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readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cover Stories: Giving Up the V by Serena Robar

Today, Serena Robar is here to share a Cover Story!

GIVINGupVweb.JPG
"Every publisher is different. With my last publisher, they asked me what I thought the covers should look like and I would write a detailed email and send it to them, which they promptly disregarded and then did their own thing. Since I'm a writer and not a cover artist, maybe my cover ideas would not have sold the books as well as what they chose. It's always a concern that you will get a cover that doesn't portray the tone of your book accurately and have a negative impact on sales.

"I've only asked for a change once in my book-writing history. In Fangs4Freaks I asked that the girl on the front not have black nail polish, since the heroine vampire was a cheerleader and loved pink. They switched it to a deep, hot pink.
In my opinion, she should have had a pink French manicure but in the end it wasn't a issue I was willing to raise a stink over.
fans4freaks.jpg
And to be honest, they would have ignored me if I had. Writers have literally no say over what their covers look like.

"With Giving Up the V, I really had no idea what the cover would look like and they didn't ask me. I found out they were doing a model shoot for the cover when my editor told me it was about to happen. I was pretty excited to learn they actually set up a traditional photography shoot.

"One of the things I hear about my cover is how wonderful that they used a realistic model on the cover. She isn't anorexic, she looks healthy. This makes me laugh because my heroine is supposed to be a 'bigger' girl. The model on the cover is New York's idea of a chunky teen.

"I loved the cover when I first saw it! Since I had no expectation and was up for anything, I was well and truly delighted. I thought the font and doodles on the cover really evoked the tone of a light, fun read. I suppose my only beef would be that my name is so small. When you view the cover online, you can't even see my name since they use a very thin, crayon font. With every book my name seems to get smaller and smaller on the front cover, but traditionally it should be getting bigger! Guess I never do anything the 'right' way.

"I asked them to darken the font and make my name bigger. They did darken the font but my name stayed the same. Overall, I was really very pleased with the cover so I am tickled with the end result.

"At my house, my books are all referred to as the 'midriff books' since almost all of them feature the middle section of a girl's body. This is a popular trend in cover art today. Just the body of the model with little or no facial features present. Sometimes I put my books face-out on my bookshelf and put Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series face-out on the bookshelf above mine just to see what my covers would look like with a complete person on the front, lol."

I love book cover play like that! And yay for a healthy-body cover model (who has kind of a bangin' body, right?)! I also really like the playful crayon font. What do you guys think?


3 comments:

ali said...

I love the doodles and the font. I'm laughing at the "chunky teen" thing because uhh, no. That is not MY idea of a chunky teen. But whatev. The girl looks natural and beautiful and a lot like most of the girls I know.

Thanks for the inside-peek into book covers and the author's lack of input. *sigh* I wish it weren't so, but alas . . .

The Brain Lair (KB) said...

I love the crayon font. I also like that the girl looks normal and not anorexic. I would love to kno about the title...

Angela said...

Oh, it's a great picture & a great font -sorry about ur name though!!