Cover art II
Sorry for the delay on this promised conclusion of Jamie You’ll’s remarks. Over 36 hours this weekend I flew to LA and spoke with a couple hundred librarians, flew home and fed 60 guests, and attended the world’s most perfect wedding. Since then I have realized that my brain is going through a period of being remarkably stupid, and can only deal with one item at a time, after a full requisition has been put in, and only when that has been finished can I go on to the next.
This is the second part of my interview with Jamie Warren Youll, my publisherâ€™s art director and the woman responsible for Touchstoneâ€™s brilliant cover.
LRK: Does the editor have input into the cover, or does she just leave it to
JWY: If the editor has a definite image they are interested in portraying or a
particular artist they want me to use that makes my life easier. Most of the
time if I have a manuscript, I read it and come up with ideas then discuss
it with the editor. I want to be sure that the cover will attract the reader
that the editor thinks will enjoy that particular novel.
LRK: What are you aiming at with a book cover? Eye-catching? Descriptive? Or somehow emotionally linked to the book?
JWY: Each book is approached differently. Some are symbolic and some are very accurate to the story– whether itâ€™s a scene that reflects the season,
location, or a particular character in the novel. Sometimes itâ€™s an emotional response you are looking for in the reader and what will visually trigger a response in the viewer. The main thing is that you need to get the reader to walk over to that particular book and pick it up out of a large group of other books. I want to be true to the content of the story, but not give everything away, so the reader is intrigued enough to walk out of the store with your book.
LRK: Can you say something about the process of clothing Touchstone in beauty? (Because it really is a gorgeous cover.) How did you decide on that image, those colors?
JWY: In the case of Touchstone, I was given only a few chapters at the beginning of the novel. The villain was very spooky and very smart. It was mentioned how he kind of just watched, waited very patiently, and kept notes in this book that he carried around with him. When I was looking for inspiration I came across this wonderful photograph that kind of said it all. I thought the photograph gave a wonderful sense of darkness: in the image, everything was hidden but the hands and the book, it was mysterious and literary in feel. Perfect for the wonderful writing of such a talented author. The editor agreed. A cover was born.