Book Cover Help!

I’ve been asking your opinions so much lately, I may have to start paying you a consultation fee. It’s time for book cover feedback! I love looking at book covers, and I know a lot of you do too. Your feedback on the last two books in A Charmed Life series have helped shape our cover decisions. So once again, it’s time to get vocal and opinionated.

Hey, guys, we need some feedback on the cover for So Over My Head, book 3 in A Charmed Life series. The cool folks at Thomas Nelson are changing the cover up a bit. Probably not going to go with an animal for this one. I suggested a Sphynx cat, but they wouldn’t go for a hairless pet.

This is a YA book, target age 12-17. In this final installment of the series, a circus comes to town, and so does Luke’s ex-girlfriend. Not only does Bella have to stop her dad’s wedding, possibly win back her boyfriend, but she has to go undercover to find out who killed Betty the Bearded Lady. Bella Kirkwood is in so over her head.

Just a reminder Bella is seventeen, a crime-solving fashionista, and a former Manhattan socialite now living in rural Oklahoma.

Okay, here are three possibilities. Let me know what you think (and why)!

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

So give me total honesty here. Overall impressions? What do you like? Dislike? Age appropriate? Good visual representation of Bella? Does it hold up to other YA covers out there? Would the cover make you pick it up? Cover 1, 2, 3, or none of the above? I would LOVE any comments. Any and all feedback really helps.

Let’s hear what you think. Fire away!



72 Comments so far

  1. Ruth November 24th, 2009 7:58 am

    Hmmm…since Bella is a fashionista, my first thought is that option #1 best portrays that. However, I want her to be looking at something…balloons flying through the air, eagles, whatever…her gaze seems to need focus to me. I love her expression in option #2, but the hoodie thing just doesn’t do much for me. And #3 is rather blah IMO.

  2. Kristin November 24th, 2009 9:02 am

    I like Option 2. It would grab my attention on the shelf much more than the other two. I like her expression, the bubble, and the hoodie. =)

    Option 3 is pretty cute, but option 1 looks too much like other YA covers, I think.


  3. Heather aka Dynamic Uno November 24th, 2009 10:35 am

    Definitely option 1. Bella loves shopping–even though she’s had to curtail her spending a bit. ALthough I would make the words “So” and “My” the same color green as her shirt to tie things in together a bit more.

    Option 2–you can see the outline of where she was cut out and placed on the cover and the hoodie doesn’t look like something Bella would pick out. I think it’s the stripes.

    Option 3– is cute, but the hand holding the flower is way too big in the foreground. The focus needs to be on the girl–not the backside of the flower and this huge hand. Love the colors on this cover though.

  4. Robyn November 24th, 2009 11:16 am

    Hmm, I’m rarely a fan of putting actual people on covers, but in this case… I’d say number 1? It seems the most Bella-ish, whereas 2 makes her seem too carefree, and 3 is just kind of awkward.

    However, I like the colour scheme on 3 the best. Having your name in orange really breaks up the cover and gives it some depth. Maybe they can change Bella’s shirt to be grey or black, and her purse to match in orange? Oh yes, and maybe have her gaze focused on something, like another commenter said.

  5. wmchamberlain November 24th, 2009 12:19 pm

    My class voted for number 2. It gives insight into Bella’s personality that the other two don’t.

  6. T.Anne November 24th, 2009 12:24 pm

    Bubble gum please!!! I would def. pick up that book. Especially if I was a million years younger 😉 XOXO Happy Thanksgiving! Visit me today I put my query out there.

  7. tammy November 24th, 2009 12:29 pm

    I vote for number 2!! I like it best out of them all. It grabs my attention immediatly. number 3 to me doesnt look like Bella at all. And I agree Ruth if you were to choose number 1 i would have her gazing at something. Hope that helps, but i would definatly go for number 2!!

  8. Hannah November 24th, 2009 12:30 pm

    The first one is the best!

  9. Siri November 24th, 2009 12:31 pm

    Option two…I know it would grab my attention more than the others 😀

  10. Nicole November 24th, 2009 12:48 pm

    I like the first one best. It seems the most like Bella. 😀 The others don’t make me think of her. Hope that helps!

  11. Amy K November 24th, 2009 12:49 pm

    Well, of the three, I would pick the first one – sort of. I agree with previous posters that she needs to be gazing at something. But, this cover best portrays Bella. However, to be completely honest (you asked for it!), if I saw any of these covers at a bookstore, I wouldn’t connect this book with the rest of the series due to the lack of a super cute animal.

  12. Elizabeth (Byler) Younts November 24th, 2009 12:54 pm

    I like option 1 & 2 best. I am not a big fan of 3 at all. Seems weird to have eye contact with a book cover…maybe it’s just me. 😉

    If you choose 1, it might be good for her to be looking up at soething seemingly floating away????

  13. Elizabeth (Byler) Younts November 24th, 2009 12:58 pm

    I see that the others have animal covers…and that your publisher wants to change that with book 3…I’d beg to differ with them. I think keeping the series consistent with animals would be a better idea????

  14. Rachel Hauck November 24th, 2009 12:59 pm

    Number 3.

