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Judging a Cover by Its Book: Choose the Cover Direction for IF YOU ONLY KNEW

Cover voting is now closed. Thanks for all your help!

Good morning, Swooners! We've got something super-special-awesome to hopefully help get you through to the weekend: it's time to vote on the cover for Prerna Pickett's debut novel, If You Only Knew! We're stoked to share the four cover options with you, but before you dive in here's a refresher on what this book's all about:

Corey has just been released from jail, and all he wants is a new beginning. But when his former gang comes knocking, Corey agrees to vandalize the home of Kent Hopper, the prosecutor who put him away.

To erase the guilt she carries from getting away with a crime, Tessa spends most of her nights riding her motorcycle. When she catches Corey destroying her father’s car, she doesn’t see a criminal: she sees a way to finally right her own wrongs. So instead of turning Corey over to the police, she convinces her father to give Corey a second chance.

As Tessa and Corey spend more time with each other, it becomes difficult to ignore the pull between them. But they’re both keeping secrets, and when those secrets come to light, they’ll each have to face their demons in order to have a future together.

Swoon designer Liz D. tackled this one, and she has whipped up four sparkly cover directions for you to choose from. Remember, the below images aren't necessarily final. These are just directions, so there will probably be some tweaks made before the book hits the shelves. (Want to see how a cover goes from concept to final? Click here.)

To view enlarged images, right click the image to view it in a new tab. Cover voting will close at noon EST on Thursday, May 9.


Graffiti Cover

This cover showcases Corey's graffiti, the story's urban setting, and the fact that these lovers might not be quite right each other. The limited color palette keeps everything looking bright and fresh.

For final: I'd do a better job photoshopping Corey and Tessa into the scene! I'd also finesse the lettering to look more hand done and less like a font.


Hand Cover

This cover focuses on the romance with a soft color palette and pink handwriting for the title. Tessa looks hesitant but happy as she lets Corey take her hand, and the "y" loops sweetly around their grasp.

For final: I'd clean up the lettering and add a bit more color—and maybe some clouds—to the sky.


Flames Cover

Corey is spray painting flames on Tessa's dad's car the first time we meet him, so of course I had to put flames on one of the covers. This love story is star-crossed, so it's only appropriate that the kissing couple is being overtaken by the fire.

For final: I'd hire an artist to re-draw everything and letter the title in one style so it all fits together and flows.


Sunset Cover

I love the lighting in this photo and how beautiful it makes this industrial, abandoned landscape with Tessa and Cory facing it together. The type is simple and strong to let the evocative title shine against the fading sun.

For final: I'd tweak their silhouettes and add some more detail in the sky.

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