290. The Art and Magic of Designing Book Covers: An Interview with Regina Flath

Today I am speaking with Regina Flath, Designer, Illustrator, and book cover designer at Random House Children’s Books.

This podcast was suggested by a listener named Hannah, who heard Regina Flath speak at a panel at NY ComicCon. Regina is a designer who specializes in YA covers – and her bio is adorable. It says she’s “100% constructed from witchcraft, yarn, sewing needles, and snacks. She’s a friend to imaginary creatures everywhere.” Regina is also the designer behind some very popular covers, including When Dimple Met Rishi.

We had a LOT to talk about. You’ll hear behind-the-scenes details of cover development, the fun parts and the awful parts, and the jobs a cover has to do beyond looking alluring on a digital or physical shelf.

Regina shares how she figured out early what she wanted to do, and why she targeted book cover design and illustration.

We also learn the full story of the development of the cover, back cover, and inside images for When Dimple Met Rishi – including whose handwriting is on Rishi’s cup.

Regina also talks very candidly about diversity initiatives inside her publishing house, and the ways in which she’s often the lone diverse voice in a meeting (and how exhausting and uncomfortable that position is).

We also find out which book featuring LARPing made her extremely happy, and which romance authors are her auto buys, and where you can hear Regina regularly discussing witches in popular culture. Hint: she has a podcast.

I learned a tremendous amount from this conversation, but as I say during the interview, my favorite parts of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood were the tours of how crayons get made. This is all about how the beautiful covers we love get made. I hope you enjoy it, too.

And thank you again, Hannah, for this suggestion, and thank you Regina, for speaking with me!

Listen to the podcast →

Read the transcript →

Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

First and foremost, please take a peek at Regina’s portfolio at her website, ReginaFlath.com – it’s terrific.

This podcast was suggested by Hannah, who attended a panel at NY ComicCon that Regina was on. The Verge has an article about the panel if you’d like to read more about it.

You can see the full When Dimple Met Rishi cover here, including the back cover image we discussed (note: large jpg at this link). And here’s an example of people recreating the cover art, which is just adorably great.

Regina also mentioned artist Luke Choice, and you can peek at his portfolio at VelvetSpectrum.com.

If you like the podcast, you can subscribe to our feed, or find us at iTunes. You can also find us on Stitcher, too. We also have a cool page for the podcast on iTunes.

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What did you think of today’s episode? Got ideas? Suggestions? You can talk to us on the blog entries for the podcast or talk to us on Facebook if that’s where you hang out online. You can email us at [email protected] or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-3272. Please don’t forget to give us a name and where you’re calling from so we can work your message into an upcoming podcast.

Thanks for listening!

This Episode’s Music

Peatbog Faeries Live at 25 album cover - a red lit stage with hands in the air from the crowd in the foregroundOur music is provided by Sassy Outwater. Thanks, Sassy!

We’ve been playing tracks from the Peatbog Fairies’ live album, Live @ 25, and it is seriously fun.

This is Shifting Peat and Feet by the Peatbog Faeries.

You can find this album at Amazon and iTunes.

And you can learn more about the Peatbog Faeries at their website, PeatbogFaeries.com.


Podcast Sponsor

Heaving Bosoms Podcast
Today’s podcast is sponsored by Heaving Bosoms: A Romance Novel Podcast, in which two best friends – Erin in Alask a and Melody in New Jersey – gush, giggle, snark, and snort their way through a different romance novel each week.

If you love fangirling about your latest read with your best girlfriends, you’ll love listening to Erin and Melody do a deep breakdown of their favorite, and occasionally not so favorite, romance novels. The recaps come with a heaping dose of unconditional friendship, open-hearted feminism, and hilarious tangents. Come for the romance, but stay for the self-love recommendations they use to cap off each episode. We all need the reminder, right?

From Julia Quinn to Courtney Milan to Tiffany Reisz, Erin and Mel are tackling every kind of smooching book they can find, and they’re always taking suggestions! We recommend starting with two favorite episodes, Episode 14, When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare, or Episode 16, Love Hacked by Penny Reid.

Just don’t listen around the kids because, like your favorite books, these two can get a little . . . explicit. You can find Heaving Bosoms on their website, on Stitcher, on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts!

Transcript Sponsor


A Duke in the Night

Today’s podcast is sponsored by A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen. If you like Sarah MacLean and Tessa Dare, you’ll love this Regency Romance.

August Faulkner has returned with his eye on expanding his business empire. He is a Duke, a scoundrel and a titan of business– and wears his roguish reputation as a badge of honor. He is a man of many talents, not the least of which is enticing women into his bedchamber. He’s known-and reviled-for buying and selling companies, accumulating scads of money, and breaking hearts.

Clara Hayward is the respected headmistress of the Haverhall School for Young Ladies, and is above reproach. But ten years ago she shared a scandalous waltz with August and despite herself, has never forgotten the feeling of his arms. Even though her head knows that he is only back in her life to take over her family’s business, her heart can’t help but open to the very duke who could destroy it for good. Can these opposites find a second chance at romance?

RT Book Reviews raves “what a way to start the Devils of Dover series!”

A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen is on sale now wherever books are sold. You can find out more at KellyBowen.net, and at Forever-Romance.com.

Remember to subscribe to our podcast feed, find us on iTunes or on Stitcher.

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