Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dishing Secrets about Margo Kelly’s Cover

I know you’re just as curious as I am about the cover of my debut novel, Who R U Really?
… Right? …

But since I don’t have a crazy awesome cover to show you (yet) … I decided to dish some secrets about the process of creating book covers in general.

Most aspiring writers worry wonder about their book covers and what level of influence they’ll have over the final product, and when writers pursue the more traditional route of publishing, sometimes they have no control over the cover. But we need to remember that publishers want book covers to be as awesome as possible, too, because they have a vested interest in the success of the book.

Wondering about the process myself, I emailed my editor, the fabulous Jacquelyn Mitchard of Merit Press for some insider information.

Regarding author influence, Jackie said, “All Merit Press authors have some input; but most authors aren't designers because they see things literally rather than symbolically. They tend to want the cover image to be a girl with light brown hair if the protagonist has light brown hair, for example.”

And that’s pretty much what Lynn Maddalena Menna had to say about the cover of her debut novel, Piece of My Heart. “It … features one of my favorite scenes in the book, when Marisol sings at a rooftop party in Manhattan with the skyline and starlit sky behind her. In the book she’s not wearing the gorgeous red dress … but I wish I had thought of it.” (For all of the details about her cover, click here.)

Merit Press utilizes the in-house talent of Frank Rivera and his team to design intriguing covers. While they don’t use a specific formula for every book, Jackie said they want the covers “to look classy and pop on the shelf.”

Exciting things are happening over at Merit Press, and soon they will have “a new group of teen readers called Merit 66, a book and review club. They're going to be helping to select the best cover and revealing it on Instagram and in other places.”

So while the cover for Who R U Really? is still under wraps, you can check out all of the other fabulous covers created by Merit Press:

And for the most up-to-the-minute details about my cover reveal, be sure to follow me on my personal blog:

Until then … what is your favorite book cover of all time?


  1. Great article - bet you're chomping at the bit to see yours! :) I love the line about authors wanting to see their covers in a literal sense. I wasn't sure what I wanted for my cover, but as I gazed upon it (again and again, lol), I came to see that the image POPS, and will hopefully catch the eye of the reader. Which of course, is the first step in actually getting someone to read your book. Fingers crossed for a very cool cover reveal coming soon!

    1. Seriously ... chomping at the bit. I've never been a patient person. ;) And YOUR cover is AWESOME!!

  2. It's fun to hear the thoughts behind cover designs. I'm looking forward to seeing yours when it's finally revealed.