Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Feature! But I Need A Name!

I haven't done a review in a while, one for Pretty Face by Mary Hogan will be here soon! Soooo, I thought I'd do this new feature I've been planning now.

This is a new feature I'm hoping to start weekly or once every two weeks, depends, where there will be authors talking about there covers and how they came to be, I need a name. I first came up with The Cover Chronicles, but then, when I was getting authors to do this with me, some said they really never had a choice with it and suggest we did titles also, so, this feature will be a guest blog from an author talking about there titles and covers and how they came to be and what they thought. So, I need a name. Any ideas of a way to combine Cover and Titles together to create a creative and fun name for this feature?

Today, we have the very amazing and talented author, Beth Kephart, talking about the cover of her forthcoming novel, Nothing But Ghosts, which will be out June 23, 2009. I loved Beth's books, Undercover and House of Dance. They were both beautiful books. Beth is also a very sweet person!

Nothing But Ghosts
June 23, 2009

(Couldn't find a summary yet!)


Here’s what happened: I wrote a book about love and loss, about a rising high school senior, Katie, whose mother has died and whose father, an art restorer, is barely dealing with her passing. Katie’s world is an ordinary world, but it is full of mysteries, too. There’s a finch that keeps appearing at her window, for example, madly fluttering its wings, seeking attention. There’s a recluse at the garden where she works in the summer. There’s a garden dig being orchestrated by a guy named Old Olson, who doesn’t seem that old and whose rationale for the dig seems iffy at best. There’s a box of abandoned things at the library that begin to tell a story.

There are these things. There is this story. There was a book, NOTHING BUT GHOSTS, that needed a cover.

(The picture on the right is the inspiration of the house of the recluse.)

The acquiring editor for the book, Laura Geringer, had left HarperCollins before the cover was created. Jill Santopolo, a senior editor with whom I’d also worked on all my YA books (she’s smart, she’s dear, I’m lucky), stepped in to work with
the uber talented (and supremely patient) Carla Weise at HarperCollins for a cover that would fit my story. They tried several approaches, from what I understand. Tinted bottles on a windowsill catching the sun. A montage of photographs. A girl on a horse. None of which ever quite got through the marketing committee, sending poor Carla back to the drawing board.

The days were ticking down. There was one more shot to craft a cover before the advanced readers copies would have to be printed. Oh, I seriously didn’t want to send the book out to early readers without a cover. Oh, my heart sank at the prospect. Oh, I sent good energy on, but truly, there was nothing I could do but hope.

(The picture on the left is of the inspiration of the garden in the novel.)

I was several hours north, at my son’s college campus, when an email came through on my blackberry. It was from Jill. It said an approved cover was attached. It set my heart a-pounding. But of course there was a glitch in my phone system and I couldn’t see the attachment, and I sent a frantic email back: Can you please send the cover to my husband’s phone?

Which Jill did.

So that he saw it first.

So that what I heard was my husband saying, “Nice. Nice. Very nice.” Before I saw the cover at all.

I love this cover. It captures so perfectly the mood of the book, its essence. For this is a book, in the end, about windows—about shutters shutting and opening, about curtains being drawn back, about light being let in. I could not be happier, or more grateful.


Thanks so much Beth! I can't wait for Nothing But Ghosts! And I think the cover of Nothing But Ghosts is gorgeous!

So, what did you think? Thought of a name? Whatever you think, comment! And if any authors would like to do this with me, don't hesitate to email me (Left Sidebar)!!!!


  1. Kelsey, you are so dear. A shout right is coming right back at you in a few minutes on my blog.

    Thank you!

  2. I love this idea! And Nothing But Ghosts sounds awesome.

    I'm so bad with titles...It really is hard to try and think of something clever and catchy.

    Hmm....Covers and Titles...

    On The Outside (b/c both are on the outside of the book?)

    Cover a Name (i don't know if that really makes sense? LOL)


  3. This sounds like a great feature. I love hearing about how books acquire their public faces. Maybe you could call it something like that: Book Faces,

  4. Great idea, Kelsey! It's always fun to hear stories about covers and titles. How about something like From Drawing Board to Bookshelf? Or maybe Cover Appeal?

    I'm so bad with title ideas. :p

  5. What about... Names and Faces? Does that make any sense to anyone else? lol

  6. Cool idea! I always like knowing what's behind a book's cover/title. And what an interesting cover to begin with!
    Unfortunately I'm really not good with coming up with names, so I'm not going to try. :-)

    There is actually a "catalog" summary of Nothing but Ghosts:
    "Ever since her mother passed away, Katie’s been alone in her too-big house with her genius dad who restores old paintings for a living. Katie takes a summer job at a garden estate, where, with the help of two brothers and a glamorous librarian, she soon becomes embroiled in decoding a mystery. There are secrets and shadows at the heart of Nothing But Ghosts, symbols hidden in a time-darkened painting, and surprises behind a locked bedroom door. But most of all, this is a love story—the story of a girl who learns about love while also learning to live with her own ghosts.

    This is a heart-felt, lyrical tale from the National Book Award nominated author of Undercover and House of Dance."

  7. Thanks for sharing the story! The cover for Nothing but Ghosts is lovely.

    Beth is a beautiful writer--I'm so glad featured her book cover!

    Also, how about Cover to Cover?

  8. This was great fun to read! Thanks, to both you and Beth.

  9. Well when Melissa Walker does this same thing she calls it Cover Stories, so I wouldn't suggest using that.

  10. I'm bad at titles, but I like the idea. Of the titles suggested so far I like Cover Appeal and On the Outside


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