Lili Wilkinson and her book covers

Ultimately, it is the content of a book that is most important. But it is the cover that will often entice readers to pick it up. Last year I wrote a few posts about book covers (Some book covers, Series book covers and My book covers). Today, YA author, Lili Wilkinson pays a visit to Literary Clutter to give us a look at a couple of her covers. Lili is the author of numerous novels, including The Not Quite Perfect Boyfriend, Angel Fish, and of course, the two books she discusses in her guest post. Take it away Lili…

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

That’s what people say, right? Except everybody does.

One of the questions I get asked the most is: do I get to choose the covers of my books? The answer is no… but.

What happens is, the editors of my book put together a design brief, and a designer comes up with some ideas. Then I get to see the ideas and give my opinion. And so far, my editors have always agreed with my thoughts. I’m not sure what would happen if we had a major disagreement over a cover – I suspect they’d win, because although I know what I like, they know what sells, and that’s more important.

So here’s how it happened with Pink. Bruno came up with these four designs:

And we all LOVED the ones with the silhouettes. But I made a few suggestions – like for most of the images to be things that you wouldn’t normally associate with being pink – like tools and cockroaches. And I loved the Y-fronts so much that I actually added a bit in to the book where Ava sees a boy’s underwear, just so we could keep them on the cover.

Here’s a post from Bruno about how he went about designing that cover, including his original, AWESOME, but ultimately too expensive idea to have a hypercolour cover that turned pink when you held it.

And here’s the final cover:

And here, for comparison, is the US cover for Pink, which I also love because I can’t wait to see it standing out against all those black-and-red paranormal romance books:

Sometimes, if a book needs a bit of a facelift after it’s been out for a few years, it gets rejacketed. This happened with my first novel, Scatterheart. I love the original cover for Scatterheart – and so do a lot of people. It has the same cover in the UK and Germany. But some people didn’t like it. So the good folks at Black Dog Books decided to rejacket, and came up with this:

It’s amazing what a difference it made. Scatterheart sold more copies in six months with this new cover than it had in the three years since its publication with the old one.

George’s bit at the end

Wow! Who would have thought a cover could make that much of a difference? Of course, it helps that Scatterheart is a brilliant read. I read it last year and loved it. Lili’s other books are now on my to-be-read pile! For more info about Lili and her writing, check out her website. And follow her on Twitter.

Tune in next time for some family reading.

Catch ya later, George

PS. Follow me on Twitter
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George Ivanoff

LITERARY CLUTTER: Bookish bloggings from the cluttered mind and bookshelf of Melbourne author, George Ivanoff. George is the author of the YOU CHOOSE books, the OTHER WORLDS series, the RFDS Adventures and the GAMERS trilogy.

3 thoughts on “Lili Wilkinson and her book covers”

  1. “It’s amazing what a difference it made. Scatterheart sold more copies in six months with this new cover than it had in the three years since its publication with the old one.”

    Would that b cos covers with photo of a face sell better? I’m obsessed with covers and study them intimately *sosad* i discovered 2nd Scatterheart girl has black nailpolish. Hannah, you know all the new trends!

  2. It’s an interesting question. I think the original cover is more representative of the novel… but I can see how the photographic cover is perhaps more engaging. The close-up of the face creates an almost-intimacy with the potential reader.

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