Mari Mancusi has written a ton of YA novels, the latest of which are the Blood Coven series [read those Cover Stories]. Her very first Young Adult book, though, was Sk8er Boy. Now it's out of print and she's got the e-rights, so she was able to create her own updated cover. Cool, right? Here's Mari with the story: "You never forget your first. And for me, that was Sk8er Boy. My first true love and the title of my first young adult romance, published in 2005. Perhaps the most autobiographical book I've ever written, it's a sort of Romeo and Juliet with text messaging.
"I originally sold the book to Dorchester, a romance publisher who had just introduced a new line of young adult books called Smooch. I had done one other romance for them, but this was my first teen book. So you can imagine how excited I was to see the cover.
"It looks pretty silly now (right), but you have to remember, at the time, those iPod commercials (see below) were really big and so I guess the artist felt it would appeal to a teen crowd. Still, though I knew it was trendy, I never felt as if it captured the feel of my actual book. It's not romantic, for one thing. It's not sweet. You don't get a good feel for the plot or characters. Oh and I hate the girl's purse! At the time, everyone had hobo bags and large purses--hers looks like something out of the late eighties. As does her outfit...
"In short, the cover did not capture the story inside the book. And you know how people judge books by their covers...
"Fast forward six years. The book is now out of print. And I have the rights reverted back to me. Which means I'm able to offer readers the book once again, by self-publishing it as an eBook.
"And this time I didn't have to settle for a cover that didn't fit the book. I had complete creative control. And so I worked with Theresa M. Evangelista, who does covers for Penguin books, to create the perfect feel for my re-release. Theresa worked on another one of my books, Gamer Girl [read that Cover Story], in the past, so I knew she'd come up with something amazing.
"And she did! As you can see, we chose a very sweet, romantic photo and Theresa applied an instagram style filter to give it an even softer look. We also changed the title from Sk8er Boy to Skater Boy--since everyone was always messing up the spelling anyway and I wanted it to be easier to Google. I even had Theresa apply a little sticker for the "First Kiss Club", a new brand I've been working on of upcoming sweet, contemporary romances for tweens and teens.
"I'm so happy with how it all came out. Finally, I have a cover that fits my book. And best of all, now a whole new generation of readers can enjoy my very first teen book!"
Thanks, Mari! I love this tale of retaking an old cover and making it new. Very, very cool. And: That moment on the new cover is hot. What do you guys think?