Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Madman's Daughter Blog Tour: Cover Story


A great author friend of mine, Stephanie Perkins, likes to take the cover jacket off her book at events to demonstrate what she controls (the book and the words inside) and what the publisher controls (the cover image, title, blurbs). It’s a great visual way to demonstrate the partnership between author and publisher.

When I sold THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER, I was incredibly nervous to see how my publisher would handle the cover. I worked in my family’s bookstore for many years, so I know how important that “first impression” is…in many cases, when it comes to casual browsers, it’s almost more important than what’s inside! If the cover and title don’t grab a reader, then they’ll never pick up the book to see if they like what’s inside.

I submitted the book with the working title THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER, and I liked the title but had prepared myself for them to nix it,because several writer friends had warned me that only about 50% of books sold keep their titles. Luckily, though, my editor and the sales team loved it! They also kept much of the cover flap description I had written in my query letter, with some tweaks.

When it came to the cover, the designers came up with a brilliant concept for all three books in the trilogy, based on the books’ settings and inspirations. I was thrilled when I found out they’d hired a photographer and staged a cover shoot in the UK. It was one of those “I feel like a real author” moments. 

This is the original photo, which I didn’t see until much later:

And this is the photo after the photographer worked her incredible magic on it:

HarperCollins’ designers did a phenomenal job with the font, colors, and the design and layout for the spine, back cover, and inside flaps. A few days ago I got my author copies in the mail of the finished book, andcouldn’t help but smile to see the cover in real life. It so perfectly captures the Gothic, suspenseful, and romantic mood of the book. Even better, it’s exactly the kind of book that would catch my eye in a bookstore, and I can’t wait to see it on the shelf!

Catch up on the rest of the tour:

1/21  A Dream Within A Dream              Playlist
1/22 Hobbitsies                                        Author Q&A
1/23 Birth of a New Witch                       Top 5 Favorite Quotes
1/24 365 Days of Reading                     Author Q&A
1/25  Sci Fi Chick                                     Favorite Scene

1/28 Word Spelunking                            Top 5 Favorite Quotes
1/29  Books with Bite                              Author Q&A
1/30 The Mod Podge Bookshelf           Guest blog: Cover Story
1/31 Once Upon a Prologue                  Top 5 Favorite Quotes
 2/1    Book Twirps                                    Favorite Scene


Bookworm1858 said...

I am very interested to see the other covers now and how they will all connect. I know the second book is supposed to twist Jekyll and Hyde so that will be very interesting to see!

Beth W said...

It worked! The cover caught my eye right away (and then, on the blurb, the reference to The Island of Dr Moreau). :)

Cat Winters said...

I love this cover and really enjoyed seeing the original photograph. Thanks so much for sharing, Megan and Gabrielle!

Cassandra H Griffin said...

So true. I'm totally guilty of judging a book by it's cover. To pour your blood, sweat and tears into something, and then have someone else decide how it should be represented externally must be nerve wracking. But your cover turned out amazing! It's pretty fantastic what they were able to do with the original photo. Congrats!