Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I’m getting an amazing response to Johnny Doesn’t Drink Champagne – to the text, that is. To my surprise, there have been some mixed reactions to the cover.
Some loved it: “It’s noir,” you told me. “He’s looks mysterious and windswept."
Some of you found it intriguing: “If I had seen it in a bookstore I definitely would have picked it up and when I read the description I would have bought it.” But some just didn’t like it. One (very helpful) reviewer, who gave the book a very positive four-star review, said this: “The cover. I am not a fan. I would rather have seen Maddie running from the Tower in her beautiful dress.”

I’ve been doing some serious research on this. Most traditional romances have a couple on the front. More recently there has been a trend to show just the guy - often a handsome male model complete with man boobs.  Most teen romances show a girl in a pretty dress. The conventional advertising wisdom is that if you want to sell your book to young women it needs to have a picture of a young woman on the front. Does this hold true for YA fiction?

I need YOUR opinion. Should I put a girl or a boy on the cover of the next book? To give you a sneak preview of some of my ideas, here are a selection of shots from a photo shoot we did yesterday. The model’s name is Aleisha and she is eighteen (just like Maddie will be in Book Two). I’m thinking of isolating an image of her as a pensive bride and putting it on a dark moody background that will tell us a little more about the book. What do you think? Will it work?


  1. The cover of Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne is what originally attracted me to the book. (By the way, I stayed up 'till midnight last night reading it...can't wait to continue!) I love the cover and can't figure out why anyone would want you to change it. But you can't please everyone, I guess. At 23 I'm older than your targeted reader, but you know what? My younger self would have loved that cover too.

    Anyway, I like your idea for the cover for the next book. I always look twice at a picture with a pretty dress, especially a wedding dress.

  2. Up til midnight reading my book - awesome! Regarding the old cover - one of the good things about it was that I've attracted some male readers as well - which is great. But I quite like the idea of putting a girl on the next one. We used four different bridal gowns in the shoot and I made all of them - so it was a bit nerve-wracking seeing them get drenched in seawater but it was in a good cause!

  3. Wow, you made them yourself? That's incredible! I've always wished I could sew, but unfortunately I'm absolutely horrible at it.