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Evolution of the RIPPLE cover

One of my absolute FAVORITE parts of the writing/publishing process is seeing my cover for the first time. There's something about that moment that makes it real. I had a very strong vision for what I thought the PRADA & PREJUDICE cover would look like, but ever since, I've just sort of left it up to my publishers' amazing design teams.

When it came time for the cover on RIPPLE, I wasn't sure what to expect. The book was very different from my previous titles, both in tone and in content/hook. In fact, I'd hardly begun to even think about it when an email popped up from my editor with a cover attached to it.

This is the very first cover for RIPPLE:

I liked it-- I did. And I knew exactly what they were going for-- it captures that whimsical, fun sort of vibe they did SO well with on Prada & Prejudice and You Wish. RIPPLE would be my third title with them, and they were growing my brand. They wanted my readers to follow me with this new direction.

But I was also concerned it didn't capture the novel quite right. Part of it was that they designed the cover while I was still writing it, which meant even my editor didn't know exactly what the book would be like. Lexi, in the book, is lonely, and empty, and cursed, and the girl on this cover looks like she's dreaming about becoming a mermaid. And... I had already decided I was going to get rid of Lexi's tail (her skin changes a bit when she swims, but she no longer has a full mermaid tail like she did in the initial proposal.)

My agent and I discussed our concerns and talked to my publisher, and then all was quiet for a bit. Anyone familiar with publishing knows that authors have little to no control over their covers. I was worried, but I put it out of my mind.

Then, a few weeks later, I was in New York, having lunch with my editor and my agent. And that's when they pulled out a new cover comp. I think I gasped. They had completely scrapped the initial cover and went back to the drawing board...and come up with something that looked very similar to the final:

When i saw it in the office, her dress was red. In the book, Lexi specifically says she's drawn to greens and blues, anything that reminds her of the water-- so they quickly adjusted her dress to match, and then sent me the above jpeg. We chatted about some very minor tweaks (there appears to be some kind of garbage along the grass behind Cole's feet, and Lexi's hair is too dark...).

Very quickly thereafter, they sent me the final cover:

As you can see, they also enhanced the 'scales' on Lexi's legs, made the sky stormier, and brightened up the water.

I love it. I could not love it more. And I'm still amazed and grateful at how far Razorbill (and designer Emily Osborne!) went to get the cover just right. It could not be a better match for the moodiness, the tone, the intensity of the romance.

Not long ago, Saundra Mitchell (fellow 2009 deb and talented author!) sent me a stock image she stumbled across:

I was absolutely blown away when I saw the stock image. Emily certainly had a vision! I can't believe she was able to take that and create something so perfectly suited for RIPPLE. (also, is it just me or does it look like there's a castle in the background of the stock image?)

Many, MANY thanks to the team at Razorbill for taking my thoughts into consideration and then coming up with a cover I couldn't love more.

[RIPPLE hit stores everywhere yesterday! Learn more about it HERE.]


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 22nd, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
Wow, I love seeing the progression of the cover-especially the original stock photo. Thanks for sharing!
Jen Albin
Jul. 22nd, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
It's so pretty!
Cass Chu
Jul. 23rd, 2011 11:54 am (UTC)
I love that you showed the progression leading up to your final cover! I think just reading this post allowed me to look more closely at the details, such as the stormy background and the bare feet. That's some mad photoshopping (or whatever they used haha) skills they put to use in the process!

I don't think I've stopped to say that this cover is just beautiful. I'm waiting for the paperback to come out so it can 'match' my copies of PRADA and YOU WISH. ;)
Jul. 23rd, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
I absolutely love the third cover. That's the first one that I saw on GoodReads. Major congrats on Ripple - I can't wait to read it! <3
Jul. 23rd, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC)

That was so incredibly exciting.
It was just amazing to see the change!
I didn't notice the scales until you pointed it out.

Now I just can't wait to read Ripple!
Jul. 24th, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
Congratulations and happy (belated) book birthday!
Jul. 24th, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC)
Love how the girl has violet eyes in the first cover!
Jul. 26th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
There's totally a castle in the background! Thank you for sharing the whole progression of covers!
Aug. 29th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
I loved seeing the changes RIPPLE's cover went through. I never even noticed the scales on Lexi's legs before! Will have to take a closer look at my copy :)

It's great to see the original stock image, too. And you're right--it DOES look like a castle in the background!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
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