At Titan Books we take our book covers very seriously and we’re lucky enough to have a wonderful design team behind us. When we first got the Alice manuscript in we knew we had something very special, and that it would need a very special cover to go alongside it. We thought today we would take you through the looking glass to have a look behind the scenes of our cover process:
1) The beginning
As you may know Alice first came out in the US with the wonderful Ace Books where they have a very distinctive, and very different look:
We loved the jackets, but felt that we wanted something that highlighted the dark fantasy element more.
When we look at book cover design one of the first things we do is to distil the elements of the book down and pull together a mood board of other covers to draw inspiration from. For Alice some of these key themes, moods and words were:
…and of course “Alice”
From there our editorial team pull together other covers that have made an impression on them that capture one or more of these moods and create a board for discussion. Here’s what ended up on our Chronicles of Alice boards:
Once editorial have gathered up their mood board they take it to the design meeting and pick over what does and doesn’t work:
What didn’t work for us:
- Having Alice on the cover – an odd choice perhaps for a book called Alice, but the blue dress and blonde tumbling hair felt too safe. The Chronicles of Alice are dark and dangerous, and like the US we wanted to put the biggest villain of them front and centre…
- Too much colour: Alice’s world in Alice is an urban nightmare tinted by blood and we wanted the covers to reflect this.
What did work for us:
- We loved the creeping menace of Wolf by Wolf and wanted to use this side on silhouette with our covers
- The simplicity of the colour scheme for A Darker Shade of Magic and the urban touches also felt in keeping with Alice
4) The final result
Sometimes covers can go through several cycles before they come together, and it is a testament to the power of Henry’s writing that actually on this occasion we feel we nailed it straight away (if we do say so ourselves) and we hope you agree: