Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lauren Willig Cover Re-Design

So, a few weeks back, the cover for the new Lauren Willig book was unveiled. You can kind of imagine my shock when it was the above image, and not the type of classy affair us readers have been used to. To paraphrase the angry letter I wrote to Penguin: "Her followers have voiced their dismay at the change in cover design from that of sophisticated elegance, which greatly compliments her writing, to that of a trashy romance novel with a headless heroine, befitting a mass market paperback, not a New York times bestselling author. I would like to bring your attention to the fan hatred of the new cover, expressed on Lauren's site, in blogs and on facebook, and the fact that you will not gain any new readers with a cover that looks just like every other cover out there. Please realize that this change will hurt a very strong and successful franchise and that people do not want a change from beauty to tawdry. Please keep the integrity of this series in tact and get a new cover." Ok, well, that was actually pretty much the entire letter. The thing is, spending so many years in publishing, I know the author seldom, if ever, gets any say in what happens to their books, coverwise or promotionwise. So there's little chance of getting a change, and therefore my "perfect set will be ruined." Ah, I do loving a matching set, and every time Professor Slughorn comments on having the complete set, even if he was collecting "Blacks," I totally agree.

But Lauren, be the amazing, awesome and truly great writer she is thought of a compromise for the fans! How about a cover re-design contest? This couldn't be the cover, but it could be a limited edition fan cover. Seeing as I was already tinkering with the idea of doing this for myself. As I said to myself, Elizabeth, you are a graphic designer, if you don't like the cover, do a new one... in fact, I've often thought it would be fun to do this for lots of books, but I'd never been given the challenge before. Lauren has thrown down the gauntlet, I have picked it up!

Here are some of Lauren's previous covers. Now I wanted to maintain that "set" look. The feel of a collection and a unity in design. So I had a lot of fun it must be said, and I came up with my three entries.

Entry 1:

This is a painting by Jules Bastien-Lepage, who did one of my Dad's favorite paintings at the MET of Joan of Arc, which I couldn't turn down seeing as it's called Flower Seller, and for a series based on spies with flower monikers, too too perfect. The spine and the banner come from the paperback edition of Pink Carnation, while the flowers are from istock, yes I spent a little money on this. I also exact matched fonts, because, you have to have continuity people!

Entry 2:

For this one, the painting I used is Queen Victoria, it's just so pretty! Plus as Lauren said, "Another prescient cover! One of the pivotal scenes in the book involves an artist’s studio, a crimson velvet throw and Laura letting her hair down. " Oh, I can't wait! The Lace on the spine for this one was taken from Night Jasmine, while the binding is all my own work. The orchids are the same from the previous image (different color of course).

Entry 3:

The final one is actually painted by an ancestor of mine, Jules Joseph Lefebvre, and is just so perfect for this, more flowers! The orchids here are also from istock.

So there you go, a little glimpse into my mind, and you might be wondering, why am I interrupting valuable time with Alfred Hitchcock to bring you cover re-designs!?! Well, because now you can go and vote on them! Now I'm not saying to go and vote on mine (*cough, numbers 20, 21 and 22 cough*) but you're totally welcome too! But just go and look at how awesome the other entries are and see how much time and devotion Lauren's fans have to her books. She really is the coolest author, with some of the coolest fans around! So go check it out (*cough 20, 21, 22 cough* Man, I have to get this tickle in my throat looked at!)


I voted on your third one not knowing it was your entry of course, great job :)

I definitely agree with you about the covers. I'm sure she can still aquire readers into guilty pleasure romance novels (which I am not insulting because I do read them) but that is NOT what she writes and it is a crime to market them like it is. They will alienate the historical fiction crowd...gah.

Why thanks Allison. There really are so many good entries!

My favorite is your second design. I'm not sure why, but the red really speaks to me. Hope she chooses yours!

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home