  15. Colleen Coble November 24th, 2009 1:00 pm

    I like number 2 the best. It looks fun and quirky and I love the bubble gum!

  16. Cindy Bidar November 24th, 2009 1:06 pm

    Well, without knowing anything about the series or the author (I just wandered over from Twitter), I vote for #2. If I was 30 years younger I would read it. Heck, I might read it anyway. :)

  17. amy November 24th, 2009 1:07 pm

    #2 for sure. Whimsy and fun – gum and hoodie are right on!

  18. sherry November 24th, 2009 1:08 pm

    #1 or #3, the hoodie thing gives the impressions she is imature.

  19. Laura G. November 24th, 2009 1:09 pm

    I like option 2 the best. Her eyes are pointed up towards the title, which ties the whole cover together. I like her hoodie and the bubble gum too.

    Option 1, she looks kind of spacey. Option 3 I think is boring. The flower is pretty, but she’s just standing there sniffing it…

  20. rebekah November 24th, 2009 1:10 pm

    Hey! I REALLY love your books! I like option 2 because it looks like her gaze is focused more. I don’t really care for the 3rd one though, because I have seen a lot of book covers that show girls with flowers or just flowers. But, I think that maybe you should do another farm animal like the others, I think it would flow better.

  21. Kathy Fuller November 24th, 2009 1:16 pm

    Option 2, but maybe wearing a funky fashionable hat or different hoodie, something a little less sporty.

  22. Robin November 24th, 2009 1:22 pm

    I’m not sure if that’s how I pictured Bella so now I might have to go back and read the first two books to pick up clues on her appearance.

    If you have to have a real person, I’d go with #2. But the animals will be dearly missed.

  23. NancyMehl November 24th, 2009 1:45 pm

    I like number 2. It’s more playful and fits the title best, IMHO.

  24. ChristianGirl November 24th, 2009 2:00 pm

    I like option 2 better than 3. The flower in that one seems a little obnoxious. But maybe you could have an animal picture? The girl on the front cover theme doesn’t match the themes from the other books. You could always have a goose or horse pic. Even a dog. But the girl on these front covers doesn’t really match my image of her. Sorry, a tan, size 0 isn’t my thing. A picture of an animal is definitely safer. Sorry!

  25. Sam Harris November 24th, 2009 2:57 pm

    I would love to help you out Jenny, but my silly computer wont let me see the pictures. :( If it is at all possible that you could email them to me I would be incredibly grateful and would absolutely volunteer my opinion! 😀

    ~Happy Thanksgiving~

  26. Carman Boley November 24th, 2009 3:14 pm

    I really like consistency in series book covers, because you automatically know that it is in that series. But, out of the covers above I like #2 best.

  27. Carli November 24th, 2009 4:12 pm

    1. It does look like Bella, but i think her face looks kind of weird, like she’s a little high or something.
    2. I Love it! She looks quirky and funny.
    3. Three doesn’t look at all like Bella.
    It would be great if you did an animal though, like a chicken! Chickens are awesome. :)

  28. Anna November 24th, 2009 5:15 pm

    i liked the animal theme and i kind of hate them all
    but if i had to chose i would chose option 2

  29. Jenny B. Jones November 24th, 2009 5:19 pm

    Thanks for all the comments! And Anna, that made me laugh. We asked for honesty!

    For those of you who don’t see Bella in these covers, what does she look like to you?

  30. Katie November 24th, 2009 5:43 pm

    I love cover #2!!! That so looks like something Bella would do. But cover #1 was pretty good as well. But I say #2 was the best.

  31. Tammy November 24th, 2009 6:52 pm

    Hi Jenny!!! I just asked my 12 year old sister which book cover she would most likely pick up at the bookstore (Since she hasnt read and doesnt know what the books are about she would say what she thought.) Anyways she said she loves the 2nd so I just thought I would let you know :)

  32. Lindsay November 24th, 2009 7:30 pm

    DEFINITELY option 2!! I love it!!! I think it fits the title best, and shows attitude. Number 1 is just kind of blah. Option 3 seems so typical, but I like it better than 1.

  33. Carla Torrijos November 24th, 2009 7:46 pm

    Go with TWO!!!!! It looks like Bella and her spunkyness. I DO NOT LIKE one or three. One looks like she’s constipated, watching the twin towers fall, or smelling something gross. Third one is okay, but I don’t care for the models expression in either one. Two has that teenager “whatever” attitude. You could always put her in a tacky bridesmaid dress. Number two will get you way more attention, the dog ones earlier were better than one and three here. Can’t wait!

  34. adrienne November 24th, 2009 9:35 pm

    #3 girl looks too old and thin.

    I like #2 because it still gives you the ability to imagine the character for yourself.

    And #1 looks like a girl similar to what you describe.

  35. Liana November 24th, 2009 10:32 pm

    definitely numbe 2. adore it. it fits the title perfectly, and it was the fist one to catch my attention. YOU HAVE TO PICK 2!!!

  36. Beth November 24th, 2009 10:54 pm

    Option 2 because it looks cute and not kinda creepy. It is the best of the three, but I like the animal covers better.

