Way back in the beginning of our publishing journey with HarperTeen, before we’d turned in revisions or locked the title or done anything really, our lovely editor asked us for thoughts on the cover. Dhonielle and I were pretty stoked — we’d heard stories of author input being completely ignored, so this was a pleasant surprise, especially as a debut.
Knowing this, we said somewhat wishy-washy things like, oh, hopefully maybe no girls with disembodied heads or pink flowy tutus or red ballet shoes or this or that? Not that we could dictate anything. But to be honest, I was fretting: with three protagonists, two of color and one white, I could see one particular narrator stealing the cover easily. And to be really, really honest, that would have meant we were white-washing the book, which, if you know anything about me or Dhonielle, would not have flown. No ma’am!
Of course, it was like six months later before we actually saw a cover prospect. And when we did, we were floored. Because while it did have pink and ribbons, it was bold and it was beautiful, if I do say so myself. It totally reflected the book and its drama, but it didn’t immediately scream “this is a ballet book!” — which might not be as interesting to some readers. This cover, in all its pink and black shattered glass ribbon glory, is mysterious and inviting — and will no doubt stand out on a crowded YA bookshelf. It begs you to pick it up and flip through a bit, and hopefully, when you do, you’ll be hooked. That’s the idea, anyway.
So what I’m saying is, Harper did awesome. I’m sure our opinions didn’t really make a dent, but the cover is bold and delicious, and something I, as a reader, would definitely be drawn to. I’m proud and excited to have my name on that cover. Which, in publishing, is saying a lot, isn’t it? I know I won’t always get this lucky. (See here.) But for now? I’ll take it.