Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cover Reveal for the Upcoming MG Series RSVP, by Kidliterati's Own Jen Malone and Gail Nall

Hi everyone! Jen and Gail here- we're super excited to share our cover for RSVP with you!! We've seen a lot of cover reveals on the internet and while we love pretty, pretty art as much as the next girl, we thought we'd do something a wee bit different for our unveiling. We went behind-the-curtains for a chat with our talented Simon & Schuster cover designer, Laura Disiena. She's going to walk us through the steps that went into making RSVP's cover so adorable! We'll save the cover for last but to start us off, here's a short blurb about our co-written series which launches in May 2015.

Four tween best friends form a party planning business out of their abandoned-sailboat clubhouse, anticipating a summer of fun (and plenty of cake). But when mishaps occur, they'll learn that having good friends to bump through life with is the best cause of all for celebration. 

(psst: you can add this book on Goodreads, if you'd like.)

And now here's Laura, explaining the step by step process for creating RSVP's cover:

Step One: Hitting on a Concept
Typically when we begin a project, the editor and I will meet to talk about what we think will work for the cover. The editor will share a summary and character descriptions, and any other details that help define the story, like an interesting location or exciting event that takes place. This information will spark ideas for compositions that convey the individuality of the book in a way that is fresh and will grab a readers attention. For RSVP, Amy (side note: Amy Cloud is our amazing editor- J&G) and I wanted to showcase all four main characters, since each has such a distinct personality, and their friendship is at the heart of the story. And then there’s the party planning aspect of the book which brings to mind tons of fun stuff like garland and glitter, banners and balloons, confetti and, of course, photo booths! 

Step Two: Selecting a Cover Illustrator?
Going into the project knowing RSVP has a companion book coming, I was looking for an illustration style that would make a cohesive two-book package that really stood out from other books in the genre.  When I came across the work of Marilena Perilli, the organic, light and lively illustrations felt like the perfect match for RSVP’s carefree summertime theme. And the rest of the team wholeheartedly agreed!

Step Three: Playing Around with the Concept
One aspect of RSVP that I personally loved was the North Carolina beach town setting where the girl’s have a boat docked in a marina as their “clubhouse”. I could see the cover with a warm beachy color palette- gold, orange, teal and turquoise- and thought the boat was unique and fun. Even though it would be challenging enough to fit the four girls on the cover, I asked Marilena to try a version with this setting when sketching, which you can see here:

Though it’s an adorable sketch, another option she submitted immediately evoked an enthusiastic response from the everyone on the team because it was so reminiscent of that universal photo booth moment- it captures the excitement of a party and the close friendship between four very different characters. This was also a way to give all characters equal presence on the cover, which reflects how the story is told in four person POV, in a way that looks effortless and like nothing else out there.

Getting from this sketch to final was all just tweaks in getting the girls to look just the right age and to the perfect level of lovingly squished together.

Step Five: The Finished Product!! 

READY TO SEE HOW IT ALL CAME TOGETHER???  Scroll down to see the final cover for RSVP!

We can't wait for you to meet (from left) Lauren, Vi, Sadie, and Becca and we adore our cover!! Big thanks to Laura for letting us peek in on the process and for overseen such a perfect cover for RSVP! 

- Jen and Gail


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