Melissa Marr has had some gorgeous covers, and her latest young adult novel, Graveminder, is no exception. Here's the author to tell the tales of both the hardcover and paperback versions:


"When I write, the cover is far from my mind—as are readers, editors, reviewers, and most everything else. I knew HarperCollins had already published five of my YA novels so far with beautiful covers. Graveminder, however, meant a new cover team, and I was nervous when we reached that point. 


"Initially, I had a bout of panic. My first cover concept for Graveminder was jokingly named 'rancher falls in love with belly dancer' by a friend when I asked for opinions. It had a fluttering scarf and a broken barb wire fence. The second cover was greeted by my whole family with 'oh, that’s just like the ---- cover!' I was worried, but my editor, publisher, agent, and designer were all on the job.


"Then, I remembered this picture by Mark Tucker (who did all of the Wicked Lovely series covers, as well as five pieces of art that hang in my house).  I asked Harper to look at Mark’s art, and they acquired the image that became the hardcover cover (full jacket below):



"When I was in NY for meetings, they’d printed about twenty images of the cover with the title in different fonts. We spread them all out on a conference table, and we eliminated them until we reached the font that is on both the hardcover and softcover. We opted to use a script type of font because of the importance of a contract in the plot of the book.  


"I loved the final product. It felt like the book to me, and it is a beautiful image. They added effects—spot gloss and foil—and the book under the cover has my initials written by my hand and then impressed into every copy of the book. The whole package, from cover to interior art and my initials, thrilled me.  


"For the trade paper edition, the publisher wanted a less creepy cover. The flap copy, blood moon, and tagline all said creepy. Having an image that was more haunting was a way to offset the chills. Again, they sent me a variety of ideas, and we narrowed it down to two images.


"One is the central image of the cover (the woman with the lantern), and the other was a different image with the fall of poppies. I consulted a writers’ listserv I belong to, and all of the writers responded to either the girl or the poppies. I returned that feedback to my editor and art director, and they combined the two elements (right). We all agreed that the image of a woman leading us into an unknown destination spoke of the plot, but the fall of poppies evoked both the symbolism of poppies (death) and a scene in the book.  


"I’m very happy with both covers—and with the two British covers which both call out to the Gothic elements of the story (left)."


Thanks, Melissa! The hardcover and paperback images have different feels, but both are striking. While I love the creep factor of the first cover, I think the red pop on the paperback might catch my eye a little more quickly.


What do you guys think?


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Melissa Walker is the author of six Young Adult novels, including the Violet trilogy, Lovestruck Summer, Small Town Sinners and the upcoming Unbreak My Heart. She is co-creator of the popular teen newsletter I Heart Daily and the awkward-stage blog Before You Were Hot, as well as the blogger for Her author blog, where Cover Stories originated, is Follow her on Twitter @melissacwalker.


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