Wednesday 1 February 2012

Slated: Getting it Covered

Teri Terry
It has been a year with a lot to smile about: the last twelve months have seen an agent, and not just any agent but Caroline Sheldon; a publishing deal for Slated with Megan Larkin and Orchard Books; and finally: a long-awaited moment. An actual book cover!!
Read on, and there just might be a chance to read Slated before the 3rd May publication date...

One of the most exciting moments on the road to getting my book on the shelves:

Seeing the final cover for the first time!!!!


Isn't it gorgeous?

OK, it has been appearing on the internet here and there for a little while, but this is my official unveiling. And, for the first time anywhere, you can see the back cover, too:

Seeing the final cover was one of those wooo-hooo moments that made it feel more real.

This book is really and truly happening. Isn't it?

Of course, I didn't have that much to do with the general awesomeness of the cover.

I might be unusual in this, but I can honestly say that until the cover was raised by my editor, I wasn't thinking about it. Yes, I was doing that whole picturing-my-book-on-the-shelf thing every time I went past a bookstore, but how it looked was curiously blank in this fantasy. I didn't have a pre-conceived idea what it should or shouldn't look like. I mean, I was pretty sure it shouldn't be pink and fluffy, but apart from that? Nope.

As it turns out this is a good way to enter the process.

This is how it happened. My editor called one day and asked if I had any ideas about the cover. Then she briefed the designer, the very talented Thy Bui.

To the left is the first cover I saw: the one everyone liked the best. Especially those eyes. The whole thing looked a bit Celia Rees, and everyone was excited.

Now that I had something concrete to look at...while I loved it, I wasn't sure it conveyed the futuristic, psychological thriller that Slated is. I thought it needed something I called the 'Freaky Factor' - the weird and different - for this dystopian tale. I came up with crazy ideas which were wisely ignored; they sent me more covers to look at to aid discussion.

This was when I started to fully appreciate the amount of hard work designers like Thy do. They sent me another three covers - all completely different designs, different faces. I later learned these were just some of the original designs Thy came up with. There was another I liked: a different girl, in profile, with an interesting slate type effect background. The original face was still preferred by all of us, but they came up with the idea of changing the first cover to include that Slating effect: brilliant!

The next version, to the right, was the first attempt at this synthesis. I loved it.

Cue panic: the Australian photographer could not be contacted. Every means, even Twitter, were attempted. With deadlines tight, Thy created yet another cover: a similar idea, different face and execution. It was gorgeous, and I was torn: I loved them both.

Then the photographer was found, and there were two covers in the running. Other factors were considered: the availability of other photos for the next book was also important. I kept changing my mind which I loved the most.

In the end - you can see the original face was the one chosen. I felt some regret at letting the other one go, yet over time, I'm sure the right decision was reached. The other cover was gorgeous, and very pretty. In the end this one as developed into the final version was a much better choice: far darker, more arresting. A better representative of the story.

And I must admit, I like the idea that both model and photographer are Australian - since I am, too (I'm sort of a Canadian/Aussie hybrid with a few other things thrown in).
Slated - complete with gorgeous cover - is published on 3rd of May! But there is a way you can read it before then...minus the gorgeous cover, but with a pretty nifty proof cover on it, as modeled here by chief muse, Banrock.
For a chance to win a signed proof of Slated, go to the Slated website - all the details are there. This closes in two weeks, at 12:01 am on Feb 16 EST (5:01 a.m. UK time), and is open internationally.

UPDATE: I've interviewed Hayley, the cover girl on Slated! You can find it on, here.


  1. I think this is a very powerful cover. Congratulations! I'm looking forward to Slated -- the contents, as well as the cover, I mean:)

  2. Congratulations Teri! The book cover is great - definitely worth the trouble you all went to.
    Amanda (an Aussie/Pommy hybrid)

  3. It is absolutely thrilling, Teri - I feel so proud, it's as if I wrote your book! Can't wait!

  4. A fantastic cover for an amazing book! I can't wait till it's on the shelves!

  5. I love the final cover, it's really powerful. Can't wait to read the book, but I'll buy a signed copy!

  6. Fantastic cover, Teri! I'm so pleased for you and wish you every success. xxx

  7. This looks fantastic, Teri - huge congratulations. I can't wait to see it in the shops!

  8. What a wonderful insight to the world of covers! And it's brilliant - utterly perfect! I look forward to getting my grubby paws on a copy!

  9. Fabulous, Teri! Looking forward to it hugely!

  10. Love the cover, Teri and can't wait to read the final version (as opposed to that other one!

  11. What a great cover. Even without the blurb on the back I'd want to pick the book up and read it. Can't wait!

  12. What a year for you, Teri! So pleased! And the cover is absolutely beautiful. Looking forward to seeing it on the shelves.

  13. Thanks so much, everyone: really appreciate the comments. I am feeling a very, very lucky girl just now :O)

  14. I love the cover, it's so interesting to hear about the process that went into it.

  15. Teri, This cover is stunning. I always despair when you go into a book shop to see a great book with a lazy cover, (a photo been brought from a stock, and a title haphazardly placed around it.) But this cover is fab!- you must be thrilled!

  16. I didn't think we had a choice! I thought we pretty much got what we were given, so it's very good to know that's not always the case. Love it.

  17. Hiya,
    How much input an author has on their cover varies quite a lot, from what I've heard. I think going into the process with an open mind is important - and I really appreciated that my editor was interested in what I thought about it - but I can't say the final choices were mine.
    Yet I'm very, very happy with the result. I've learned to trust as they clearly know what they are about!


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