Kris Waldherr, the Intuitive Author

Mothering a daughter taught author Kris Waldherr just how ubiquitous one particularly popular storybook character— the elegant princess— can be.

“I was confronted by how impossible it is to avoid the marketing of princess clothing, toys, and films,” said Waldherr.  “From there, I began researching the historical realities of what it was really like to be young, royal, and unmarried. Turned out it was kind of awful for the most part despite the fabulous gowns and tiaras. Historically speaking, most of the time you were married off to someone who wasn’t Prince Charming to form political alliances, and then were under a lot of pressure to cough up a male heir.”

Kris Waldherr, the Intuitive Author

Lauren Harms on Designing the Cover for Startup

Lauren Harms is a book cover designer living in New York City. Having been highlighted before for her work on Invincible Summer and Where the Peacocks Sing, we catch up with her once again to talk about the process of her cover for Startup - the new must read by Doree Shafrir.

Lauren Harms on Designing the Cover for Startup

What Lies Beneath the Dust Jacket?

Underneath the dust jacket of hardcover books there are sometimes design elements hidden within the physical object. These surprise components can go unnoticed in a retail setting, only to be discovered after purchase.  Book cover designer and Booktuber Holly Dunn joins us to look at a few examples of what you might discover upon inspecting the books on your shelf.

What Lies Beneath the Dust Jacket?

Andersen M on Creating the Paperback Cover of Orphans of the Carnival

The UK paperback version of Orphans of the Carnival features amazing paper cutouts created by the skilled hands of the design duo that is Andersen M. Here, in their own words, they share a little on who they are and how they went about developing the artwork of this cover.

Andersen M on Creating the Paperback Cover of Orphans of the Carnival

The Writer's Practice: Greer Macallister

Greer Macallister tells people she writes fiction because she has no material for a memoir.

“I’m far too happy and therefore boring,” said the USA Today bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie. “My characters live far more exciting lives than I do.”

Macallister’s latest release, Girl in Disguise, is a testament to that claim. The “rip-roaring, fast paced treat” (according to Booklist) features real-life detective Kate Warne.

The Writer's Practice: Greer Macallister

Sarah Darby, Taking Up the Mantle of Illustrator for Joss Stirling

Sarah Darby possesses a multitude of talents. From designer to art director, to Illustrator and photographer. Here in her own words, Darby details for Spine how she used her skills to step up as illustrator for the extremely successful Joss Stirling book series for Oxford University Press.

Sarah Darby, Taking Up the Mantle of Illustrator for Joss Stirling

Cover Designer, Zoe Norvell, on The Redemption of Galen Pike

Zoe Norvell is a Brooklyn based freelance cover designer. Among her incredible portfolio of work is the cover design for The Redemption of Galen Pike, by Carys Davies. Here Norvell details her process for developing the work, in her own words.

Cover Designer, Zoe Norvell, on The Redemption of Galen Pike

Jo Walker, Creating the Cover for Laline Paull's The Ice

Designer Jo Walker has an impressive portfolio of book covers. Among her amazing works are jackets for the novels of Laline Paull, published by 4th Estate. Here, in her own words, Walker details the rationale behind the design for the most recent of these books, The Ice.

Jo Walker, Creating the Cover for Laline Paull's The Ice

Steve Panton, In-Depth on The Big Sleep

Steve Panton is a cover designer and illustrator in London. Among his works are the jackets for Christina Kovac's The Cutaway, Eugenia Cheng's Beyond Infinityand Katie Kitamura's A Separation. Here Panton shares with Spine an in-depth review of his creation for Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, a design for which he was awarded 2nd prize for Penguin Design Award Adult Competition 2013.

Steve Panton, In-Depth on The Big Sleep

Mark Robinson, Reviving 1984

When Mariner Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, sought to reissue the popular Orwell classic, 1984, they contacted designer Mark Robinson to come up with a jacket for the hardcover. The final product is quite striking. Here, Robinson details for Spine his process for creating the eye-catching cover.

Mark Robinson, Reviving 1984

Anne Jordan & Mitch Goldstein on Designing for Us&Them

Anne Jordan and husband Mitch Goldstein are designers based in Rochester, New York. Among their collaborative works is the book cover for Us&Them, a novel about an Iranian-American family, exploring ideas of fragmented lives, family tensions, and migration. Here they detail their process for creating this amazing piece. 

Anne Jordan & Mitch Goldstein on Designing for Us&Them

Designing the Cover for The Hate U Give

When HarperCollins cover designer Jenna Stempel was asked to design the cover for Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, she was sure that the book would prove to be successful.  She could not, however, have foreseen just how successful. 

Designing the Cover for The Hate U Give

Let's Talk Hand Lettering

Hand lettering on book covers is a trend that has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Rather than rely on existing typefaces, many designers are opting to draw their own type. Book cover designer and Booktuber Holly Dunn joins us to review a few examples of hand lettering, and share her insight on the process. 

Let's Talk Hand Lettering

Melissa Four and The Age of Spectacle

Melissa Four is a very talented book cover designer whose creations include jackets for Fates and Furies, A Gentleman in Moscow, and How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids. She also developed the cover for Tom Dyckhoff's The Age of Spectacle: Adventures in Architecture and the 21st-Century City, a project for which she had to teach herself how to draw in CAD

Melissa Four and The Age of Spectacle

Cover Reveal: Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Though Last Christmas in Paris won't hit bookstores until October, critics are already praising the book, a romantic, epistolary novel that takes place during World War I. "Unputdownable," wrote bestselling author Karen White. "Last Christmas in Paris stands out not just for the beautiful prose, but also for the characters that literally shimmer on the page. Kudos to Ms. Gaynor and Ms. Webb for … this remarkable novel that will undoubtedly go on my keeper shelf."

Cover Reveal: Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

The Writer's Practice: Mira Jacob

"One too many people asked me if 'Sleepwalker's' was going to have a sequel, and that kind of question makes me claustrophobic in my soul." In part to push her creative self forward to the next narrative while avoiding this constant question, to skirt the Second Book trap/trope, Jacob moved into a different medium: the graphic memoir. 

The Writer's Practice: Mira Jacob

Rachel Vale, Designing for The Good People

It was an absolute joy working on The Good People by Hannah Kent. From the very opening pages I was overwhelmed by the rural landscape and how intrinsically it echoed the beauty and fragility of the lives it surrounded – the love, grief and terrible loss. The atmosphere it created for me was almost a physical one that stayed with me long after I finished reading.

Rachel Vale, Designing for The Good People

Discussion with Author Ann Mah

A peek at writer Ann Mah’s Instagram feed reveals crusty bread, sunny Parisian kitchens, and candids of her 3-year-old daughter in New York City. As a travel journalist and novelist, Mah firmly embraces the belief that a writer is ideally a wanderer: perhaps there’s a home base, but the inspiration of new experiences and surroundings is a necessity. 

Discussion with Author Ann Mah