Archive for June, 2010

Do You Design YA Book Covers?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2010 by Jacket Whys

And do you blog? I have a request (a challenge?). Here it is: Do one blog post like Ian Shimkoviak’s, where you show us several different ideas you had for a book cover – and which one was chosen for final production. Some narrative would be a bonus. Shimkoviak seems to do lots of finished looking covers for a book – all different ideas. It’s fun to see the different interpretations, but he rarely adds any explanation.
If you don’t blog, and don’t mind sharing – send them to me – I’ll be happy to post them!
I’ve always wanted to do interviews of cover designers on this blog. But there’s a problem. I want real stories… things like what outrageous requests designers have had to comply with. But I don’t want anyone to jeopardize their job.
But if anyone wants to include and anonymous story here, now would be the time. We’d love to hear about it in the comments. Thanks!

UPDATE: Adding links to posts that are sent to me, or I find… Lucky Breaks – Erin McGuire ; Brain Camp – Colleen Venable ; The Strange Case of Origami Yoda – Chad Beckerman ; Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies – Chad Beckerman ;

Ingenuity – NOT!

Posted in book covers, girls, stock photos, trends with tags on June 13, 2010 by Jacket Whys

So along the line of getting face covers off of YA novels…
I was sitting in my office last week and I looked up at our new YA novel display (new to us, not new in the sense of just-released) and this is what I saw:

I’m trying to imagine myself as a teen (okay, so that was a really long time ago) – a teen in the culture of today (not the ’70s…). How excited could I get about this batch? Some half-faces, some full-on faces, some fancy clothes. And gosh… I just don’t get it. Why does this work? What happened to standing out from a crowd?
It has always baffled me why it works (it must!) to attract young girls with beautiful girls in beautiful clothes. Weren’t we just talking about wanting to see ourselves, our culture, reflected in our literature? Even if you’re white, does this reflect you?

psssssssssst….. by the way, I love the cover of Hazel despite everything I’ve said, but I’ll never tell >;-)

Whitewashing Article

Posted in book covers, controversy, people of color, stock photos, symbols, trends on June 12, 2010 by Jacket Whys

Tanita Davis, author of Mare’s War has a great article, “Reflected Faces“, up on Hunger Mountain: the VCFA Journal of the Arts. In it she says:

It still seems as if young people with brown skin are acceptable to ignore, at least in the marketing departments where the Powers That Be have determined that Brown doesn’t equal Buy… This may seem unimportant—at least young adults of color are included in contemporary YA literature. They’re IN the books, and so if the nonwhite characters don’t make it to the cover as often, at least there are nonwhite characters, right? Shouldn’t that be sufficient when Caucasians comprise two thirds of the American population?

I’m working on a post comparing POC coverage ten or twenty years ago, with today. It’s lots of background work, so stay tuned – it’ll be up sometime!

Oh, and here’s the other article in a section they’re calling “Flipside“, “Teens Do Judge a Book by the Cover” by Mitali Perkins (in the same issue of the same journal). She says:

Get most faces OFF the covers of young adult novels.

Hear, hear! (and see my next post)

More Best Book Covers

Posted in best book jackets, book covers, covers from across the pond on June 2, 2010 by Jacket Whys

Australian version of Best Book Covers of 2010 from Readings: Independent Bookseller of the Year 2009. I like the one at right, Tensy Farlow. It’s not available here in the U.S., though it is in the Library of Congress catalog, which makes me wonder if it’s set for publication here (?).
Here’s a book trailer for the book (love the music).