Cover? What Cover?
When I signed my contract, there was a little box in the getting-to-know-you questionnaire inquiring what, if any, ideas I had about my cover direction. I looked at that little box for a few minutes. Yeah. I had nothin'.
Having since read a bunch of posts about "secrets behind your cover", I now realize that I am an outlier on the cover business. Not only did I not have one single glimmer of a thought (except for the pretty lame request that it be "something really cool!", which I think I actually typed in the box), I hadn't considered this question before at all. I just figured it was something my publisher would take care of.
I also now realize that I was rolling the dice, and could have ended up with a monstrosity.
Well, I didn't even know the lovely people at Strange Chemistry were kicking around a design when I got an email presenting me with my cover and telling me it would be revealed on YA Books Central in two days' time.
I have to say, I really liked it. I sent it to a couple of friends. They liked it too. Then I started to fret. It was too white. Not ominous enough. I needed, like, black or grey clouds rolling in at the edges, something to signal that freaky bad weather was coming the reader's way. I needed more drama!
I duly sent an email back conveying this, and my editor said that was fine, it wasn't a final version but for technical reasons they needed to get this out for the reveal and we could talk later. I was cool with that. Some weeks passed. I timidly inquired again, this time on a conference call with my editor and the whole marketing team (my first, and for which I screwed up the time difference, of course). She asked if I had actually read any of the few hundred comments posted on YABC about the cover. I was forced to admit that I hadn't. She pointed out that pretty much everyone liked the fact that it was so stark, and that it would pop in comparison to all the brightly colored or very dark covers out there (which is the trend in YA, it seems).
I was sold.
And I love the tagline too. So thanks guys! Especially the brilliant art director, Marc Gascoigne at Angry Robot. I definitely rolled double-sixes.