The Year of Cozy: Cover Decision


The Year of Cozy

Picking the cover of a book is not a solo endeavor. There are a lot of opinions and things that need to be taken into consideration because, as we know, people judge books by their covers, as they should (I think).

I feel really confident about the cover. I think this cover, the one we finally arrived at, matches the contents of the book and the story. It fits. But it took A LONG time to arrive at this cover.I wanted to share with you a few early iterations and how we came to this conclusion. I think it’s fun!

I always think behind-the-scenes stuff is interesting (if this is putting you to sleep, there will be a recipe on Monday and it’s a good one!).

My publisher wanted something that evoked a mood versus a plate of food or shot of a completed craft.

I actually wanted something that was overhead, on a tabletop. Granted, I’m more comfortable shooting tabletop since I do it pretty much everyday and I knew I could make it look good. I wanted something that felt like these photos:

So, I decided to shoot it two ways: a lifestyle shot that evoked a mood and a tabletop shot that evoked a mood and could sort of sum up the book.

I was pretty burnt out after turning in the photos and manuscript. It wasn’t really the lack of sleep that was hard but more like the creative burnout. I felt like I was just out of ideas.


To solve this and make my brain work again, I ended up making a secret board on Pinterest and went crazy researching cozy bed shots and pretty color palettes.

Bed Inspiration

These shots ended up being the greatest inspiration for me. I was in LOVE with the blanket from the last shot. When I found it on the internets it was $1000!!! Umm…that’s a lil’ ‘spensive so I contacted the maker, Laura Birek, and asked to borrow it for the shoot. She obliged and lucky for me she lived right down the street!

I was a bit of a freak about the blanket because it was expensive, handmade and there was going to be food near it. SCARY! Luckily around 2 to 4 pm everyday Amelia is in her sleepy mode so she was perfectly behaved (a rare occurrence). It was VERY difficult to control her. She looks quite sad in this one, doesn’t she?


And this one she’s blurry. It was dark and cloudy that day and it was tough to get her AND the tray of food both in focus. AND she kept moving!


For the second option, I went to The Flower Market and got a few of my favorite flowers.

I wanted a white, pale pink, mauve vibe. I wanted clean, lots of cozy white and muted colors. (See above for inspiration!)

Cover Option

The scissors and linen are from Shop Terrain. The majority of the ceramics were made by me in a class a few years ago and the mug is from Brit McDaniel (her stuff is gorgeous).

I was pretty happy with it. Winter light is my favorite. I love the light it casts and shadows it gives off.

Title Font:

Casey Lignon

Dervla (my editor), Rae Ann (designer) and I all wanted a pretty font. We wanted an illustrator to draw the title. I ended up sending a few samples over and then Rae Ann sent WAY better examples. We ended up choosing the designer, Casey Lignon, based on how beautiful she can draw a Y. I know that sounds silly but the Y was really important. I think she did an absolutely beautiful job.

The Year of Cozy - First Tabletop

When it was laid over the cover options, here’s what we got and with different colors!

There were also debates as to what color the title should be. I loved the peach. We all liked the peach in fact. The mint came in at a close second. I loved the blue too, but we thought it might be a bit too monochromatic.

We ended up with the bed shot…until like June. At the last minute we all started to question our initial decision. We ended up going back to the tabletop, which is totally fine because I always loved that version best. (SORRY, AMELIA!)

The Year of Cozy - Color Title Options

Final, FINAL Decision:

When it came to what was on the tabletop, my publisher suggested something more filling than a cinnamon roll, which I replied IF YOU EAT THREE CINNAMON ROLLS, IT’S SUBSTANTIAL.
(I didn’t say that, instead I made a pie, which I think makes more sense since pie makes my world go round.)

I shot it with the pie, as I was sweating and almost crying (I literally had an emotional breakdown that day) because I hated the lighting. Luckily Billy was there to make me less crazy.

After Rae Ann made very good cropping decisions and color corrected the photo and just made it better as a whole, I was in love. I thought I was going to HATE this option when I delivered the photo. I was convinced I would have to retake it but I think it’s an ace.

