Maggie Stiefvater had one of my favorite covers this year with Shiver, and Linger--her upcoming summer release--is already a 2010 favorite. I had to hear the story behind these simple, subtle designs. Here's Maggie: "I was a professional artist before I went full-time with my writing, so I'm possibly even more opinionated about book covers than most authors. I had mocked up a few covers for SHIVER, but nothing that I was really happy with -- I was way too close to the project. They were all before the title change (which I think is crucial to the final cover design) and so they were all less wintery and more autumnal. "My publisher didn't ask for input, but they did give me the right to go 'OMG KILL ME NOW INSTEAD OF USING THAT COVER.'
"When I first saw the cover, I loved it. Seriously. No holds barred. It was nothing I would've come up with on my own (though I do have a painting I did when I was 15 that is eerily similar) but it was artsy, unique, and fit the book absolutely. They said, 'we want you to know you can say you hate it and we'll stop here and come up with something else.' But it was amazing. They asked again with the cover for my sequel and again, it was lovely, so I didn't have to say anything.
"The cover changed slightly, and they let me know about each change. The wolf's head turned a little, and they closed up some of the white space at the bottom.
"The design was done in-house by the cover designer, who had actually read the book, too, which made a huge difference for both SHIVER and the sequel, LINGER (right). It let him build in a lot of nuance that I think otherwise would be missing. I'm also thrilled that it's not a stock photo. I think it looks totally different from anything else out there, and yet not so far out there that you're like 'that's some weird woo woo there.'
"I love the subtle wolf in the corner of SHIVER's cover. It's like the novel itself -- mostly about people and winter, and then the wolves are almost incidental. The werewolf addition is really subtle, and the almost invisible wolf hints at that."
I just adore this cover. What do you guys think? I also found the UK cover, which is pretty too, but doesn't have the wolf! I'm all for the US wintry version.