A lot of cover art has made its way to us recently, and it’s exciting to gush and speculate and even just stare. From the very first mockup sent to me by HarperTeen, I’ve been thrilled with their concept for the covers. I spoke about how it all came together once upon a time, and let’s just say my first ideas were a bit embarrassing. But here we are, eight months away from the end, with six different images to tie to America’s story, and they’re all breathtaking. I’d like to take a minute to look at the main three side by side and talk about them because, gosh, aren’t they amazing?
Let’s start with the part that is actually the funniest to me: the fact that they sorta turned out red, white, and blue. This was a hope of mine once upon a time, but I basically let it go when I saw the footage of the cover shoot for the books. Back in 2011, the brilliant people at HarperTeen got together an amazing photographer, a beautiful model, and some spectacular dresses and shot all three covers in the same day.
Now, the first dress was originally that lovely purple-gray color, and when I saw it, I didn’t care about anything except that it was just too beautiful. Like, my eyes! Too much! But once it was tweaked into that beautiful teal, I melted. And the dress for the second book was fuchsia, but then was made into that lovely orangeish red. But the original dress for the final book… I actually don’t remember it. Because, here’s the story:
As we watched how America grew through the books, when it came time to put the final cover together, there wasn’t a pose that worked quite right from the original batch. So, to make a strong final impression, the same photographer and model were brought back in with three new dresses, which are shown in the recent video of the shoot.
People have asked, and, no, I don’t know her name. But, yes, it’s the same girl on all three covers. And, actually, I’m excited to have her come back a few years down the road. There’s wisdom in her eyes along with something mischievous, and it all just works!
I couldn’t have asked for a better concept. This is one area of dozens where my publisher has been absolutely wonderful to me, and I can’t thank them enough for all the work they’ve put into these beautiful images. I can’t count how many people have told me they picked up the book just because of the cover, so I owe a lot to HarperTeen!
Let’s move on to the growth in the covers. There is a little change for The One in that the font color switches from white to charcoal. And I really dig that. I also like that (maybe because of the length of the names) the size of the titles grows as time passes. They didn’t have to do that. It would have been just fine, but I like that as the levels in the competition progress, the words associated with them get bigger. Because that’s how it feels, right? When we’re going through rounds of something, every step feels bigger. It’s honest.
Also, I love the change in the reflections. On The Selection, you can see fewer of America’s reflections, but they show bigger sections of her. By The One, you can see several reflections, but with fewer whole pieces. It’s like you’re getting more and less of her at the same time, which is also honest. I hope you see America’s growth through the books, but it may not be the parts of her you (or I) expected to change the most. What she shares with us or cares about might be different, and I like that, in a way, that’s on the outside of the book. Not to mention that across the covers, the image of just herself becomes clearer. Or that the first and final pose seem like bookends. Love!
On a personal note, I just want to talk about one last thing: my name. On The Selection, it says “Kiera Cass”, and I have to tell you, that was enough for me. It was always amazing enough to just have my name on a book at all. But when The Elite came out, and it said “New York Times bestselling author Kiera Cass”… I mean, that still really gets me. I cannot believe that happened to me. So for The One to say “#1 New York Times bestselling author Kiera Cass” is almost too much for me to take in.
The only reason that’s there is because you all cared enough to go out and buy the books and read them. And you told your friends and bugged your mom and forced them on your teachers, and all that support has led to a really cool title that most every author would kill to have.
On a day to day basis, it’s one of those things that doesn’t really matter. No one cares about it when I’m changing diapers! But here, on my actual work, this thing I started doing to drag myself out of depression… I just can’t believe it’s there.
Ok, dabbing up the tears and moving on!
Basically, I’m thrilled with the final product, and the look across all three covers, and I’m so glad that you guys love the last cover. Now all that’s left is to do is read it. Trust me, I agree with you guys. May 6th can’t get here fast enough!