By , on July 29, 2011


This past Wednesday, I was finally, FINALLY able to share the cover for my second book, FEVER, with all of you. And now that it’s out there and I’ve fielded some interesting questions from readers, I thought I’d talk a little bit about what the cover experience has been like for me.

The number one question I get is: How much say do you have in the cover?

And the answer is: None. And thank goodness for that, because if I were put in charge of my own cover art, WITHER would have looked like this:

Instead of this:

And FEVER would have looked like this:

Instead of this:

There are so many layers to publication, from the cover art to the marketing strategy to the sales figures. And of all those layers, there is only one that I control:

What you’re looking at is a screencap of WITHER’s original word document. Pretty barebones, isn’t it? It’s my job to take my imagination, an empty word doc, and a prayer, and somehow turn them into a story. It’s what I’m here for, and it’s what I live for, and I’m happy to do it.

It is then someone else’s job to take that word document, with its solid white background and plain black text, and summarize it into a single image. An image that will in many cases be the deciding factor in whether or not someone reads the book at all. An image that will be an enchanted magnifying glass to what’s inside.

I feel incredibly, incredibly blessed that my barebones word document fell into the hands of a designer who connected with my story the way that she did. A designer who mulled, and pondered, and angsted. Who drafted, redrafted, and started over from scratch. A designer who went to various stores, hand-selecting props that symbolized elements and passages that meant something to the story. Guys, I wouldn’t be able to do that if I tried—and I’m the one who WROTE the story. Do you know that there is a prop on FEVER’s cover that my designer anguished over, because she wanted it to accurately represent A DREAM Rhine has in the book? And nobody asked her to tear her ponytail out finding and then placing that prop–she did it because she had a vision for this cover, which stemmed from my vision for this story. And I have to admit, when I heard about that… my heart, it fluttered.

And very soon, you’ll all get to look past FEVER’s cover and see the part that I made. In the meantime, a cover is worth a million words—or at least ninety thousand of them.

So there you have it! What do you think?

9 Comments to “I found this photograph, underneath the broken picture glass”

  1. Eve says:

    I LOVE YOUR DRAWINGS! Haha, seriously they’re very cute.

    And I also love the Wither cover IMMENSELY. But I’m just not feeling the Fever cover. My biggest, and really my only problem with it is the girl. The model herself is very beautiful, but the pose she’s in, the way she has her eyes close… well, for lack of a better way to say it, to me it looks like she’s majorly drugged up. Everything else is intriguing–the rocking horse, the playing cards scattered everywhere, the suitcase. All that stuff is great. But it’s just that pose the model is in…. It ruins the whole atmosphere for me.

    And I say this with the most respect for the cover designer and the model. I think the designer did a fantastic job with all the props and the color schemes and such. And the model is, as I said before, gorgeous. So I know she could have done a better pose, like the one she did for Wither. As I understand it, that’s the same model, right?

    • Lauren says:

      Yes, that’s the same model. I think the pose and the props will hold more relevance for you once you’ve read this one!

  2. Scott Welsh says:

    Dude. That’s your first draft? I just did a side-by-side comparison. The before and after really aren’t all that different. Nice!

    And nice cover! You should release a special edition set when you’re all done, except with the covers you designed instead. I’d totally buy a second copy if the cover of Fever said, “I’m running away and stuff.”

    Anyhoo, thanks for being cool.


  3. zara says:

    The color scheme was a little unexpected because wither’s colors were so dark, this one is so bright. but I think that people are being too harsh without even reading the book. I’ve read the summary on goodreads a couple of days ago and it says that rhine is sick, so that’s why the model posed like that?

    personally, I think the cover is beautiful I won’t say it’s better then wither but it’s an eye candy alright. :)

  4. Kylie1403 says:

    Your drawings are sooo uber cute!!!! heheh I was asking you this on twitter just today!

  5. how cute!! I love your drawings :)

  6. [...] 7/29/11 – Lauren wrote up a post about her covers!  Check out what she has to say here.  I love getting an author’s thoughts about the aspects of production that they really [...]

  7. I, personally, love the cover, and I don’t doubt for a minute that every little detail on it bears some significance to the story. I can’t wait to find out how it all works in the story!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts! :-)

  8. Juan says:

    Wow! I still can’t get over the FEVER cover! I can’t even put words to it. It’s my favorite cover of the two, hands down. And if the green is all foil and the insides of the circles are glossy, then it’s pretty much a perfect package.


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