Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blog Tour: Jill S. Alexander Cover Interview and Giveaway!

I'm excited to welcome the fantastic Jill S. Alexander to my blog today! She is here as part of her blog tour, this time to discuss her covers!

1. The cover of your debut (The Sweetheart of Prosper County) and your sophomore novel (Paradise) are quite a bit different. Did the same designer work on them? And did you have any input on them before they were finalized?

This is such a great question, and one I’ve never been asked. Like most authors, I have little or no input on covers. The art director is Rich Deas, and he’s amazing. On both covers, I received an email of the cover image and responded with my thoughts – even though the decision had already been made. I loved the Sweetheart covers (both hardback and paperback). However the first image sent to me for Paradise caused some concern. I can’t share the image, but the girl and boy were much older. I did not feel they reflected the characters in the book. My agent and I expressed our concerns, and my fantastic editor and Rich, the art director, came up with the cover you see today.

2. Were cover models used for Paradise’s cover or was a stock image selected? Do you think the cover suits the book?

The PARADISE cover is a stock image. I do think it suits the book. It’s very swoon-y, and the girl is Paisley perfect. I also love that it captures a moment of hesitation.

3. The Sweetheart of Prosper County’s cover changed quite a bit from hardcover to paperback. What made your publisher decide to do that? And which version do you like better? Do you think one appeals to teen readers?

SWEETHEART’s hardback cover (the rooster) is fun and whimsical but is more of an intellectual cover – it requires some interpretation. The paperback with the girl rockin’ the hat is less interpretive. You can look at that image and know that it’s a story about a small town girl. The more straightforward cover is probably better for impulse buying at a bookstore. I’m sure that factored into the publisher’s decision to make a change. At school visits, teen readers tell me they prefer the paperback cover with the girl on it. Which do you prefer?

4. If you could have any other image on your cover then the couple currently being used, what would you choose?

One of the things I adore about my publisher, Feiwel & Friends, is that they believe in attention to design detail – both inside and out. When folks buy the hardback, they will find beautiful images on the inside – one of which is a girl with drumsticks in her back pocket. I’d probably put that on the cover if we weren’t going with the kissy couple.

5. You are lucky to have two fantastic covers that really stand out. What are some of your favorite covers?

Thanks so much. I do feel really blessed with fantastic covers. However, there are really some terrific covers in YA fiction. I LOVE the cover for Sara Zarr’s newest novel HOW TO SAVE A LIFE. (Anxious to read that one!). And I have to say; Andrew Smith’s novel STICK, which comes out this fall with my same publisher, has a powerful cover that captures the strength of the novel. Those two covers really stand out to me.



I also have a signed hardcover of Paradise to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Fill out THIS FORM to be entered!

US Only. Ends July 13th.


  1. Huh... i didnt know that authors didnt have any say with the covers of their novels. That really sucks :/ But that was a great question to ask!! :)

  2. That Paradise cover sure is something even for stock by I have the love of that winning cock shot cover ;) hehehe just had to say is as it came to mind. This trio looks fabulous, I looked up the books online and the snippets sounds fabulous. I need to ask my local bookstore why I have never seen them in stock. Without the internet were would i find these great books. Thank you for coming on and letting us know about your books.

    terilhack at gmail dot com

  3. I have to agree with the other commenters--I love the question about the cover. I can't wait to see the finished copy with the drumstick photo. I really loved Paradise. Great interview!

  4. Wow! I didn't realize that authors did not get to design the cover themselves.

  5. Great interview! I loved how all the different questions involved the book covers. I adore the cover for Paradise, and I can see why they went with a different cover for the paperback version of Sweetheart of Prosper County. The hardcover is cute but the paperback seems more likely to entice readers.

  6. I love all the covers! But the last one makes me laugh. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. I also think the cover for Stick is really dynamic.

  8. I think it sucks that authors have no input! It is their writing, why can't they help design the cover?
    Anyways great interview and I love the cover of Paradise(:


  9. It's really cool how the same art director works on the covers. They're all so wonderful in their own ways. The Sweetheart hardcover cover is cute, but I do I really like the paperback cover, just because I like seeing the people on the covers :)

    Kris S

  10. I like the cover...but I think the author works too hard not to have a say...

  11. This was an interesting post. It's too bad that authors don't have more say in their own book's cover..

  12. I like covers with people on them better. It is a shame that authors don't design their own covers. I know the old adage is you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but a great cover may pull me into a book I might not otherwise pick up, and a bad cover may make me bypass what is something really awesome.

    the imagine tree at aol dot com

  13. Though I'd never let the cover determine whether I read a book or not it is pretty awesome to have one that is beautiful and reflects what goes on inside the book.


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  14. It was fun to hear some of the behind the scenes of the covers with the author. It's a drastic change between the hardcover and paperback of SWEETHEART but I can understand why. At the bookstore, I would've picked up the girl on the cover more than the rooster!

  15. I really liked this interview, you don't get to hear a lot about covers so it was nice to see what the author thought.

  16. I love the cover and the interview! Thanks for the brilliant giveaway!

  17. I enjoyed the interview and I can't wait to read the book.

  18. I enjoyed reading this interview! You asked some really interesting questions that allowed me to get to know the author. I didn't realize that Jill had written The SweetHearts of Prosper County.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


I love getting comments, so feel free to leave your thoughts :)