Check this out:
Can you tell that's me? Cool, huh?! Well, I have to tell you, it's not my first cover ;) Several years ago the cover designers at work decided to try to use a live model for a 2nd book in a series and I got to be the model. We went over by UCCS in the SNOW and I wore this cool cloak and I actually ended up on the book cover. Trouble is, you can't really tell that it's me, or at least I don't actually want people to think it's me. Why? Because I'm vain and I think it makes me look like I have a big nose! Not to mention the book didn't sell that well. Maybe it was my fault! People choose books based on their covers all the time!
I haven't read Table by the Window, but I've heard it's a fun, cute read, so I hope it will sell well. The photo shoot was all I needed to know I wouldn't make a good professional model. It was actually just supposed to be an activity in creative brainstorming for the designer, Kelly. She had an idea for the cover in mind, but just couldn't pin it down, so she asked if she could shoot some photos to help her creative process. We just went down into the breakroom area of our office, took a few props (a pencil, writing paper, a coffee mug) and she started taking pictures. Hello, I was SO AWKWARD. She's actually used me a couple of times before but the covers never worked out. Probably because I'm super stiff and look mean/mad. She is a blossoming photographer, working on her skills and learning a ton, so it's really cool that she has these opportunities to not only design covers, but also do the photo shoots for them.
It's not easy making a supposedly natural pose look natural! To get the right smile, the eyes to look bright, the hand position to be correct. To not slouch or look posed. You would think sitting at a table drinking coffee or writing would be natural, but NOPE. I don't know how many times she had to tell me to smile more or shift left or right or tilt my head or shoulder or move my hand. I think she must have taken over 200 shots! After we were finished she looked through the photos to see if she could find any inspiration and she actually found an image she liked and wanted to try to use. See above!
There is a whole cover approval process, and it turns out this one got approved both in house and by the author, but then later was unapproved. (Many people in house didn't even know it was me at first!) Some people wanted to tweak it by taking away certain aspects, trying different layouts and colors, etc., and some people wanted an entirely different cover, different image, the whole shebang. Poor Kelly tried everything. Small changes, big changes, all new designs. It finally came down to deadline and needing to get the darn thing to press. I think everyone was basically OK with it in the end, but talk about pressure. What if the book doesn't sell well? It will be hard not to feel responsible! Who knew being a production manager could lead to modeling? ;) If you're interested in hiring me, contact my agent ;) Oh wait, I don't have an agent. And I don't want to be a model! But it was sure a cool experience. Better go buy the book!