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 AM Screen 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.

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(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.


  1. Erin…this is perfect!!!!!!!! My jaw is still on the floor… Get ready girl, you are going to be a best seller!!!!!!

  2. Erin, What a huge accomplishment. You should be VERY proud of all you have done, and at such a young age. I never post on your blog but have been a daily reader for about four years. Can’t wait to read your book!

  3. Wow–the cover is super gorgeous! totally in love. congrats! i don’t comment that often on your blog but I am a daily follower and what a great accomplishment! I look forward to buying a copy!

  4. The final design is so perfect and really looks the most Erin-ish. Congratulations! I can’t wait for this to arrive in my mailbox! One more reason to love October :)

  5. You must be so proud! Congratulations, it’s beautiful. I’ve just ordered mine. By the way, your post yesterday was so brave. My husband and one of my children fight your same battle every day. It’s painful to watch but I know so much more for those of you who must fight it. You are winning the battle though, just like they are. Don’t let anything shame you.

  6. I have been so excited for you to post this and the cover does not disappoint! I have been reading your blog for years and this cover is so perfect (I love seeing that gold Threshold frame since I have it too :) ). Thanks for walking us through the selection process – it was really fun to scroll through the contenders and read why you decided not to go with them. I seriously can’t wait until October – congratulations!!!

    In regards to yesterday’s post, I couldn’t really come up with anything other than wanting to give you a hug. Since I only “know” you through your blog, I thought that might be a bit weird. Now I am just too excited for you so I’m just going to tack it on to this – *HUG*.

  7. You totally picked the right one!!! LOVE IT! Congrats Erin–and although I didn’t comment yesterday, you rock and I wish you all the luck…it will be worth it all in the end, I promise :)

  8. Well done Erin, congratulations on all your hard work. I just ordered the book on Amazon. I’d also like to share my appreciation of your post yesterday – I know many women have their own struggle and so appreciate the candid account of yours. I’m sure it will happen for you and Andrew some day soon. This will be a great year!

  9. Absolutely gorgeous cover, and many many many congratulations to you Erin on this wonderful accomplishment! Also from yesterday – thank you for sharing and I hope it gives you some comfort and support knowing so many people out there are cheering for you. You have reached so many people via your talents and voice, it is the bright part of so many people’s days and I’m sure for some, a way to relieve their own stresses and anxiety. Hopefully in some small way that helps with easing your own anxiety at times. Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to get my own copy of your sure to be amazing book. Congrats again!

  10. omg. It’s SO perfect. And yes, loooove seeing the path to get there, makes the final product even more exciting to behold. It is insanely you and insanely good. Brilliant idea to shoot again with the more serene and textured palette. I cannot wait.

  11. I’m so thrilled for you! I’ve been a daily reader for over a year now and absolutely can’t wait to add this book to my collection! I may already have a college degree, full-time job, 401k and health insurance but, damn if I don’t want to be Erin Gates when I grow up! CONGRATULATIONS to a very deserving, graceful and talented woman. Cheers!

  12. Order placed! So excited to see all the work you’ve done. If I judged this book by it’s cover, I’d say it’s a winner!

  13. Looks fabulous! So excited for you! I will be in line at the Boston signing for sure and will happily say to the others in line “Oh, I knew her way back before she was a famous author.” :-)

  14. Congratulations, love the cover!! I can’t wait to read it and I really want a signed copy!!

  15. I just ordered three, one for me, my mom and my best friend. I have been waiting for your book to be released. Congratulations!!!

  16. Order has been placed! I agree with Allison! I want to be Erin Gates when I grow up too! :) Your blog is a true favorite of mine. Love your honesty and that you drop some truth! Keep up the great work! Looking forward to October!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!

  17. I AM SO EXCITED!!!! Preordered riiiight now. So exciting to see your dreams realized, lady! Yours was pretty much the first blog I ever read and my inspiration to start my own blog (and pursue design without an interior design degree). I wish so much success for you!

  18. LOVE!! Erin, I can’t even tell you how excited I am about your book. I’m clicking over to pre-order and can I just say, I’ve never ordered a blogger’s book before. I just never felt like there was enough new material or personal insight. But yours- I just KNOW I’m going to love it! I’m sure I will be overwhelmed with inspiration for my own place.
    Congratulations on finally getting it done :)

  19. Congrats Erin! I can hardly wait for October to get my hands on your book. I know it’s not just a coffee table book, but I’m pretty sure my coffee table is equally, if not more, excited. Hope you celebrate in a BIG way today!

  20. BIG, HUGE Congrats Erin! You are such a star – and I know you are just getting started. Can’t wait to read the book. It looks beautiful :) XX, Danielle & Mark

  21. I love the cover you chose!! I can’t wait for this book to come out! All of the spaces you have designed are gorgeous! Congratulations!

  22. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Beautiful cover! Perfect choice! Just placed my book order. Can’t wait till October when I can display it with the rest of the fab designer coffee table books I own. But, with yours I can say I’ve met you and you’ve been to my home! YOU DESERVE THIS!

    Now, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment! Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh.

  23. This is FABULOUS!! I love the choice of cover- it’s brilliant…and, just a thought- when you are doing your book signings you should come back to the Mansfield area where you grew up;)….not sure where you’d actually do the signing though….

  24. I love this post so much! So interesting to see all of the different mock-ups…and ultimately I am IN LOVE with what you picked! Of all the options I think it’s definitely the best cover. It literally could not look better and I am soooo excited for this book! I wish it was out now, I’m too impatient to wait until October! I hope you’ll do a signing in NYC, I would love to attend.

  25. The cover is perfect! I pre-ordered and will look forward to October 7th when it arrives. I hope you do a signing in Chicago!

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