A little while ago, Alea told me she's curious about how much input authors have with their covers. I always wonder too! So I'm here to share the story of Violet on the Runway's cover, and I hope to get some other authors to share their stories with me in a new "Cover Stories" series on this blog. (Authors, email me if you want to to share the dish on your cover.)
The original cover for Violet on the Runway is posted on the right. The only things that changed along the way were a bit of a shift (less of her neck) and fonts! (My name is in a different font on the final cover).
To start the process, my editor asked me if I'd like to submit a cover idea memo. I jumped at the chance, and emailed her lots of inspiration images from vintage books, like the ones below.
And here's what I wrote in my memo:
For each of these, the inspiration photo isn't a literal translation, just the look that sparked what I'm thinking, to help show it visually. 1. I like the idea of an underexposed photograph where a model's silhouette is visible but not crystal clear. (See Inspiration photo 1). 2. A vulnerable-looking girl, glamorously dressed but curled up in a chair with long, coltish legs hanging prominently. (See Inspiration photo 2). 3. The back of a model on the runway, with abstract-looking flashbulbs going off in front of her (so she is backlit and we just see her silhouette stance). This could go cheesy, but not if we give it a less-Nicole-Richie, more-iconic-star feel. Think old-school flashes, not so much Us Weekly red-carpet (See Inspiration photo 3, though I know it's a bit trippy). 4. A model's shape in the center of people's silhouettes all around her, possibly talking about her, buzzing, etc. (See inspiration photo 4... too retro?). 5. Something incredibly sparse and simple... a model's shadow within a giant spotlight or a runway stride silhouetted on black and white. (See inspiration photo 5).
So really, I feel like my cover was so true to what I suggested and wanted--the art team at Penguin's Berkley JAM did a fantastic job! And then they created this more whimsical cover for the Scholastic version of the book, which was fun too.
So, whose cover stories do you want to hear? I'll try to recruit some more authors, and I'll share cover stories for the other Violet books soon!