Dear Crissy

My first book cover

When you’ve been publishing content and sharing your life for an audience online as long as I have, you leave a pretty extensive trail of digital breadcrumbs. I started my first website in 1996, as a 16-year-old high school student, and have been posting personal writing and photography constantly since that time.

A few months ago, I received an email from a designer who expressed interest in using one of my ancient self-portraits on DeviantArt for an upcoming young adult fiction book from Penguin (Puffin/Speak). This is the original photo, circa 2002.

Self Portrait

I’ve struggled over the years with quite a bit of image theft, but, this particular picture has undoubtedly been my most popular (and most often stolen) image. While I’ve had requests for licensing before, this was the first project that I felt great about from the start. It’s so funny, that while I have images available for licensing on Getty Images, and have grown a decent following on this blog, that one of my old photos on a site I don’t even use anymore caught the eye of someone, somewhere.

Here is what the book looks like (front and back).


How cool is that? The book is called XVI, and was written by author Julia Karr (@juliaakarr on Twitter). Here is a little about the book:

Some girls can’t wait to be sixteen, to be legal. Nina is not one of them. Even though she has no choice in the matter, she knows that so long as her life continues as normal, everything will be okay.

Then, with one brutal strike, Nina’s normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believed about her life is true. But there’s one boy who can help–and he just may hold the key to her past.

But with the line between attraction and danger as thin as a whisper, one thing is for sure…for Nina, turning sixteen promises to be anything but sweet.

Having not only one of my photos, but a self-portrait on the cover of a book is something that I am really proud of. I am super excited to purchase a copy of XVI in January, and if possible, I’m going to see if I can’t arrange a giveaway when the time comes. Until then, be sure to visit author Julia Karr’s website to learn more about the book

If the book sounds appealing to you, be sure to check your local bookstore after January 6th (yes, 1/6!), or you can preorder from Amazon, B&N, or Borders.

    36 Comments on “My first book cover”

  1. Thanks for sharing your expertise and I love that photo. It’s so funny that years later it is being used for a cover. You are so creative!

  2. sounds like an interesting book…the picture just draws your attention

  3. Wow, that is amazing!!! And that photo is amazing as well. Congrats!!

  4. OMG! Wow; that’s awesome! The book is awesome, too!

  5. So excited to start following you and can’t wait to refer you to my good friends. You’re very interesting and so thankful that our paths have crossed.

  6. Wow, That is a beautiful picture. You just ignited to finish getting my Fathers photos together. I have been putting it off. He also has some amazing shots. It wasn’t until he retired that he took classes about photography.

  7. wow!!you ar so beautyful!!
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  8. the pic is Fantastic!! Glad it caught their eye!

  9. I have to say that's pretty awesome! Came out looking great on the book cover too!

  10. Awesome! Congratulations and you deserve it…it's a wonderful photograph.

  11. As someone who has 'known' you for a very long time, I am SO excited and proud for you!! What an awesome accomplishment!

  12. Hi Crissy – I'm a friend of Julia's. I LOVE her cover – the photo is perfect! I couldn't believe when she said she'd 'met' the the girl on her cover! So awesome to hear your story (and actually see your grown up, less tragic self!) Thanks for sharing!

  13. The internet is so amazing. I've already seen that cover and thought it was cool. I love the story behind it.

  14. How exciting! I wish they would have kept the original composition of the photo though… odd choice to make the blurry/reflection part the actual cover… kinda loses the interesting angle. Still super cool!

  15. How awesome!! Congrats!

  16. That is really awesome, Crissy! And the self-portrait is beautiful! :)

  17. Congrats Crissy! I'm so happy for you and your accomplishment!

  18. That's seriously cool! Congrats! A really great shot, too. I should've asked you to leave photo tips for me on Friday!

  19. That is way cool! It looks awesome!

  20. WOW! Crissy! Sounds good. Sounds like your pics have made quite an impact on the world. That is a good thing.

  21. Yay! Crissy! I am so in love with my cover! How very cool to see the original photo! I'm so impressed with your photography!

  22. New reader here – fellow Jockey ambassador. LOVE this shot. How cool to have it on a book cover now?! Congratulations.

  23. That's an amazing photo! I'm even more impressed that it's from 2002 – I think I was still taking pictures with film and taking hours to scan then in one at a time back then. In fact, I KNOW I was – my wedding in 2004 was mostly shot on 35mm.

  24. That's awesome, Crissy! You're so beautiful! Not surprised at all that this was chosen. =) Congratulations girl and may this only be one of the MANY that will be used for book covers. ;)

  25. Very, truly awesome! :)

  26. That is a spectacular photo and you should be very proud!

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