Title & Cover Confusion

My July ’09 book, Tiana’s story, has had a very rocky road so far and its not even on store shelves.  Not only was the story challenging, but its been a huge headache finding a title for it.  I even went to all of you for title help and turned in four pages of title suggestions. My editor and the marketing team liked nothing though.  They kept wanting flirty, sexy, sassy.  Fun.

And then a week ago, they chose a title, and four cover mock ups arrived in my inbox, with three of the covers quite similar and one very different.  I still didn’t love the title (More Than A Pretty Face had become Faking Beauty) but I liked it better with the artwork.  Just when I thought we had a cool cover, I got an email a day later saying the sales folks hated the title and the artwork.  The artwork was too pale, and they wanted something bolder, more colorful.  So it was back to the drawing board.  They’re still at the drawing board now.  But I think we do have a new title courtesy Megan Crane–Easy On The Eyes.  I’ll share the cover art when I can, but in the meantime I thought you’d enjoy the cover battles I had over Mrs. Perfect.

For those of you who’ve been around awhile, you might remember Mrs. Perfect was originally called Alpha Mom.  And here is the first cover they sent me:

If you’ve read Mrs. Perfect, you’ll know that the woman on the cover in no way resembles Taylor Young.   There was actually a cover before this, and she was wearing pearls and the tray was white plastic.  I explained that Taylor lived in a four million dollar home.  She wouldn’t use a Target tray, she needed posh.  She needed silver.  And where was her jewelry?

They sent me the cover above, adding in sparkles at her ears and throat and painting her tray with color to make it brighter.  I was crestfallen.  Faux jewelry was not Taylor, either, and I begged for a different cover but was sent the same cover in four different color variations.  The two I remember most were the baby blue and pink, and the turquoise and orange.  Didn’t like either at all.  But finally, after the sales folks said, no, this won’t work with our big accounts, they held another photo shoot and these were the two images sent to me as possible covers:


Our final cover for Mrs. Perfect wasn’t either of the shots above, but we were definitely a lot closer.  Finding titles and covers make me anxious but when we get it right, its all worth it.


  1. Wow! What a process and so interesting with what the final result turns out to be. It is funny because once you see the chosen cover and title, the others don’t seem right at all.

  2. I love the new title for Tiana’s story!! I just can’t wait to read it and most of all can’t wait to see you on the book tour!! That is, if you are still traveling next year after the little surfer is born!! Although, I could be your sitter while you are on this coast!!

  3. I cant wait to read your new book. you know loking at the covers for Mrs Perfect, I think I still would have plucked it off the shelf at Costco…thats where I bought it, and I think what made take a second look was not really the cover but the fact that there was a sticker right on the front tha said, “Seattle Author” and I was like, oh, I must support a local author!!

  4. That first cover looks more like Soccer Mom than Alpha Mom. The title of the new book sounds fine, and really, all it needs is your name on the cover and it will sell, no matter what the title is.
    I have been wondering what you think of the problems of Heather L., the star of the upcoming production of Flirting with Forty? Do you think the emphasis on beauty for women in Hollywood careers is part of her recent problems? I take it your book tackles that issue, right?
    My heart goes out to her – when your career depends on only what you look like, getting older is frightening. Women, we have value beyond our looks, and we need to be supportive and kinder to each other.

  5. Jane, I just finished Odd Mom Out. It was tremendous. Your books are intriguing. Because they start out seeming they will be a light read and then they get so deep, they really make you think about what is and isn’t important in life.

  6. I could care what the front cover looks like! I spend all my time reading the back cover.. The older I get,the more I realize looks are deceiving-it is what is inside that counts.. that includes books. I have met too many pretty people who are takers in life and not givers. At 48. I surround myself with givers- they will always be there for me..I hope my grown children are all givers…with givers for friends.

  7. The more I read the more I learn what authors I can count on and so it wouldn’t matter if Jane’s books were covered in toilet paper, I would read it and love it!! ha!

    The final title and cover of Mrs. Perfect really are PERFECT tho!

  8. I think 5Spot needs a new marketing team! The cover art for Odd Mom Out floored me. Never would a liberal, alt mom wear that god-forsaken outfit, nor would 30-40 year old “alpha moms” wear pastel get-ups that look like they belong on senior citizens! What’s up with their inane sense of style? Are they 60 + year old men from the Midwest who think that is how hot moms dress? Good thing I love your writing, Jane, because I was almost embarrassed to buy both books at my local bookseller, due to the hideous cover art.

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