Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Book's Cover: Thumbnail Sketches and a Giveaway!

We've reached the end of Cover Blitz Week!

To celebrate, first I'm going to share with you something my editor just shared with me this week: the thumbnail sketches. These were the very first pieces of work the illustrator sent over for this project. They were used to figure out composition, before he created the more detailed sketches found here.

As you can probably tell, they went with composition number 4. Emphasis was taken off of the rose, however, so that it didn't look too girly...something I wholeheartedly agree with because I very specifically wanted to write a book, with a female protagonist, that was still gender neutral.

So, there you have it! If you put all 5 of the Cover Blitz posts together, completely out of order (not sure why I did that, but there you are), you should have a basic anatomy of how a cover gets made.

And now for the other part of the celebration: I'm running a Cover Blitz Week Giveaway!

And the prizes are:

Two books of your choosing from the Bloomsbury/Walker catalogue (to celebrate the extraordinary work they do there).

These are just examples of some of my favorite covers. But the winner can choose any two books found at

One copy of this new UK re-edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (the reasoning behind this is trifold: to celebrate the newly-minted Pottermore announcement; because I think it's utterly gorgeous; and because I (not-so-secretly) daydream about Bloomsbury UK publishing my book too. )

One signed copy of The Mapmaker and the Ghost when it's released (because...well because it would be weird for me to sign someone else's book!)

I'll send it out as soon as I have copies which means you will be one of the first on the block to have it.

There are three easy ways to enter:

First, answer this question: If you could meet any famous ghost (or famous person's ghost), who would it be? 

- Leave a comment on this blog with your answer or
- Tweet me your answer or
- Write your answer on my Facebook wall

Everyone can enter once per method (three max).

The contest ends Monday, June 27th, 2011 at 8 PM EST at which point the winner will be chosen at random. One winner will win all four prizes.

Good luck and thanks everyone for indulging me all week!

Update: The contest is now closed. Congratulations to the winner (chosen via[drumroll please] Bryan!


  1. Wow that is a tough one and I have a host of people I think it would be fascinating to meet but a majority of them would have lived in ancient times I would have no hope of communicating with them.

    I would first pick my mother as she passed when I was 2 years old and it would be nice to get to know her but she wasn't famous...

    I find the revolutionary war period fascinating and in particular find Benjamin Franklin interesting for his broad thinking in business, science, etc... Having a discussion about his time in England as agent for Penn, his scientific discoveries, his time in France, how fascinating would that be!

  2. Thanks so much for this insider look into the process - it's been fascinating to watch the evolution of a cover.

    As for who I would like to meet - that's a tough one. I've been reading "How They Croaked" (another awesome Bloomsbury book that I highly recommend for those with strong stomachs and a morbid curiosity), and am thinking it might have been cool to know King Tut or at least have lunch with him and hear about the day to day life of Egyptian royalty.

  3. Awesome! I love both of these responses.

  4. I would meet Albert Einstein… or George Washington, or maybe General Patton.
    Sorry I don't tweet, or facebook... but I love the giveaway!!


  5. Alexandra (Alex) D'OnofrioJune 24, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Martin Luther King, JR., My grandfather from Finland, and Abe Lincoln!

  6. ...or maybe I should go with Grandpa Leonard? He would have the inside scoop of on Ebbets Field in the 1920s. Decisions, decisions!!!

  7. Oh NO! I can't believe I haven't entered your giveaway yet. I read it the day you put it up, went away to think, and FORGOT! Or did I tweet you? I don't remember. Anyway, what ghost would I like to meet? This morning I think I'd like to meet Louisa May Alcott. Her ability to sketch characters with only a few sentences is amazing and I'd like to ask her how she did it.:)

  8. Those thumbnails look awesome.

    If I could meet a ghost, I think I would like to meet Reese Witherspoon's character from Just Like Heaven. This decision was largely made due to my crush on Reese Witherspoon.

  9. I would like to meet Fred Astaire's ghost and have him twirl me around on the dance floor. I feel like somehow, dancing with him, I'd have amazing coordination and be super graceful and elegant. And I'd be wearing elbow length gloves.

  10. I choose The Holy Ghost -- and it's not just a joke answer. Just imagine all the things it could tell you! After that, either jeff Buckley, or John & George so that I could see a Beatles concert; I think Paul & Ringo would be amenable under the circumstances, don't you?