Book Cover Magic: An Interview With Scholastic's David Saylor

David Saylor-2.jpgRecently I posted a few observations about YA book covers. I’m don’t think most readers know what goes into creating the final product they see on the shelf at their library or local bookstore, namely its cover art.

A friend at Scholastic suggested Ypulse Books interview someone in the biz about this issue. (Thanks Tracy!) David Saylor, VP, Associate Publisher & Creative Director, Scholastic Hardcover Books agreed to answer some of our questions and enlighten us on this subject of “wrapping” books. We all “judge books by their covers” and it’s helpful to know what goes into the cover-making process.

YPulse Books: What are the primary objectives in designing book covers for young adult books?

David Saylor: The primary objective of any cover, for any age reader, is to attract attention. We strive to create covers that make someone want to pick it up. Our other objectives are to give a reader a feeling for the book and what it might be about. We’re trying to invite readers into the book and the jacket is the invitation.

YPB: Describe the process of designing a book cover for a given title. Are there certain steps that you always take or is it a different process each time?

DS: Most books follow this pattern: Once the editor acquires a book, the art director/designer gets a synopsis and a copy of the manuscript. Sometimes the manuscript is in great shape, but more often it’s a draft, before the author has completed revisions. The art director/designer reads the manuscript, then they meet with the editor to talk about some ideas on how the cover might look. Sometimes the discussions are very general, such as deciding on a photographic approach or a commissioned piece of artwork. That’s followed by more detailed thoughts on what the image might be, what the characters look like, what the…

 
 
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Telltale Games, the studio that created the popular The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones video games, has its own series in the making. Telltale is known for their TV-like “episodic” game design, and their first foray into original content will reportedly be a “super show,” described as a video game, TV show hybrid. Each episode will include a scripted portion as well as an interactive piece that is integrated with the show’s narrative. Telltale’s CEO calls the project "a very natural evolution of the interactive storytelling expertise we've pioneered." This unique style of entertainment could be on the rise, and film company Lionsgate has made “a significant investment” in the studio. (The Verge)

Target’s had somewhat of a tough 2015 so far, between backlash for body shaming and closing its Canadian stores, and they’re making some proactive moves to increase their appeal to young consumers. The chain will be upping spending on digital marketing efforts, and is “getting ready to reinvent its food offerings.” Food, health, and social responsibility remain important to younger consumers, so emphasizing efforts to expand their natural and organic products is likely a smart move. Target is also adding more brands that appeal to Millennials to their Made to Matter collection, including Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, KIND, and Ben & Jerry’s. (MediaPost)

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