Cover Talk with K.A. Barson

Today's guest for the CRAP (Cover Reveal Anxiety Phase) is fellow Class of 2k13 member K.A. Barson, author of 45 POUNDS, MORE OR LESS, a YA title about Ann, whose perfectly thin mother never had to diet in her life... while Ann struggles to keep from bubbling over into a size 18.


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

Not really. As a reader, I don’t like covers that do not depict the main character, so I did not want a thin, blond girl on the cover. Other than that, I trusted Penguin. This is not their first rodeo, but it is mine.

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

I talked about it with my editor probably about a year before release. She agreed that she wanted the cover to depict the story. We tossed around ideas about a girl behind a dressing room door with dresses all around and only her feet and lower calves showing. I actually like the final design of a girl behind a pile of dresses better though. 

Did you have any input on your cover?

I’d had that conversation with my editor. I knew that authors really don’t have input, but they really listened to what I wanted… or more like what I didn’t want. 

How was your cover revealed to you?

My editor emailed it to me. 

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

Yes. I did a cover reveal and giveaway with YABC in November. 

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

A few weeks. 

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

Yes. I’m not good at keeping secrets. I’m pretty much an open book, so I wanted my book cover to be out in the open, too. I’m glad I didn’t have to wait too long. 

What surprised you most about the process?

I was surprised how much Penguin/Viking cared. Yes, I always knew it wasn’t just my book, but they really wanted the best cover and title and everything. The details of color and design and font were better than anything I could have envisioned. 

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

Relax. Publishing houses want your cover to be perfect as much as you do, and they have amazingly talented people doing it.