Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why my cover made me cry--the GOOD kind of tears!

Seeing your cover for the first time--especially when it's for your first book--is a very emotional experience for an author.

There's a whole lot of hands shaking, butterflies flapping around in your stomach excitement--but also a whole lot of OMG-What-if-I-hate-it?????? panic. (In case you don't know, authors don't get to design their own covers. We get a *little* input--but on the whole, the publisher is the one with all the say).

And sometimes, there's even the happy tears that come when you open the file from your editor and see something as gorgeous as THIS:


There were many reasons why I cried. Like how the characters look so uncannily like how I imagine them that I wondered if the artist somehow crawled inside my head. Or how there's my name--MY NAME--on the cover of MY BOOK. Or the fact that S&S somehow managed to give me something that is so much better (SO much better) than anything I'd ever envisioned on my own (hm... that's probably why authors aren't the ones to design their covers...)

But there was actually a much bigger reason it had such a strong affect.

Not sure how many of you follow my facebook updates, but a few months ago you might have seen when I posted this:


But what you don't know is that a few hours after I posted that my phone beeped with a text message. I'd assumed it was my husband texting me from work. But instead it was Liesa (my editor), and the message said this:

Just saw your FB post about Jason Chan. 
Um... guess who I booked for your cover months ago?? :)

Yeah--after I read it a few dozen times and texted her back asking if she was serious (she assured me she was) and called my husband to tell him the news--I totally sank to the floor of my bedroom and cried like a baby.

Not only am I a huge, HUGE Jason Chan fangirl and never, EVER thought I'd be lucky enough to have him as my cover artist. But... Liesa and I hadn't ever talked covers. We weren't really to that point yet (shoot--we still hadn't even announced my book deal). So to have her pick my favorite artist--and not because I'd requested him (or begged and pleaded and offered my firstborn child in exchange)--but because he was the person she'd thought of too was just... it was so... 

See ... selling you book is actually a pretty terrifying thing when you think about it, because you are taking something that's deeply personal to you to--that you've poured years of your life into--and handing it over to someone else, HOPING they treat it with the same love and care that you do. 

And of course I knew I wanted to work with Liesa from the very first phone call, but still ... I didn't really realize what I'd found until the moment I got that text. 

I'd found the perfect home for my series. 

To have my editor's vision and S&S's vision and my vision so precisely on the same page is truly an amazing thing.

And months later, to see those visions overlap in a cover that is not only perfect for the book but perfect for ME--and 10,000 times better than I ever could have imagined--is just the most incredible gift. 

So when I look at my cover I see more than just amazing composition and gorgeous colors and OMG-OMG-OMG-Jason-Chan-drew-a-scene-from-my-book-OMG!!!! I see proof that my book is in very good hands. And that is a truly remarkable--happy tears inducing--thing. :)

34 comments:

  1. I can only imagine the anxiety of waiting to see the cover. You have no worries, though. It's magnificent!

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  2. So very happy for you. Its wonderful things like this that bless us with tender mercies and give us little nods from heaven (or fate, if you will).

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  3. That's awesome! (And you can even keep your firstborn child. ;)

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  4. What an awesome story! Your cover will definitely make people pick up the book.

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  5. i love that you love your cover...and so do i! it's perfect, especially your name right there on it! can't imagine how excited you are about it. congrats! christy

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  6. You deserve every moment of this dream unfolding for you, #1!! :-)

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  7. Absolutely amazing. And they placed your name in such a perfect location! I rarely see that.

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  8. Oh I think it looks fabulous. I love the kids and the layout. Now I just cannot wait to bring one into my house and see what the kids think too ;)

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  9. What a wonderful story, Shannon! And SUCH an amazing cover. *pets*

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  10. I would pick up this book because of the cover. Congratulations, it's such a happy moment for you,I hope to one day get to see a cover of my own.
    What a wonderful way to see your dream come true.

    Maribeth

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  11. I LOVE this post! And it is SO true! When I got my first round of edits back from my editor, I was terrified. Then I saw them and I realized she had the same exact vision for my book as ME!!! It was amazing! And I kinda fell in love. :o

    So happy to hear your story, Shannon!! And that really is a gorgeous cover.

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  12. I can see why you are such a fan--he has an amazing knack for making the faces so expressive and inviting. I totally want to follow these kids on their adventure!!

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  13. Fantastic Post Shannon, well deserved

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  14. That is such an amazing story. I was just trying to explain to my musician husband the importance of an editor. He finally got it when I equaled them to a producer of an album. Then the light bulb went off. "Oh so they totally control how your book will be presented to the world."

    Congrats on finding someone with your vision.

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  15. I totally just cried too! So amazing!

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  16. Wow! That's an incredible story, Shannon!!

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  17. Oh, Shannon, you have now made me a most devoted Jason Chan fangirl. :) I went to his site, and I know why you like him! So real, yet so very magical - just like you're cover!

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  18. Wow! Your cover is so beautiful! And yes, kids WILL pick it up just for the cover (and then love what is inside it!).

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  19. Whoo, no wonder you're such a fan, Shannon. I love his artwork too, and I think Eyes Like Stars and The Princess Curse have some of the prettiest covers I've seen. Now adding Keeper of the Lost Cities to that list :)

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  20. I <3 it! The boy and the girl on the cover look SO good!

    And Jason Chan is absofreakinglutely brilliant. The EYES LIKE STARS cover is the best cover ever, methinks.

    You ARE cover-lucky!

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  21. This is an amazing story! I love how everything came together, and I'm so happy for you! Because it IS indeed an awesome cover and Jason Chan does lovely, lovely art. :) Congrats again!

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  22. I LOVE this cover and I would totally buy it just for the cover. ;) I can not wait to read this! Congratulations on your upcoming release.

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  23. Aww! That's so awesome that the cover artist you love is the one who ended up designing your cover. Sounds serendipitous. :)

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  24. What a cool story. Thanks for sharing.

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  25. Yes thank you for sharing your tears and story of your cover with us. It brought tears to my own eyes.

    I am so very very happy for you!!

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  26. THAT is an AMAZING story!!!!!!!!!!

    How totally, utterly cool!

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  27. The cover is awesome! Congrats. I can't believe you posted about loving Jason Chan's covers and seconds later you hear he was booked for yours. It gave me goosebumps :)

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  28. LOVE this cover!! And how cool that your editor had already picked out your dream artist! Gorgeous, GORGEOUS cover. This is going to be huge and I'm so excited for you :)

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