Wednesday, July 9, 2014

RED QUEEN cover!

So as most of you know, the cover for RED QUEEN was revealed last week. For the .01% of you who missed my avalanche of tweets on the subject, here it is again:

Sorry, I started to drool. I'm so in love with this cover. It's everything I wanted, and then some. The folks at HarperCollins were really open to my original idea of a cover, and then ran away with it and made something better than I ever imagined. So who wants to see my original thoughts (because I procrastinate by designing covers)?

Back in the day when I was first penning the RED QUEEN manuscript, I would dip into Photoshop whenever I hit a roadblock. I designed symbols and covers or just manipulated photos until the ideas started flowing again. Here's the first real RED QUEEN centric image I made (and stupidly included on the first page of the manuscript):
Pretty basic, but definitely gets across a clear message. Girl, crown, chess piece. Bam. And then I started to simplify even more, and tried my hand at a minimalist (hard to understand) cover:

The symbols are nonsensical until you read the book, and even then, they're kind of hard to figure out. Also, I very clearly made this with rudimentary paint tools in Photoshop. Well done, me.

This is the final sketch I made when I knew a cover would be a real thing, and I wanted to jot something down so I had a better chance of explaining it to Kari Sutherland, the editor of RED QUEEN:

Not too bad, but definitely nowhere near the level of beauty we ended up with. And to illustrate exactly how easy the cover process was for RED QUEEN, this was what I told Kari when she asked about cover ideas:

"Uh, simple? I figure a crown upside down to show the world is not quite right. I'm big into simple, symbol covers." And then I sent her a bunch of covers I liked, including:

Kari had the idea to add dripping blood and the Harper art wizards translated that into our first comp cover. It was a rough draft, but I still loved it, and leagues ahead of where I thought the cover would start:

first cover                           second and final cover

So close to the final right? It only took Harper a single comp to nail down the cover of my dreams. A true miracle, if all the cover horror stories I've heard are true. A giant thanks to Kari, Suzie Townsend, Kristen Pettit, Jennifer Klonsky, jacket artist Michael Frost, jacket designer Sarah Nichole Kaufman, and the whole team at Harper who made this a real thing. 


  1. That really is incredible how close the rough copy is to the final! And the final is sooooo great :D The covers you made yourself are way better than anything I would have done btw haha. I hope you've printed out a giant version of the RQ cover and have it framed in your house somewhere :)

  2. Congrats on this beautilicious cover, Victoria! And no, although I didn't reply on Twitter I wasn't that .01%. Lol.
    Quick question: was it originally called "THE Red Queen"? And the article was dropped...?

  3. I love the cover! Even Game of Thrones have simple covers now too. I love it. I can't wait to read it. One more year right? That's too long. HAHAA. Congrats on the gorgeous cover.

  4. I've just fallen in love :-) And it's pretty interesting to know about the whole process.

  5. That's awesome that Harper was able to get your design down, it's BEAUTIFUL. :) Can't wait to read it...eventually. :p

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  6. That is an absolutely fantastic cover. I really like that you did your own sketches for inspiration. I've done that, too!

  7. My daughter (15 years old) attended an event for Nano Ramo at the Castle Rock library in Colorado last night. She was very excited to receive your book! She finished reading "Red Queen" before school the next morning. Congratulations on a successful book!

  8. I just finished your book and after that - I love this cover even more! It suits the story so well, and honestly, it is my favorite cover among the 2015 books.

  9. So cool of you to share the cover design process. I hadn't realized the crown was upside down until I read this. Can't wait to read the book!

  10. Red Queen is a young adult fantasy novel written by Victoria Aveyard. The author's debut novel, This was published in February 2015. The second part of the novel is named Glass Sword. It won the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Debut Goodreads Author and was nominated for the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction.

  11. I love your cover. It's very memorable and I see a LOT of books. It's really beautiful.

  12. Dear Victoria Averyard,

    I am doing a university project about Alice in Wonderland and The Queen Of Hearts, I have come across an image of the crown and blood that is used on your book cover.

    I was wondering if you would mind if I used the image in my blog and Instagram?

    I will not be making any money from my blog, so using your image is for education purposes only. Please get back to me as soon as you can on whether it is okay for me to use the design on your book cover.

    My email is

    Kind Regards,

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. The cover of a book is such an important factor in a novel for it's the first thing (most of the people who look for books) they'll see. And it's so overwhelming that RED QUEEN GOT SUCH A WONDERFUL COVER. I'm so in love with it. The texture of it in actual. Feels like I'm in the book. It's very unique and, and, and, and, IT'S REALLY BEAUTIFUL. Such a creative work it was.

  15. That truly is extraordinary how close the harsh duplicate is to the last! What's more, the last is so incredible :D The spreads you made yourself are path superior to anything I would have done bow ha ha. I trust you've printed out a monster adaptation of the QR spread and have it encircled in your home some place.
    Logo Design

  16. Hi, it's me mir I really was worried about my design & fashion business but my friend told me to search for some kind of design articles & I did thanks for sharing this helpful content I really appreciate it,
    Hey, if you want to grow your business by web designing or logo designing then visit us?
    Logo Designers