The Road to a Great Cover

When Do They Serve The Wine? went through many changes over the course of a year. When I wrote the proposal, I had titled the book, “Mirror, Mirror in The Trash,” a title that my husband actually inspired.  When you sell a book to a publisher, the title is secondary, because whatever publisher buys your book, they are likely to change the title.  I thought what I had was funny, but wasn’t wed to it. After a while…several months, the title changed to “Laugh Lines,” at my editor’s suggestion. I was okay with that. Then, my editor had to leave the publisher for personal reasons, and I got a new editor. The title changed back to “Mirror, Mirror.”  As we got closer to pub date, my editor and I worked hard on trying to find a new title…Chronicle felt “Mirror, Mirror” was a little too negative. And we wanted to create a title that was like a caption. We tried everything. And I mocked up covers all along the way. Then…it dawned on me, why not use a caption from one of the cartoons in the book that I love. This one:Chronicle did a beautiful job using my art and a font we chose, and colors they selected with my input. They were great in including me in the process. Here are some of the cover sketches I did along the way:


About Liza Donnelly

Cartoonist and writer and live drawer for The New Yorker, CBS News. Speaker for TED and others. Books: Women On Men,
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