Book Cover Art...Do Author's Get to Choose?

In answer to the question posed in the title, in most instances, authors who are not illustrators have little say in what ends up on the cover of their books. It can be frustrating when the choice isn't what we hoped for, or something to celebrate when it is much more than we imagined.

For my latest book WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY (Creston April 2020), I had the unique opportunity to weigh in on the images that appeared on the front and back covers of the book. My editor/publisher asked me what I thought should be included.
      Set up as a NOTEBOOK written by an eleven-year-old boy, the images reflect the summer of adventure and discovery he shared with his family and new friends.

The story takes place in the summer of 1964, so the rocket represents the new Mercury space program. The main character Jack, discovers his Dad's old Schwinn bike and rides it all summer. Jack, sister Katy, and a new friend named Jill camp out in the backyard tent on many nights. The one-eyed fish - named FRED - grants wishes that change the lives of everyone that summer.

On the back cover, Katy draws a face on a beach ball Gran gives her and names the ball Bouncy. Bouncy becomes a character of sorts in the story. The key opens a box Jack discovers in the dusty attic. A box that holds his Dad's notebook that was written when he was a boy Jack's age. And, what would a summer be without milkshakes and ice-cream sodas?

It was a joy and honor to have made the suggestions for the images that appear on the final cover. A cover that tells a story of it's own.


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