone. So I did what a lot of first-time authors did: I sent it around to my friends to hear what they thought, and the general consensus was that, although it was a tad in-your-face, and yes, racy, it was also very attention grabbing. So with the goal to sell books in mind, I was happy with it.
"The one element I wasn't crazy about was that the black crocheted heart on her hip looked like a tattoo which Thea, my protagonist, doesn't have. [They didn't change that.] I asked them to try and incorporate more of a crochet theme and so they did the spine and back jacket with a white crochet background (below).
"I'm pretty sure it was a stock photo, although I'm not one hundred percent sure. A lot of my friends thought it was me! I was flattered. I didn't look that good pregnant!
"I'm more or less happy with the cover. I like that the font is in script, which I think looks nice and somehow makes it less racy. Hooked is about a teenager who falls in love and makes the somewhat unusual choice of keeping her baby, so I think it captures the tension of the story arc."
Thanks, Catherine! I think this cover definitely tells it like it is. I like the simple white shirt and jeans, though I'm with you on the tattoo since it goes against Thea's character a little. Still, it balances out the title somewhat to have that graphic so I see why they did it. Overall, I think the colors are great and the cover invites you clearly into Thea's story, which is what it's supposed to do.
What do you guys think?