You’re in a bookstore. You see these two novels side by side on the new fiction table. Which lures you? Which do you pick up first? Do you completely ignore one? Do you pick up both? Do you expect a different read with each cover?
You flip each over and they both say:
Fresh take-home pastas & sauces daily
Holly Maguire’s grandmother Camilla was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine—a Milanese fortune-teller who could predict the right man for you, and whose Italian cooking was rumored to save marriages. Holly has been waiting years for her unlikely fortune: her true love will like sa cordula, an unappetizing old-world delicacy. But Holly can’t make a decent marinara sauce, let alone sa cordula. Maybe that’s why the man she hopes to marry breaks her heart. So when Holly inherits Camilla’s Cucinotta, she’s determined to forget about fortunes and love and become an Italian cooking teacher worthy of her grandmother’s legacy.
But Holly’s four students are seeking much more than how to make Camilla’s chicken alla Milanese. Simon, a single father, hopes to cook his way back into his daughter’s heart. Juliet, Holly’s childhood friend, hides a painful secret. Tamara, a serial dater, can’t find the love she longs for. And twelve-year-old Mia thinks learning to cook will stop her dad, Liam, from marrying his phony lasagna-queen girlfriend. As the class gathers each week, adding Camilla’s essential ingredients of wishes and memories in every pot and pan, unexpected friendships and romances are formed—and tested. Especially when Holly falls hard for Liam . . . and learns a thing or two about finding her own recipe for happiness.
Does the back cover copy fit both covers? Does the cover change how the back cover copy sounds to you? Do you have different expectations for each book based on the cover even though the cover copy is the same?
The blue spaghetti heart cover was the original cover for The Love Goddess’ Cooking School until just a couple months ago. The big chains didn’t think the cover would appeal to readers, and so Simon & Schuster went back to the drawing board to come up with a very different cover, more mainstream, more mature.
I did love that spaghetti heart and vivid Tuscan blue and white swirls of the original cover. But when I saw the new cover with its old world Italian kitchen feel, I sighed with a happy, relieved yes, this is the cover. This is what the cover is meant to be. This captures the lore of the original Love Goddess, the main character’s beloved Milanese fortune-teller/cook grandmother and that very kitchen today. It captures a sense of life in progress, work to be done. Cooking. A seriousness and a depth. And the dusky warmth of the yellow and brown speaks to a comforting read. The title itself captures the playfulness, the dash of magic, the romance, and of course the cooking aspect, so perhaps the old cover, that spaghetti heart, did too much double duty with the title. The new cover beautifully brings you inside the title, invites you into the Love Goddess’ Cooking School.
Today is publication day for The Love Goddess’ Cooking School, and to celebrate, I’m giving away a signed copy to one commenter (randomly chosen here tomorrow morning, 10/27). I’d love to know your thoughts on the covers. P.S Anyone who buys the book this week will win my undying appreciation!
Mini bio: Melissa Senate is the author of 10 novels, starting with her debut, See Jane Date, which was made into a TV movie for ABC Family. She’s written two novels for teens and has contributed stories and essays to several anthologies. A freelance copywriter and editor, Melissa lives on the lovely coast of Maine with her son and their two black Halloween cats.You can follow Melissa on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MelissaSenate
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Visit her website: http://www.melissasenate.com/