Saturday, February 15, 2014

The First Time I Saw My Cover

By Jaye Robin Brown

Yesterday, I revealed my cover to the world. But I wasn't always so comfortable showing my cover to people. You see, people have opinions. And sometimes their opinions don't click with yours.

Here's my story.

Early, in the beginning of this process, my wonderful editor asked me if I had cover thoughts. Were there trends I loved? Trends I hated?

Turns out I did have thoughts. I loved graphic covers. I didn't want a girl in a fancy dress or the close up of a teen girl's face who may or may not look anything like my Amber. I had a couple of images I liked in case they wanted to go a photographic route, but they were pulled back scenes, or the back of Amber looking out at an old-timey microphone. I even thought a Rainbow Rowell knock off with a little scrawled microphone and a little scrawled banjo could be cute. But what I hoped most of all, was they'd use the map in Amber's room.

This map is the physical representation of both the where of her dreams and her misguided attempts to achieve them. The map gets revisited several times through the course of the story and I thought it was perfect. My editor liked the idea, too.

Fast forward to concept design meetings. Turns out the designers liked the map idea, too. At the SCBWI Carolinas conference, one year to the date of getting the offer, I got my cover comps. I flipped out from excitement. It was the map, the title, my name! It was perfect. But here's the thing, I secretly showed it to a few friends who were all "YAY!" but then I shut it down. I showed no one else.

Not because I doubted the design. But because much like a first draft, you can only show comp designs to people who can see past the rough to a finished project. The maps weren't of North Carolina, they weren't colorful, the heart wasn't actually on a pin, the fonts were only hand drawn. In other words it was a sketch. Not a framed piece of artwork. And some people just couldn't see it. And I didn't want them raining on my parade.

I gave the comps the green light and said "Yes! I love this direction," and the talented folks at Harper Teen got to work. They bought beautiful maps. They had a craft day (see above) and the heart that made the cover? Made by none other than my editor. Which gives me many wonderful feels to know how deeply her hand has gone in the shaping of my story.

So, here it is again, the final product, in case you missed it! And don't forget about the giveaways, there's one you can enter for a framed piece of artwork and an annotated ARC for NO PLACE TO FALL here. And go back to yesterday's post here on the Fall Fourteeners to enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite and a shopping cart full of ebooks! Clickedy-Click.........And...............Voila! My cover! What do you think?


  1. Thanks for sharing the story of the cover. It's so cool that your editor made the heart on the cover. Now that I'm back in lovely NC I couldn't be happier to see it on your cover.Congrats!

  2. Awesome cover! I love the story behind it also. Congrats. :)

  3. I love it, and I'm so eager to get my hands on this book!! :)

    1. Aw Shari! I feel like you should be here when I get it. You've been such a great writing support friend through the years!

  4. Congratulations, Jaye! Your cover is lovely.