March 11, 2014

Drumroll Please…. Cover Reveal & PRE-ORDER!!!!!

Thank you SO much for all your amazing comments and support yesterday.  It really blew my mind and made my cry a couple times. You are a very special group of people, and I appreciate the not one person called me a hot mess. Truly.

And now we can move onto something REALLY exciting- MY BOOK! (Pre-order HERE!)

I signed my deal with Simon & Schuster (the best publishing team ever, by the way) in January of 2013 and somehow, some way it’s now time to reveal the cover and open up for pre-orders!  It’s been an incredible experience chock full of blood (I ripped off a toenail when moving a bed at a shoot), sweat (lugging accessories, flowers and sometimes 500 books in and out of shoots and up countless flights of stairs) and and tears (“I’m never going to get this done! My book is going to suck!”)

But now it’s done. And while it’s not HERE yet (it’ll be out the first week of October) my part is completed.  I still don’t believe it’ll actually be a real book, like on shelves and stuff.  It’s too surreal for me to actually cross that giant goal off my bucket list this soon in my career.  But alas, I will rejoice a little today. And share a bit of the book making experience with you. But first, meet my book:

Gates_cvr_final copy

(image by Michael J. Lee design by Jennifer K. Beal Davis)

Oh, and the spine is striped too- with gold foil lettering and of course the end papers will be leopard. But you probably guessed that already. :) I think that spine will look so SICK on a bookshelf! :)

 Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 8.42.57 AMScreen Shot 2014-03-08 at 8.35.07 AM

It a mixture of a mini-memoir and design guide, showcasing personal essays (like yesterdays) with hundreds of images of my work you haven’t seen before.  It’s organized by rooms in the home, so, for example, the bedroom has an essay about marriage and then entry one about the stressful choice to move from the city to the burbs. I really, really hope you like it.

But if you think picking a cover for your own book is easy think again. I think Jenny, my book designer, and I had about 100 versions using different pictures, jackets over hardcover, paper over board, detail shots versus vignettes. I’m not going to show a lot of them because then I’d be showing too many of the pictures I’ve worked SO hard to keep secret (it’s been very hard not to share with you!!!) But here are some of the other variations on our theme…

We started with this one- I had it in my head that I really wanted the title up the side- a little different, you know. The image was shot by the fab Michael Partenio, who shot a couple spaces for the book.  This concept is paper over board (like the Domino book). I love gold foil lettering and this version had it, but subtly. We all thought this would be a slam dunk. But it wasn’t.  The publisher found it too hard to read with my name too small. They also felt the image was too busy. But they loved the stripe spine.


We also looked at doing a jacket over a hardcover briefly- but felt that this book shouldn’t have a jacket as it’s more than just a coffee table book.  The jacket felt fancy.

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 6.22.54 PM

(Michael J. Lee)

But damn, how cute would this hardcover have been in white and gold under the jacket?


Same here- another jacket pairing.  This client’s home looked amazing but I felt that since the book was rather personal, the cover should be my own house.

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 6.23.22 PM

(Michael J. Lee)


So we were back at paper over board, and then this black background with an inset image became a favorite of the publisher. But I didn’t love it, even though the gold letters were killer and bold.  It just didn’t feel right and I had to push back.


So I re-shot the vignette with Michael J. Lee in a more simple and serene palette. I loved it. It felt very me and a mix of a lot of my favorite things.  I tried to get the title up the side again, but no dice. :)


Then this version, very close the the final, which I LOVED but the gold lettering got too lost in the image. DRAT.


So we went back to the black background the publisher liked and the version we ended up picking.  We were torn. I was literally writhing on the ground trying to decide.  But in the end I felt this was a little heavy and serious and the picture too hard to see. So we went the the brighter, full bleed cover you saw above! DONE.


I hope you like it when you get it October 7th.  I will be doing a little book tour with signings in October so I hope I can finally meet all you awesome folks who have supported me, pushed me and made me laugh over the years.

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