bhaa covers

Judging a Cover by Its Book: Choose the Cover Direction for BEEN HERE ALL ALONG

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

Hey there Swoon Readers!

Haven't you heard? Sandy Hall has a third book coming out next year! Are you excited? We're excited.

And to make things even more fantabulous, we have four beautiful cover directions for you to choose from! We can't wait to see what all of you think about the options for Been Here All Along.

In case you missed the announcement post last week, here's a brief synopsis of the book:

"Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbor, Kyle. It’s a distraction. It’s pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn’t know what to do...

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong…"

Fabulous Swoon designers Anna B. and Eileen S. have put together four awesome cover options for you to choose from, and have shared some thoughts about their inspiration behind each one. (For more information about the difference between a cover direction and the final cover 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 Monday, Jan. 4.

BHAA Houses

Eileen S.'s Houses Cover

Kyle and Gideon have always been next door neighbors, and I wanted to show that history in this illustration. You can probably guess what's going on from the art alone, but I enjoy how the title adds a bittersweet note to the subtle imagery. It's a quiet cover for this lighthearted story, but I think it captures the real emotions involved.

BHAA Paper Border cover

Anna B.'s Paper Border Cover

I wanted to do one cover option that was closer to Sandy's first two books, with an illustrated border around the central type, and I thought the idea of Gideon's lists "escaping" from the binder and out into the world would lend itself to this design. In the super helpful cover brief that Holly, Emily, Lauren, and Sandy put together for this book, Sandy suggested we try a light blue palette to coordinate with her other books, and I kept it pretty clean and spare for a more masculine look (no curlicues here!). I created the art using two tools that I've been experimenting with recently: I used a Japanese brush pen to draw the paper, pens, and binder, and then did the color and the hearts and scribbles on a Wacom tablet. The hearts, crosses, and scribbles on the flying sheets of paper were intended to represent Gideon's uncertainty about his feelings about Kyle, and about Kyle's feelings for him.

BHAA Arrow cover

Eileen S.'s Arrow Cover

This cover's title is one massive, colorful sign pointing to Gideon, but Kyle couldn't be more oblivious. I think this concept conveys the story's love triangle in a simple, humorous way. My initial version was a neon sign on a black background, but changing the black to brighter colors added the lightness and fun that it needed.

BHAA Lockers cover

Anna B.'s Lockers Cover

Gideon and Kyle spend a lot of time hanging out at each others' lockers, and Sandy mentioned in the cover brief that she always pictures them there. A lot of the book takes place at school, and I agreed that the lockers would be a good way to define the setting. I couldn't shake the idea that Gideon's lists are the crux of the story, so I decided to have the title on a sheet of loose-leaf paper in front of the boys. When I'm taking notes or making lists, I'm constantly doodling in the margins, underlining, drawing arrows and stars, and circling things for emphasis. I thought Gideon might do the same thing, especially since he's agonizing over these lists, so I incorporated some doodles around the title.

Have any comments or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below!

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