Elena changes her clothes


This is quite a big change.  As my agent said, “If you look at it objectively, this is a pretty interesting example of different ways to look at the same book.”

Remember when I showed you the cover for my new book, The Lost Recipe for Happiness?   This is was it:

Not everyone loved it madly, so the art department went back to the drawing board.  This is the new cover:

What do you think?

23 thoughts on “Elena changes her clothes

  1. Scarlet

    I so loved the first cover, but that’s because it spoke to me. Not having read the book (yet) I don’t know if it spoke equally well FOR the story.

    My hesitation with the new cover comes from a general apprehension about “women’s fiction” which the second cover more represents. When I see covers that are cute and spunky and worry that the characters will all be 30, more than comfortably well off, live in The City with a wholly urban, single-girl lifestyle and revolve around sex in quirky places, that man you just have to have and that too cool job. So much of womnen’s fiction that I have been exposed to is very narrow in scope.

    The new cover is so very modern. Which isn’t bad. Just different. I would pick up the first one in a heart beat and read the back and the first few pages in the store if I didn’t recognize the author. The second I *might* pick up if I didn’t know the author. Of course, I will pick it up since I do….

    Probably more than you were looking for here!

  2. Scarlet

    One last comment – Lady Luck’s cover is modern, but the feel is SO different. It transcends whatever it is that makes me pull my hand back from the typical WF cover.

  3. I like the second cover much better. It looks more upbeat to me. (No pun intended.) The dog takes it out of the realm of usual women’s fiction.

    The first cover was lovely, but it lacks the energy of the second cover.

  4. Yvonne Erwin

    Quite honestly, I like the second cover better. I found myself staring at the first cover, tilting my head this way and that way, thinking, “Well? Does this look like a Barb book?” And it just never grabbed me. I’m loving the garden shoes and the whisk. AND the dog. Perfect.

  5. Ellen Breen

    The first cover left me cold. But the second one just grabbed me immediately. the dog made me grin, and the whisk in her hand is subtle but cool as it ties into the title.


  6. Deb Allen

    The second cover looks more contemporary while the first cover could be mistaken for a historical.

  7. Barbara

    I love the feedback, you guys. (More is welcome.) Thanks. Scarlet, I had more or less the same reaction–I liked that cover, but it really went over like a lead balloon. And the more I looked at it, the more I felt it looked historical, which this book is not. (Obviously.)

    The energy and contemporary feel of the second cover appeals to me and I like the dog a lot.

    But I’ve noticed that I am not great at this particular art. Whenever people run surveys over whether this cover or that cover is the best one, I always pick the one that is disliked by nearly everyone.

    Like everything else in publishing, this is a particular art. Cover styles go in and out of fashion, too.

    So…the important thing is that the book is on the way. Not long now!

  8. Mel

    I like both but I think the second does feel more modern…whether it fits the story, I guess you are the best judge at this point. The dog is great and I do find myself intrigued about who this determined woman is marching off with her whisk!

  9. Cathy

    Love it!!!!!

  10. I really like the new cover art. I liked the first cover also, but it didn’t really reveal anything about the book; the new cover does that with the snappy font and colors, the woman, whisk and dog. So looking forward to meeting your Elena, Barbara!

  11. LOVE it! And I think the dog following a woman around is so…you 🙂

  12. angelicat

    I’m a big fan of yours … don’t know you, but would purchase and read any book of yours, regardless of the cover.

    But if I were unfamiliar with your work, it would be highly likely that I’d skim past the first cover …interesting, ok, but it just does not grab my attention and say “read me”. It’s very pretty, yes, but looks a little, umm … ? Yes, the use of red and white is very nice, the combination of flowers (not sure what kind) + chilli, interesting, but a little old-fashioned, and something my Nana would like, just a little too polite for me, if that makes sense? I’m not age-ist, and my Nana was super-cool, I’m just speaking in stereotypes, here.

    The second cover, I LOVE LOVE LOVE. Love it. It looks modern, contemporary, has an enticing mix of cool old+new i.e. the cool clogs (1970s cool and breezy), denim clamdiggers (from 1950s + before, and hip now as well, plus every other summer), timeless white t-shirt, the confident stride of the woman’s body with the whisk, like she’s going to cook up something damned good .. and dog eagerly following, like s/he’s in cahoots … ooohhh, I detect a wonderful, irresistible, can’t put me down book.

    Very, very, much look forward to it.

  13. Michelle

    I agree that the second cover seems more modern and would speak to modern readers more.

    The first cover spoke more to me, but that may be because historicals are my first love, and there is something about it that says historical. I also liked the use of chilis bc I like books set in the southwest – particularly when you wrote them.

    All that said, I think the new cover would appeal to more people.

  14. Heather

    I love the second cover – it’s one that I would pick up and at least look at the back cover/inside flap and gives me the impression of light and fun.

    I’m afraid that on a quick glance (almost not enough to read the words) my impression of the first cover was that it was a historical family drama with not alot of happy endings for the characters.

    Hmmm. I must have a deeply buried memory of severe book disappointment.

  15. I agree with others that the first cover looks more historical, while the second is more contemporary and really catches the eye.

  16. BTW, the previous two comments were by two different Heathers. LOL

  17. Opinions are pretty heavily weighted toward the new cover, and that’s great.

    My only quibble was that the dog should have been a big fluffy chow mix, although the guy on the cover is really cute.

    LOL, Heathers! 🙂

  18. I love the new cover as well. I was not a fan of the flowery script on the first one – it made me think of a bodice-ripper, which I would never pick up. This cover would catch my interest!

  19. Melissa Compton

    Love it! The first cover was beautiful, but the second cover speaks more freely to the reader, I think. It’s definitely more modern and implies an element of fun that stands against a more serious title.

  20. Rosallie

    I’ve come in late but want to comment anyway.
    I’m such a romantic and love flowers and yes, the first cover.
    But I don’t get trends right either.

  21. Also way late, but count me among the ones who like the first cover better. The one thing that would have really tipped towards historical was the title font, which could have easily been changed. But liked the earthier colors and in particular, the chili peppers. All the cool tones in the second one against the white background just leave me sort of *bleah*. Although I do like the dog.

  22. Jane Carter

    The second cover definitely catches my eye. It just appeals to me visually and makes me stop and wonder…”what’s that one about?”. So I would probably pick it up and give it a read. If I were not familiar with your work, I would most likely pass over the first cover, thinking it was a historical romance. Nothing wrong with historical romance, just possibly targets a narrower group of readers. Gotta get me some of those red garden clogs!!!

  23. Jane, I think that’s true, that the old cover looked a bit historical.

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