Deb Sarah’s book coverS!

The Opposite of Me almost looked very different.

My novel is about twin sisters who couldn’t be more different – or so they think. My publisher, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, originally picked a cover that featured the two sisters standing next to each other, with their hair woven together into a single braid. It was an arresting picture – which might be why another publisher chose nearly the identical image for the paperback version of the Julia Glass book I See You Everywhere.

So in the Atria Spring 2010 Catalog – which had already gone to press before the Julia Glass book came out – my original cover is featured. But on the very day that my editor sent the catalog to me, she also included my completely new cover. And guess what? I like it much better! Something about it really speaks to me. My two sisters are side by side, staring out at the ocean, wrapped together in a single oversized towel. They’re bound together, yet psychologically apart; they’re each lost in their own thoughts, clearly not connecting to one another.

So thank you, Julia Glass, for steering me toward my perfect cover!

Now I want to know about you: How important are covers to you when choosing a book? I think they’re critical; when you wander into a bookstore, something has to make you select one book over the others vying for your attention, right? But tell me if I’m wrong.

I don’t believe covers can trump word-of-mouth recommendations. Personally, I never would’ve picked The Help based on its ho-hum cover. But I’ve had so many people recommend it to me that you can bet I’m snatching it up the next time I see it in a bookstore.

Another key selling point to me – again, I’d love to hear if others feel differently –  is the blurb on the book cover. And I’ll never stop thanking the incredibly talented and generous Jennifer Weiner, the #1 bestselling author of Best Friends Forever and In Her Shoes, for reading an early copy of The Opposite of Me and giving me a rave review (you can read it here). Having her endorsement featured prominently on my book cover will make people who might’ve otherwise passed it by pause and pick it up.  (And speaking of Jennifer, she’s lobbying to get her new pilot picked up by ABC, so if you like her books as much as I do, you’ll want to sign the petition here to see her characters on screen).

I’ve also recently received the Spanish and German covers for my book, which is incredibly thrilling. You can see them here if you’d like.

Do you have a favorite book cover?

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Sarah Pekkanen

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15 thoughts on “Deb Sarah’s book coverS!

  1. I love your cover. For what it’s worth, I bought that Julia Glass book and couldn’t finish it.

    And yes, do read “The Help”. You’ll love it.

  2. I agree with Kathy — while arresting, the braid photo weirds me out a little bit. Your cover is very appealing in a sensual kind of way. Blue waves, pink towel, pretty hair — the perfect combo.

    I’m always drawn in by a cool cover, but a so-so or even unappealing cover wouldn’t stop me from reading a book.

    And I love to compare covers from foreign editions of the same book. It fascinates me, how different artists from different cultures visually interpret the same stories.

  3. Thanks everyone! I didn’t give much thought to book covers before, but now I really appreciate all the work and thought that goes into one.
    And yes, I’m hoping my book gets to visit a lot of beaches, Emily!

  4. That first cover doesn’t even come close to implying “opposite” and now the brighter colors are much more likely to catch the book buyer’s eye. Short blurbs are great too!

  5. I love this cover (could be the brunette’s bare shoulder!). I am so excited for you. I talked about the journey of your book quite a bit this weekend at the SDSU Writer’s Conference and I’m going to keep right on talking about it! Go Sarah, go Sarah, go Sarah…

  6. I will be drawn to purchase a book with a very catchy cover! I prefer the new beach scene cover they gave your book-much more jump-in-my-hands so I can read you!!

  7. I prefer the new cover too. I think covers are terribly important, especially if the reader/bookstore browser hasn’t heard of either a book or an author before. With no other frame of reference, either the title or the cover has to draw them to pick up a book and since most people are very visually oriented, the cover is probably more likely to be the draw. For me personally, as long as a cover isn’t dreadful, I’m likely to pick up an unknown author or title every time.

  8. I like buying best sellers, which, OH MY GOD YOURS IS IN SPAIN! I’m BUYING! Voy a comprar tu libro si es la última cosa en este planeta que lo compra. ¿Crees que alguien más lo hará traducir esto y saber que tienes una pieza plana de la cabeza?

  9. When I go in the book store just to browse with nothing specific to read, what a cover looks like is HUGE. Sort of like picking out wine. If the label is pretty and bright then I want to try it out. Word of mouth beats a cover though, I never would not read a book based on a cover.

    I haven’t seen a picture of the first cover, but just the thought of the woven braids makes me sort of creep out…. No creep factor with this one!

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