All About That Book Cover

paintbrush-red

You might remember the cover story behind The Glass Wives. No? The cover started out with two pink cups. Then we did this. The final cover has one pink cup and one blue/lavender/periwinkle (I was way ahead of the blue/black/gold/white dress curve). It’s one of the favorite stories I tell book clubs and at reader events. It’s that peek behind the publishing curtain that readers (and writers) covet.

So now, I’ll clue you in to the secret behind the cover for The Good Neighbor.

It started out as a red door.

It looked orange to me on my computer monitor, but everyone told me it was red. And I was thrilled! I have always wanted a red front door. It was like the art department at St. Martin’s Press read my book and my mind. While the red door isn’t literal (no red door in The Good Neighbor), it signaled warmth and welcome. And THAT was literal.

But…

Soon someone notice that another book was being published with a very similar red door. And then another. And because the pub date was originally December, we then were concerned The Good Neighbor would scream HOLIDAY STORY, which it’s not.

Back to the coloring board.

I’ll be honest, I am more a blue gal, than a red gal, but I loved that red door. But I took a deep breath and rearranged my thoughts and climbed on board the teal door train.

And now I can’t imagine it any other way. I’m so grateful to the St. Martin’s team who scoped out those similar covers. They want the cover to stand out, not fade in with other covers on the bookshelves and online. I’m very lucky.

But I’ll be honest, I didn’t always feel that way.

When the change came for the cover of The Glass Wives, at first, I was startled and upset. I assured my editor that Evie Glass would NOT have two different cups (since then, I’m not so sure). I persisted. Evie’s cups would match. I was urged to not be so literal, but to think about what the cups represented—and then I understood. The meaning of the cover went beyond the color of the cups to indicate the two different, yet similar, women inside the story.

It was perfect.

The same thing goes for The Good Neighbor. I based the setting on the street I grew up on in Northeast Philadelphia. Our front door were covered by metal screen doors (with screens in the warm weather, glass in the cold). The front doors were somewhat plain. Some had windows, some did not. I remember white doors and wood doors. I might remember a black door. I definitely don’t remember a teal door on my street.

This publishing thing is a learning process, and when I saw the cover I pushed aside my instant reaction that the door was wrong.

No matter the color, the door was right. It matched the tone of the book, the welcoming nature of the characters, and the neighborly sense of story that makes you want to knock a few times, and then step inside.

At least I hope so.

Amy xo

If you haven’t read The Glass Wives, it’s available in every possible way you’d want to read it. Hardcover, paperback, ebook, large print, audio book on cd or download. Check it out here or here.

11 thoughts on “All About That Book Cover

  1. I LOVED the GLASS WIVES! As for your cover on THE GOOD NEIGHBOR, it is beautiful (and I am not a teal person), but I feel it is very welcoming, beckoning the reader to open the door and hop right into your story. I cannot wait for it to come out and, I have already pre-ordered.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved your cover for The Glass Wives. When my publisher started asking about covers, I knew I didn’t want a person on it. Then I got lucky. I was talking with the publisher, and he learned my hubs is an artist. He asked if I wanted him to paint the cover. I jumped at the the opportunity. It turned out perfect. He captured the feeling of the town, and it’s totally different from any other cover!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d knock on that door any day! I remember reading about the cover evolution for The Glass Wives, Amy, and that your publisher had asked you what kind of cover you might like. That’s the first time I’d ever heard of that, but have heard of it more since. All I have to say is thank goodness no one asked me! I love both of my covers and wouldn’t have thought of anything so brilliant in a million years. “Cover design that sells” is truly an art form!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So interesting! The subject of book covers is one of my favorites because it really is fascinating to see how readers react to different covers, which ones they like and why… I love the look of the teal door. It certainly would make me want to pick up the book!

    Liked by 1 person

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