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MLA Full: "The Best (Recent) Book Covers Including MINE!" YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 2 March 2018,
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Pre-Order now :-)

OK, this is exciting and scary. So, while I wait for the time at which we are all coordinated for this thing to go live let me tell you how this worked.

First, the designer got the manuscript, then they read it, then they sent me three sample covers that I did not like. They were obviously rough mockups, but I didn't like the direction. There was good energy, but all of the fonts were hand-written and, honestly, I wanted it to look visibly distinct from a John Green book.

So then I sent them a few things:
1. Three images that I really liked that were not book covers. They all had bold colors, repeating patterns, and felt illustrated but now hand-drawn.

2. A few of my favorite recent book covers.

3. A few lines, less than 400 words about what I really hoped for that included this sentence: "Getting the mix between high energy and fun and deadly serious is something I thought a lot about when writing, and it's hard, but it may be an impossible thing to hope for in a cover design."

Then a few weeks went by during which time I was assured that a lot of time and thought were going into sending a long a more finished product that took my thoughts into account. I feel very lucky that I got to have this much feedback.

What I then got in my email was five designs...three of which were color variations on the final product. And I was like, "YES! THIS!" but then of course I had some thoughts. I asked for some other color treatments, and I also suggested adding the eyes to one of the Carls, which I think is a very cool touch. In the end, I went with one of the original color schemes but was glad I had seen the others anyway. And with a couple of very very minor finishing thoughts we had it.

I have a lot more thoughts on covers and I could critique great design all day, but I only had four minutes. I feel bad that there are so many great covers out there (and on my bookshelf right now) that I didn't get to talk about, but there are only so many minutes in a vlogbrothers video and only so many hours in a day!

Thanks everybody, I hope you like it!

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Good morning, John. They say that you can't judge a book by its cover, but I say you can't not judge a book by its cover. That's what the cover is for. There's a reason that this book and this book and this book all look kind of identical. Like, take a real fast look. Fantasy novels, right? You can tell, 'cause there's, like, chiseled words over high contrast illustrations and all the fonts have serifs. Oh my gosh, look at baby Neil Gaiman, he's so cute. Boom! That looked different but very similar, but it's san serif font, so it's sci-fi. That's the difference!

For obvious reasons, I've been thinking a lot about book covers lately, and I want to share with you today the cover of my book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. It's available September 25th, and you can get it for pre-order now. But, first I'd like to give, like, a deeply subjective and incomplete list of some of the best book covers from the last 10 or 15 years.

Let's start here, with a book that came out in 1986, but I promise it's going to make sense in a second. This is Watchman. If you've read the comic, you know what this image is; if you haven't, then you probably don't, and I like that a lot about it. It's mysterious, but it's bold and eye-catching. So bright! And, I like the bold, very sort of logo design, alternate title placement. I mean obviously iconic, one of the most iconic covers ever, but it's not really one of the things on my list.

This is! This is It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, and when I first saw it, I thought of the cover of Watchman. Obviously, the color, but also the really, sort of bold, comic-y font. I love this image; I love that there's a lot of, like, radial interesting things happening in covers right now.

Here's another really good, interesting, radially-designed thing, and I also like that in this case, the title kind of becomes the cover rather than there having to be some external design element.

Now, maybe this is going to be a little bit surprising. I don't generally tend to like photographic covers, but the pale white arms and this bright red centerpiece of this like, lovely, pure thing that you, really is the kind of thing that you'd like to take bit out of. The color scheme here, obviously, was imitated a lot, and I also really like tininess of the title, like the insignificance of the title and the author name. That's a bold choice, and like, maybe you didn't expect to see Twilight today, but there it is.

Let's go more recent: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I like this book cover so much. Again, bold color choice is something I'm a huge fan of. There was a trend for a long time in young adult fiction to chop people's heads off, and I think the idea was, like, give people looking at the cover something to relate to but not too much. This does that in a really interesting way, and also it is reminiscent of, or evolves on, a similar sort of cloud-based, handwritten font thing. 

Which leads me to one of the best, like I might be a little bit biased here, but one of the best covers from the last 10 years. This was such a departure. When Rodrigo Corral made this for The Fault in Our Stars, I feel like it really leveled up young adult literature. It feels kind of, almost branded, and I think that it started off, or was part of, a really important and necessary trend in cover design.

My second to last cover of V.E. Schwab's, A Darker Shade of Magic. Again, really interesting, thoughtful color choice happening here. This cover to me feels kind of full of institutional knowledge. Like, it knows a great deal about the book that I don't know yet. I like that about it.

And finally, the last thing on my list, Bop-a-di-bop-bop-bop-ba-da-ba! Is the cover of my book! I realize that I'm biased, but that's okay! I think I have the cutest cat in the world, too! It's not like I designed it. I had minimal input. It was a very scary process, and I'm so happy that I'm happy with what happened. To me this thought feels very like pulp. It feels adventure, it feels comic. But, then in the background here, it feels like you're getting drawn into something that's a little bit mysterious, a little bit creepy, which, is exactly what I wanted. Like, it feels a little bit ostentatious in its color choice, which if you know the main character of the book, which none of you do yet, that makes a lot of sense. April is a graphic designer herself, the main character in the book, and I, she's very into color choice. I think that she'd be into how it kind of stands on its own as a design, and a little bit of, you know, an identity for the book. All the English-language publishers really like this, so it's going to be the same cover in the UK and Canada and Australia. My book has a cover! John, I'll see you on Tuesday.