Cover Design Secrets by Patty Blount

In this month's blog, we're talking about secrets.

*shifty eyes*

I've got a BIG one.

I don't always like my book covers.

There. I said it. It's out there.

Traditionally published authors don't have much control over the publishing process and cover design is often one of those decisions that's a like or it lump it deal.

I have six YA novels published to date and of the lot of them, my favorite cover is SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW. The art department at Sourcebooks is nothing short of brilliant and they really captured the novel's premise with this design.

The "NO" nested inside KNOW is perfect. The character's physical appearance and her posture are both completely on target. And the grunge background is also perfect. 

But they're not all home runs. My third novel, SOME BOYS, almost went to press with a completely different cover, a cover I completely despised. 

The first cover concept Sourcebooks sent me for that book featured a blond model wearing a knit hat. 
Grace Collier's hair is black. 
Grace Collier would have frozen to death before ever wearing a knit hat. She's Goth and wears black metal studs and leather. A knit hat woud have made her sneer. 
Worst of all? The expression on the model's face. She was staring down, on the verge of tears. Also not Grace. Grace is a fierce fighter. She gets in your face and tells you off. She doesn't look down. 

I hated that cover with every cell in my body but Sourcebooks was ready to go to press with it. They even posted it to Goodreads. 

Then, a few weeks before release day, another author snagged the same stock image and Sourcebooks decided to do a second cover concept, which is the one that eventually went to press. 

I was okay with this image, but I requested more Goth make-up and luckily, Sourcebooks' art department was able to do that. Overall, this could be Grace Collier. 

If you're interested in the first pass, here is the one I hated. 

Authors don't control their covers unless they self-publish. There you go... a publishing secret revealed! 

Which cover do you like? Tell me in the comments.