Friends, as you may well know, my book is finally going to be out in 6 weeks (the same week as the baby, actually). As I begin the 3 month long
harassment encouragement to buy said book I figured I’d show you as much of the behind the scenes process as possible – starting with choosing the cover and title.
Now it’s tricky because you need the cover/title to do a few things – but mostly sell. You want it to be specific to who you are, but you need it to be universal. You want the subject matter to be obvious so people know what they are getting, but you don’t want it super pedestrian. You want it to grab attention, but not be annoying.
So, I looked to the classics – the books (and some movies) that are wildly popular and whose covers are iconic and unmissable, and we drew “inspiration” from those “greats”
First up, Dirty Decorating. While I love the edge it brings to this rather safe brand of book, this felt a bit too racy and could alienate a certain audience – like my mom for instance who has never seen it. Little does she know that this is a perfect movie (and my favorite film of all time). What she should also know is that when my oldest sister Michelle was “babysitting” me when she was 16 and I was 6 she locked me and my other sister in a room with crayons at 6pm so she and her friends could watch it. Your whole “our VCR won’t play Rated R movies” theory/lie became debunked that night. It could play them, and it did.
But this cover didn’t feel right.
These two, A Tale of Two Setees and Couch – 22, seemed a bit too specific to one piece of furniture. I love dressers, tables and the surrounding vignettes too much to focus just on seating options for the cover.
Now this one had the drama that we needed. The dark allure and mystery that many of you have come to know is just so me. But the cover didn’t say enough about what you’ll get once inside – the mystery left you guessing too much.
I thought this was a good option to show a whole other side of me – or at least many more body parts, but my editor and publisher thought it was a bit too “naked.”
Eat, Pray, Loveseat really took you on my journey the last few years – One woman’s search for a Sofa for Two. It kinda had it all – self-help and romance with a coming of age angle I think many people could relate to. But it wasn’t quite there yet. The Drapes of Wrath felt a bit too depressing to pursue, despite my appreciation for window treatments.
Now this one – this one was the one getting closest to perfection that we had tried.
The hardest part of ‘The Stylebook’ was choosing between all the photographs of Ryan and I embracing. Which ‘almost-kiss’ would it be? As we shot this everyone in the room could feel our connection – they all shared in our intense intimacy, and that kind of chemistry is what sells millions of copies. There was an applause when it was finished and my publisher weeped when she saw the final graphics. Unfortunately Brian Henderson wasn’t it’s #1 fan and kept asking the obtuse question: “Why are you kissing Ryan Gosling on the cover of your decorating book?” The answer was obvious but the fact that he had to ask showed me that we may lose the male demographic as they just didn’t “get it.”
So many options, choices and decisions needed to be made – and these were all pretty good options.
Ultimately we decided to go with something a little more fresh – a title that was fast, catchy and totally accurate. We called the book ‘Styled’.
Come back tomorrow for the real cover options (I think we gave my publisher 42 different ‘Styled’ options) and I’ll go over why they ended up choosing the one they did.
Meanwhile pre-order your copy HERE before it is released on October 13th. Over the next few months there will be a variety of coupon codes, but right now on Amazon it’s only $17.88 (it’s originally $32.50) which is pretty darn cheap considering you get two years of my soul inside. In case you are wondering how it works – unless it sells like a trillion copies (which decorating books don’t do), I don’t make any more money – I just want this book to be a success for my own professional and personal goals.
I think I’ll try to make Dirty Decorating my next book…because no one puts baby in the corner – unless styled into the most perfect corner vignette in which case when doing so make sure to add enough color, texture and contrast in said corner to really draw your eye there and create the depth you need (these and other tidbits in the book).
*Silly Photoshopping by Chandler Tuck for EHD. Photos by Jessica Issac. If you want to see the actual process of choosing the book cover, check it out here.