Melissa Walker

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 Melissa Walker

maybecover.jpg Lisa Yee‘s latest novel, Absolutely Maybe, came out in February. It’s full of friendship and family and pink hair. In short, I loved it. And I asked Lisa to share her Cover Story, so here goes:
“It’s weird, but I didn’t have anything in mind at all for the cover. I used to be a Creative Director and my job was coming up with concepts and working with the art and copy departments to see them through. I think that once I became an author it was nice to be able to let go of that. Plus, I have total faith in my editors, Arthur Levine and Cheryl Klein, and Elizabeth Parasi, my art director.
“I knew the cover would be a photograph, but beyond that I didn’t know what to expect. I was asked about what the main characters looked like:
‘Does she look like Kelli Osbourne?’
‘Well, the goth-y part of Maybe does, but Maybe’s more petite and her hair is pink . . . and blue . . . and green.’
‘Does Hollywood [the romantic interest] look like Napoleon Dynamite?’
‘He’s the same height, but better looking in a geek-chic way.’
That sort of thing.
MW Note: Here are some of the covers they tried out. (Alea, notice that the last one is a Lookalike for Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell!) You can see these, and read more about the book, on Lisa’s site!
license.jpgdoublecover.jpgroadside.jpg
Maybefirstcover.jpg “Here’s the first cover, that was later nixed. The name also changed because of the movie ‘Definitely Maybe.’ I loved the kids here, and thought it was cool that Ted, Maybe’s best friend, is with her. It was adorable, only it looked more like a middle grade book cover. Because I also write MG, it was important that it be clear this book is YA. So it went back to get redesigned. However, the iconic feel of the final cover ultimately trumps this one.
“The Hollywood star in the background was a stock photo. Several models were considered and I saw some of their head shots. The model selected really captured the look I was going for. She was brought into the studio and her hair was dyed pink. For the shoot she was wearing a black Led Zeppelin t-shirt and the logo was photoshopped out. maybepre-tweak.jpg Here’s the cover in comp phase before the final photoshopping and tweaking.
“Once the final design was approved, the model was brought back in for a second photo shoot. I thought that was so cool. That they really wanted to get it right and went to that much work and expense for the cover.
“In the end, I just love it so much. And if you get a chance to see it in person, it’s even better. The lettering is raised and so is the question mark in the middle of the star. Perfection!”
I think it’s really eye-catching too, and I thought about the cover while on my trip to LA last week! Maybe deserves a star on the Walk of Fame. What do you guys think of this cover vs. the others? I say they chose the best one (though I like seeing Ted!).

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14 Comments

  1. Alea says:

    Well look at that Melissa! You know me so well, my eye went straight for the lookalike!
    I think the final cover is the best because while I do like the others I do see how they are a little more MG looking. And it’s great the see how the t-shirt had a logo that was removed etc. I love all the little details!

  2. Lenore says:

    I think this is a 5 star cover. I love it! I also like the driver’s license one, but it ultimely doesn’t fit with the story (unless it is meant ironically).

  3. The final cover is so perfect. Brava!

  4. Sadako says:

    They’re all cool, but agree that the final one was the best.

  5. Wendy says:

    Hi there!
    You’ve won an award! Visit my blog for the details – no idea how to do a link in a comment form! Sorry :)

  6. Lis says:

    I prefer the final cover.
    I read this recently, the story’s so cute!

  7. Claire says:

    I love all of them! I like the one they picked, but they are all adorable, especially the one with Maybe and Ted under the street sign–that would be so cool if it were the paperback!

  8. I nominated your blog for an award! Check out my latest post :-)

  9. Thao says:

    The final cover is very beautiful. Everytime I see it it reminds me of an MV. I actually like the cut off head cover too.

  10. Mari Mancusi says:

    I love this cover. Reminds me of that old Sassy magazine cover with Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love where he had the pink hair. (Yes, I’m dating myself here!)
    In any case, it definitely caught my eye at the bookstore and now, after reading this, I definitely want to pick it up!
    MARI

  11. I love this cover. The hair is what hooks me. And the star. And the title. And the author…
    And Melissa, I have read every single one of these cover stories and never commented on the amazing awesomeness available on your blog. So here it goes…
    These cover stories?
    Awesome
    ~Lindsey

  12. Great cover, cute book, fun author. :)
    The first mock cover cracked me up because it lists the incorrect gender.
    The model resembles Mae Whitman (a great young actress) in the laughing shots and the picture with Ted. Rock the hat, Ted!
    Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell is great. I’m glad y’all didn’t have to fight over the cover/stock photo. It really suits EB, and AM got a fantastic and suitable cover as well. :)

  13. (She also looks a little like Ellen Page.)

  14. Lena says:

    I think the ones with Maybe and Ted look like Tibby and Brian McBrian in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie!

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