This week McKenzie and I had a ton of fun going to the Design Department meeting to see all the preliminary cover designs. They are still in the early stages—the covers at the moment are mostly mock-ups using images nicked from the internet—but we are super excited by all the great concepts. The designers are taking the 60s setting to heart by using vintage designs, images, colors, and fashions. I’ve heard through the grapevine there may even be some photo shoots this weekend to create the final versions of some of the covers. We are so excited to share with you the final choice after the entire press votes on the covers in a couple of weeks!
I am impressed by how the designers have taken the tone and symbolism of the book and translated it into YA-friendly designs. It is a tricky business with any book to create the cover but especially for one that incorporates two time periods, an activist movement, and time travel.
The most important aspect of cover design is to make sure it attracts the audience that is most likely to enjoy the book. In the case of The Ninth Day, it is a historical fiction novel with time travel, so we want to make sure it does not look like a paranormal romance by having a black cover and an edgy red font. Also, the book needs to look YA, which means using lots of photography, symbolism, and eye-catching visibility in the design. For example, some of the cover ideas we saw are using photographs instead of illustrations because illustrations tend to make the book look much younger. Other covers are incorporating symbolism drawn from the book, such as free speech buttons, Saxon coins, and blue threads, while a few of the designs are using 60s colors to help the covers stand out on the shelves. It is going to be a tough choice to make with all these wonderfully creative ideas.
McKenzie and I can wait until next week to see how the covers have evolved.