Designers with Moxie: Cherie Chapman Talks Cover Design

Have you ever wanted to follow a successful designer around for a day, in the hopes of discovering their magic secrets to success? Cherie Chapman, cover designer for titles such as New York Times Bestselling Author Jay Kristoff's Nevernight and Kate Scott's Just Jack, chalks her success up to three key elements: preparation, communication, and an openness to change.   

Chapman tells SPINE. “I like to know a bit about the book, the genre it falls within, target audience, type of design, if it’s part of a series, etc., Any of these factors can change the way I approach a project."

What really makes Chapman a designer with staying power? Her willingness to roll with the punches. Chapman says, “Someone has told me in the past, don’t accept that the book design is finalized until you actually get the physical edition in your hands. I’ve had to redesign a book cover literally two weeks before it went to press!"  

To read our interview with Cherie Chapman about her process, and more on creative and production aspects of the book publishing industry, visit

Mary Ryan Karnes is a freelance writer and a Master's candidate in fiction at the University of Southern Mississippi.