We’ve all heard the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but let’s be honest—everybody does. While the cover design on a book doesn’t necessarily make-or-break the sales of every individual book, it is the first thing a reader notices. Before reading the back-cover blurb or looking up reviews online, the reader’s first instinct comes from their impressions of the cover design.
Before I dive into the complex world of book covers, I should confess that my rudimentary and frankly half-hearted initial search quickly turned into a passionate and intense hunt for cultural trends, typography, and design. It turns out that book covers are fascinating and not altogether unlike clothing fashion. Just as I wear styles first adopted by fashion icons who convince me of their chic-cool factor (I’m looking at you, overalls and turtlenecks), there are design bandwagoners for book covers as well.
Questions asked in the process of writing a cover brief for Sleeping in My Jeans: How should the cover of a young adult/suspense novel look? What should be on the cover to represent homelessness, hope, and the bond of sisters? Is the design going to be realistic or abstract?
Sleeping in My Jeans is officially one year out. While our official pub date is yet to be set, we’re planning on putting the book out sometime in November of 2018. To many, that would seem like a ton of time. What could you possibly do with an entire year until your book publishes? You’d be surprised.
The publishing world has long recognized the link between a book’s cover image and its genre. A quick glance at Derek Murphy’s compilation of “cliché book covers” will obliterate any doubts. There are no shortage of dragons to grace the covers of fantasy or shadowy figures for mysteries. People have come to accept and expect these trends. And now, so have computers.
Sleeping in My Jeans is the story of one sixteen-year-old Mattie Rollins who abruptly finds herself homeless with her mother and six-year-old sister, Meg. Though handling the pressures of school, a social life, and watching over her sister while their mother looks for an apartment are tough, nothing’s as bad as when Mattie’s mom turns up missing. A thrilling account of one girl’s struggle to keep herself and her family together, Sleeping in My Jeans is more than just a suspenseful YA novel. It brings up a host of legitimate issues that real children like Mattie face every single day in places like Eugene, OR, where the story is set.