Cover Talk with Ellen Oh

I love talking to authors. Our experiences are so similar, yet so very different, that every one of us has a new story to share. Everyone says that the moment you get your cover it really hits you - you're an author. The cover is your story - and you - packaged for the world. So the process of the cover reveal can be slightly panic inducing. Does it fit your story? Is it what you hoped? Will it sell? With this in mind I put together the CRAP (Cover Reveal Anxiety Phase) Interview.


Today's guest is my fellow Lucky13s and Friday the Thirteeners member Ellen Oh, to talk about her awesome cover for PROPHECY, available from Harper Teen January 2, 2013.

Did you have any pre-conceived notions about what you wanted your cover to look like?

Well, my kids did versions of the cover that I loved! But otherwise I didn’t have any real idea of what I wanted it to look like other than wanting an iconic cover. I was so happy with what HarperTeen produced.

How far in advance from your pub date did you start talking covers with your house?

I’d say as early as the summer of 2012 was when we had the first conversations with my editor where she asked me what I was thinking about. I remember telling her that I really liked the Eon cover for the paperback version. There was the shadow of a girl holding a sword before an amazing dragon. And then I didn’t hear anything until I saw the first version.

Did you have any input on your cover?

Not really, but then that’s probably a good thing as I’m not artistic or creative in the very least! I leave that to the professionals. The only thing I asked for was something iconic, which they totally delivered.

How was your cover revealed to you?

My editor called me first and then it came via email and I was like WOW!

Was there an official "cover reveal" date for your art?

Yes, the marketing team at Harper asked me to reveal my cover the week of June 18th. Being very literal, I revealed it, jointly with the wonderful Megan Shepherd, right on June 18th!

How far in advance of the reveal date were you aware of what your cover would look like?

I’d say I knew what the final cover was at least 2 months before the release.

Was it hard to keep it to yourself before the official release?


What surprised you most about the process?

That it takes a year to create a cover. That shocked me.

Any advice to other debut authors about how to handle cover art anxiety?

I think the best thing is not to stress about it because it ultimately isn’t in our hands. Being able to give input on what you hope for is good early on, and I do think they take an author’s input very seriously. But after that, forget about it and know that you are in good hands with your publisher.