Archive for March, 2010

Spot the Photo

Posted in book covers, book designers, double dips, stock photos on March 29, 2010 by Jacket Whys

Way back when I was in school for graphic design, we learned to make many thumbnail potential designs for the client. In my real life, I’ve worked with professional graphic designers a couple of times, and have been surprised that we were not offered many choices (or the choices were all on the same basic idea). So what I just love about the blog Beyond the Covers: Work and Musings from Ian Shimkoviak of theBookDesigners is that we get to see many possible choices for a cover that the designer is working on. Covers posted are usually for adult books – and this is the set for a book called Emma and the Vampires. I’m posting it because there’s something very familiar here…. see if you can find it [big grin].

Trees & Climbers

Posted in book covers, trends on March 22, 2010 by Jacket Whys

I don’t have much to say, other than since I love trees, this is a set I really enjoy. And do you see how I arranged the top row? Kind of like my previous post [grin].
Here are:  Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman (Viking 2009),  A Very Fine Line by Julie Johnston (Tundra 2006), Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur (Wendy Lamb 2009), Out of the Shadows by Sarah Singleton (Clarion 2008), Eli the Good by Silas House (Candlewick 2009) and Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls (Scholastic 2008).

Breathing: With a new boyfriend, asthma attacks that come when least expected, and a pesky younger brother, fifteen-year-old Savannah’s summer vacation takes many unexpected twists and turns. Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Very Fine Line: In the small town of Kempton, Ontario, in 1941, thirteen-year-old Rosalind knows that she has strong visual memories of moments in her past. But when an aunt informs her that as the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, she can also see glimpses of the future, she balks and tries desperately to deny her gift and her identity until her mother hires a young male tutor who arouses tender feelings in Rosalind for the first time. Ages 10-14. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Love, Aubrey: While living with her Gram in Vermont, eleven-year-old Aubrey writes letters as a way of dealing with losing her father and sister in a car accident, and then being abandoned by her grief-stricken mother.Ages 9-14. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Out of the Shadows: In 1586 England, Elizabeth, whose family is hiding a Catholic priest from Protestant reformers, and Isabella, a girl of her own age who was similarly sheltered by “faery” folk 300 years earlier when Catholics accused Isabella’s mother of witchcraft, work together to keep the persecutors away. Ages 10-14. Reviews 1, 2, 3. ( UK cover entitled Heretic, and the image used for it. Other books using this image: 1, 2.)
Eli the Good: In the summer of 1976, ten-year-old Eli Book’s excitement over Bicentennial celebrations is tempered by his father’s flashbacks to the Vietnam War and other family problems, as well as concern about his tough but troubled best friend, Edie. Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Ways to Live Forever: Eleven-year-old Sam McQueen, who has leukemia, writes a book during the last three months of his life, in which he tells about what he would like to accomplish, how he feels, and things that have happened to him. Ages 9+. Reviews 1, 2. (LOVE the UK cover)


Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2010 by Jacket Whys

I would really love to see someone do this with YA book covers.

New to Me

Posted in book covers, book designers, color, fonts, stock photos, trends on March 18, 2010 by Jacket Whys

An author/publisher asking for cover design input from you before making a final decision… hmmm. I wonder if we’ll begin to see more of this as more and more bloggers and reviewers talk about the importance of cover design. Here’s the arc cover of The Duff by Kody Keplinger (Little, Brown 2010). The comments here are pretty interesting if you read through them all (obviously people like getting a chance to comment ahead of publication).

Duff: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper starts sleeping with Wesley Rush, a notorious womanizer who disgusts her, in order to distract her from her personal problems, and to her surprise, the two of them find they have a lot in common and are able to help each other find more productive ways to deal with their difficulties. Age 12+.

21st Century Cover Design in a Nutshell

Posted in book covers, book designers, stock photos on March 12, 2010 by Jacket Whys

I found this fascinating for a lot of reasons – one of which being the fact that when I was in art school, we didn’t have computers. The process is so completely different now that it’s really pretty stunning to watch.

Thanks to the Blurberati Blog’s “How the Pros Design a Book Cover” for the video.

Simplicity Rules!

Posted in book covers, fonts, worst book jackets on March 10, 2010 by Jacket Whys

I ran across both of these new books online today and the contrast was outstanding enough to make me stop and think. Simplicity vs. intense busy-ness. Which works better?
Admittedly, my bias is the old cliche “less is more.” Sharon M. Draper‘s book, Out of My Mind (Atheneum 2010) is a peaceful blue with a nice complementary orange for a focus point. The simple image says a lot, though. Fish out of water… breaking free of things that bind you, etc. It usually irritates me when the author’s name is bigger than the title – but it works here. Draper’s name is subtle enough as not to distract. The white title attracts the eye if only because it’s white against so much blue. I like how “a novel” delineates the goldfish’s path out of the bowl. The bubbles add visual interest.
A Small Free Kiss in the Dark by Glenda Millard (Holiday House April 2010, Allen & Unwin 2009) – I don’t know why the Yiddish exclamation “OY VEY!” comes to mind – but OMG! Too much, too much, too much. And if that’s not enough, the strange font, outlined in white and squeezed into the layout, further complicates a cover that is already way too busy with text and mixed images. Maybe all this mishmash will draw kids? It’s only the plot summary here that might pull me in.

Out of My Mind: Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time. Ages 10+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Reading Group Guide.
Small Free Kiss in the Dark: Skip, an eleven-year-old runaway, becomes friends with Billy, a homeless man, and together they flee a war-torn Australian city with six-year-old Max and camp out at a seaside amusement park, where they are joined by Tia, a fifteen-year-old ballerina, and her baby.  Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Teacher’s Guide. See the Australian cover.