Carol Snow has some gorgeous, summery covers. She's here to talk about her latest novel, Just Like Me, Only Better, which came out in April.
Take it away, Carol!
"When my first couple of books came out—Just Like Me, Only Better is my sixth—I used to imagine covers and make some (extremely deferential and usually way too literal) suggestions. The art department would (very politely) ignore me and come up with something really interesting that I never would have thought of myself. Now I stick to the words and let the artists do their thing.
"For this cover, I said, 'I don’t care what you do, as long as the woman on the front cover is scantily clad and has something stuck on her head.' Okay, I didn’t actually say that. In the past, I have thanked my editor for sparing me the pink cover curse. I like my blue covers because they’re pretty. Also, they match my house.
"When I saw my cover, I thought, 'Oh, my God! Another woman with something stuck on her head!' This is three in a row. My two previous books featured a woman folded inside a beach umbrella (a question for the ages: where is that pole?) and a woman wearing a flowered bathing cap. I loved the Just Like Me, Only Better cover immediately because it does such a good job of capturing the story. (Basically: a struggling single mother gets hired to be the secret celebrity double of an imploding young Hollywood starlet.)
"I was far less sure of the cover for Here Today, Gone to Maui, which is about a woman who travels to Maui for a romantic vacation—only to have her boyfriend disappear while scuba diving. (It is a comedy. Really.) When the umbrella design came in, I stared at it for a long time before forwarding it to my agent with the message, 'I don’t get this. Do you?' She didn’t get it, either. So we both showed it around . . . and were astonished by how many people said they loved the cover and would definitely pick up the book if they saw it in a store. So I gave the cover a thumbs-up. The book has sold well, and now I’m genuinely fond of the whimsical design. Though I’m still a bit troubled about that pole.
"My contract states that my publisher (Berkley/Penguin) can do whatever the heck they want with my covers. However, everyone over there has been really respectful of my opinions, and the art department has tweaked designs per my suggestions. (For example, I wanted a scuba element on the Here Today, Gone to Maui cover, so they added flippers.)
"And the one time I absolutely hated a design, for Getting Warmer, they scrapped it and came up with something entirely new (the bathing cap shot). However, it’s probably worth noting that Getting Warmer is my only book to have been remaindered, so maybe I should have kept my mouth shut."
Thanks, Carol! I love the themes going on in all of these covers, and the colors are standouts. I think they pop in a way that makes the books jump of the shelf and scream "Take me to the beach!"
What do you guys think?
Melissa Walker is the author of four Young Adult novels, including the Violet trilogy and Lovestruck Summer. She is co-creator of the popular teen newsletter I Heart Daily and the new awkward-stage blog Before You Were Hot. Her author blog, where Cover Stories originated, is melissacwalker.com.