The Year of Cozy: 125 Recipes, Crafts and Other Homemade Adventures

I hope you enjoyed this lil’ story of a cover’s journey. Next up, How to Write a Recipe (next week!). If you haven’t pre-ordered, you should do that! 🙂


P.S. All you Amelia lovers, she made it on da back. 😉



First collage: 1, 2, 3 , 4

Second collage: 5, 6, 7, 8

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


Leave a Reply

  • Reply bev @ bevcooks September 17, 2015 at 7:00 am

    OH I LOVE IT ALL. But your pie decision was the best. Kudos, lady! Can’t WAIT to get one. xoxox.

  • Reply Alana September 16, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Loved reading all of this and LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover choices you made (front and back). That pie totally seals the deal! PS – YAY!!

  • Reply Catherine Kelly September 16, 2015 at 8:10 am

    absolutely beautiful and very interesting how you went about it

  • Reply Theodora Nan September 16, 2015 at 4:42 am

    Love the cover and thank you so much for sharing this with us. Judging by the cover only I would definitely buy that book but since I’ve been following your blog for a while I am sure the content of the book will be amazing too. Xo.

  • Reply Sarah from Soymilk + Honey September 15, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I love this! It’s so much fun seeing the behind-the-scenes process of creating a cookbook. Your photography is really lovely! It’s raining outside right now and I feel like I would totally pay a crazy amount of money to cuddle up in that cozy blanket 🙂

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 16, 2015 at 8:20 am

      Thank you, Sarah! I hope people read it in the picture you just painted!

  • Reply Jennifer September 15, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    i think it looks great! and the back is super cute too 🙂

  • Reply DessertForTwo September 14, 2015 at 8:12 am

    This is beautiful. And so inspirational. Gosh, I just love it! The cover, both front and back are PERFECTION. I can’t wait to get my copy!!! 🙂 XO

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 14, 2015 at 9:50 am

      Thank you girlfriend! And Happy Pub Day to you! xoxoxo

  • Reply Alice September 13, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Making creative decisions can be super tough, but I think the end result, or what I can see for now, is awesome!
    All the colors you mention, the aesthetic, not to mention the food, fits into what I generally like, so I’m really excited for this.

  • Reply Gaby Dalkin September 12, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    thank you for sharing this! I always love seeing others creative processes 🙂

  • Reply Emily September 12, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Beautiful book! I love that you provided all of the background details since I always love that stuff. You are so talented! I can’t wait for the book to come out. Congratulations!!

  • Reply Rachel September 12, 2015 at 10:22 am

    So beautiful! Your posts are always an inspiration, Adrianna!
    And don’t worry- I think we’ve all had multiple breakdowns over lighting and deadlines 🙂
    Can’t wait to get my own Year of Cozy!

  • Reply Muriel September 12, 2015 at 9:21 am

    What a nice personal journey to describe for your readers. And a creative insight for anyone curious about the long journey to book publishing. ‘Makes us feel more personally connected to you in your “cozy” life as we will soon enjoy holding the book. Good job.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 13, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Hi Muriel, Thank you so much for your sweet words. Josh has told me about your literary career–would love to hear more about it in person. Hope to meet you sometime soon! xo

  • Reply Aubrey September 12, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I work in purchasing at Powell’s Books in Portland, OR, and I’ve picked your books as one of my holiday selections to promote throughout the company. We do a show and tell for our staff so that they can learn about and recommend some of our favorite books. Congratulations on being published! I always look forward to reading your blog posts, and I’m especially excited to see your book…hopefully we’ll be able to give it a little boost!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 13, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Aubrey! Thank you so much for buying my book. I appreciate it so much. Let me know if you’d like to do a signing or event. I’ve been looking for a reason to visit Portland!

      • Reply Cara September 18, 2015 at 9:12 am

        YES! Please come visit Portland I would love to meet you! You’re so inspiring, I check your blog daily for a dose of happiness!

  • Reply Zsuzsa September 12, 2015 at 5:40 am

    Thanks for the behind-the-scene story, I enjoyed it! I love the cover shot – and am glad Amelia made it on the back cover 😉 Congrats on your book, I’m sure it must have taken a lot of sleepless hours!

  • 1 2