Yesterday’s Cover Love post featured The Mockingbirds simple and striking cover. Thanks so much to author Daisy Whitney for taking some time to answer some nit-picky cover design questions.
How involved were you in the concept of the cover? Did you envision a particular type of cover? One with a face? Simple design? Complex/layered?
My editor showed me a comp of the cover and asked for my feedback. I had originally envisioned a girl on the cover at a boarding school setting, ala “The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks” but Little, Brown wanted to go for something that connoted “underground” and “mysterious” and that’s where the bird came into place. On the printed jacket for the hardcover, the bird image will be raised to appear kind of like a sticker — perhaps even of an underground sticker campaign for a band or political movement.
The Mockingbirds gives a nice little nod to Harper Lee’s classic. Whose idea was it to use the tree?
Little Brown’s art and design team gets all the credit for the cover!!!
First there was the reveal of the red Mockingbirds cover. What was your first reaction when you saw it?
I always loved how striking and different the cover is. I think it stands out from the crowd and I hope by being unusual teens will be intrigued enough to pick it up.
As an author, what do you think is the most important message that a cover should relay? Should it be succinct to the novel’s message? Should it be pretty? Should it just catch someone’s attention, no matter what it looks like?
The cover is an important part of marketing a book, so as someone who lives and breathes marketing all day long (my day job is covering the media and marketing business), I believe a good cover should draw a potential reader in and invite someone to pick up the book.
There are various please do’s and please don’ts in YA cover art (contemporary or not) that I’ll be covering as this little blog grows. Are there some types of covers that sing to you and others, that well…yell?
I honestly don’t think there are any do’s and don’ts because there is such a wide range of YA covers. I think the goal is just to find something that stands out and catches someone’s eye. Covers that I am most fond of are Ash by Malinda Lo and Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl. I also love the cover for Gayle Forman’s upcoming novel Where She Went and for Gabrielle Zevin’s Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. I think the lack of rules are what makes these covers work!
Any other comments you’d like to make on the novel’s color or the design?
I wear blue nail polish most days and now the cover matches my nails and all my blue shoes! (I have six pairs of blue shoes!) So if you see me at a signing, ask to see my matching blue nails!
Hmm. I think blue nail polish is in the works for me, myself. Thanks again, Daisy!