February 25th was a special day for me, since I got to celebrate the cover reveal for my debut book Santiago’s Dinosaurios which will be released by Albert Whitman & Co. on October 1st, 2022.
The process of creating the cover was the job of the illustrator, Ms. Udayana Lugo, and the design team at the publishing house. Although I wasn’t able to have direct communication with the illustrator (everything was done through my editor and the art director), I was lucky that the team wanted to have my input for the cover. So, at the beginning of the process, they asked me to share some ideas of what I would like for it. Afterwards, they worked on three cover proposals. When my editor shared the black & white sketches with me, I was invited to provide comments. I’m very grateful for the chance I had of being involved in the process. I always felt heard and considered, and that has been very important for me.
It was on early November 2021, when I received the final color version of the book’s cover in my email. I completely fell in love with it. ❤️ Meeting my characters in color for the first time was such a special moment that made the whole “my story is going to be published” feel more real.
Ms. Udayana Lugo captured the essence of the story in a lovely and heartwarming way. I feel so lucky that she worked on the book and contributed to make it even more special than what I had envisioned on my own. Her talent along with that of the design team definitely added other layers to the story, and I just loved how it turned out in the end (you’ll see what I mean when the book gets to the shelves).
For months, I was dying to share my cover and my characters with my friends and on social media, but I couldn’t do it. I had to wait for the right time and the right way to get the first image of the book out (that’s something in the hands of the publisher).
Finally, in January, the marketing team at Albert Whitman contacted me to talk about the cover reveal. They wanted to know if I would like to do it on my own or if I would like a blogger or influencer to be the host. After talking about it, they suggested We Need Diverse Books as a possible option. I really embraced the idea, since I knew it would be the perfect choice given the themes of diversity and inclusion present in the story.
The following is the image that was used by WNDB on their social media on February 25th. As you can see, they added just a glimpse of the cover so that people would click on the link to visit their blog and find the complete image there.
My publicist was the person who contacted and coordinated with WNDB and they provided all the information needed for the post. The reveal included a blurb of the book, the image of the cover, and also a brief BIO and photo of the author and illustrator. I invite you to check out WNDB blog post here.
Santiago is new to the United States, and he doesn’t speak English. On his first day of school, how will he connect with his peers? Santiago learns that even when you don’t speak the same language, some interests are universal.
As you can see, the cover hints at the theme of the book with the Mexican boy who loves dinosaurs (even the title shows this) and speaks Spanish. It also shows the diversity present on the story through the other characters. Personally, I love the watercolor style of the illustrations and the tones used.
After the cover was revealed, the image of the book was quickly updated in bookstore sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million. Now I get to share it on my social media, my website and today I get to write this post for Path2Pub.
Thanks so much for reading! I can’t wait for Santiago’s Dinosaurios to get to the hands of young readers. I hope many kids around the world will see themselves in Santiago and that they will feel less lonely as they struggle to find a place to belong in their new homes in foreign lands.
Have you had a cover reveal before? How was it for you?
Mariana Ríos Ramírez is a Mexican picture book author living in South Carolina. She was a high school teacher and co-owned an online business before becoming a writer. Her debut book, Santiago’s Dinosaurios, will be published by Albert Whitman in October 2022. Besides writing, Mariana enjoys photography, traveling, Chai Lattes, and k-dramas.