  37. Gina November 25th, 2009 12:02 am

    Number 2 if you can clean up the cut out a bit and not crazy about the stripe hoodie. Love the expression and attitude in the cover.

  38. Sara Artz November 25th, 2009 12:03 am

    3 is def too mature. 1 &2 are age appropriate but I think 2 is more how I imagined Bella.
    An animal cover would continue the theme.

    I know you already have responses expressing the same thing I did but I just wanted to write on your page! :) lol

  39. Lynn Riddick November 25th, 2009 1:14 am

    Why spoil a good thing? The animals were working, but then I have never been a fan of seeing the face of the character I’m reading about, they never seem to be the same as my imagination. So I guess #2 is the one with the least amount of direct face contact.

  40. Ally November 25th, 2009 3:43 am

    I’m so going with No.2!! The first ones ok..but it doesnt reallys scream ‘pick me up and it looks a bit bland..blah…
    The third one doesnt look like a book I would want to read, it doesnt look like Bella…I didn’t really imagine her like that…although I cant really desribe what I imgained her like.
    The second one looks very good, with her expression and the hoodie, it looks like shes ‘looking over her head’ it looks like something I would want to read.
    Ally XX

  41. Jess November 25th, 2009 5:30 am

    Definitely NUMBER 2. Number 3 was kinda weird. . .

  42. Alli November 25th, 2009 7:32 am

    If I was looking for a book at a bookstore I would definitely pock up #2. It seems the most attractive to teen girls.

  43. hannah November 25th, 2009 8:49 am

    I like option 2, I just don’t like the hoodie. Maybe a pink shirt, something more Bella-ish. :) I also really like the colors that you choice for number #2

  44. Caitlin November 25th, 2009 1:00 pm

    I usually don’t like it when they put people on the cover, cause we all have a different image of Bella in our mind. Still, #2 really jumped out at me. It just LOOKS like Bella, not sure why. I think it’s the gum and expression. #1 and #3 really doesn’t seem like Bella to me.

  45. Sam Harris November 25th, 2009 5:01 pm

    Dude! #2 is so perfect!!!! (: #1 is kinda spacey as a previous post comments, and #3 is just a little… strange.. Not to bash any book covers of yours! Bella just look s so cute in the second one! Go for it Jenny!
    Happy Thanksgiving!


  46. Cassidy November 25th, 2009 10:25 pm

    I say option number two. To me, it just seems Bella. And since the title is “So Over My Head” it just seems right to have it over the girl’s head. And yeah, it would make me pick it up. I think. LoL. Hope my opinion helped!
    Happy Thanksgiving! = )

  47. Tana November 26th, 2009 7:04 pm

    i LOVE (adore) #2!!! very cute!! but, i think none of these are exactly bella…i picture a girl with shopping bags in her hands, mystery clues and notebooks sticking out of her pockets and purse (Coach of course) and then high-heels, Prada and all that brand name clothing. but of course, still humble, with a 14K gold necklace in the form of a Cross. and maybe luke, her dad, etc. peeking out somewhere behind her or on the side of the cover. and something ironic and hilarious on the back. yes, kinda busy i guess, but i think so is bella. the cover is in over its head, along with bella.
    my gosh, this is like an essay…sorry! 😉
    thanks and xoxo
    :) bella awesome, along with you.

  48. Jen AlLee November 26th, 2009 10:40 pm

    #2 is my favorite. Even though I don’t think of Bella as a gum popper, it has a quirky, fun quality to it. The others just don’t do it for me.

    #3 is pretty, but the colors and the flower makes it look too much like a Women’s Fiction cover.

    And this might sound weird, but I don’t like seeing the model’s mouth in cover #1. Nothing wrong with her mouth (it’s quite lovely for the real person) but when I see it, the girl looks nothing like the Bella I’ve seen in my head for the last two books. In fact, that could be a problem with changing the cover from an animal to a person. We’ve had two books to picture Bella in our minds. By “outing” her on the cover, you may just short circuit some imaginations. I don’t suppose anyone ever thought of using a picture of Bella’s cat? He’s pretty much a main character, after all.

  49. Sharon A. Lavy November 28th, 2009 9:38 am

    Cover # 2 fits with the other two covers in the series.

  50. Kelsie November 28th, 2009 9:38 am

    I would Absolutly Pick Option 2.
    I like this one because it just pops out and grabs my attention more then the other two. It is great and i love it!

  51. Hannahfrances. November 28th, 2009 10:33 pm

    hey jenny! i love #2. i think its the best one. number 3 is so random, and it looks like the flower is up her nose. the fairst one is a really bad picture of bella, but the second one is PERFECT! i love these books and can’t wait to read the new one!

  52. Rachael November 30th, 2009 9:11 pm

    My favorite is probably #2… it displays a feeling of being young and overwhelmed.
    but #1 is okay too.
    however, i dont really like #3… it doesnt seem to fit Bella’s personality very well, to me.

    I still would vote for an animal, though.
    …maybe something circus-y? like a lion and a hoop or something :)

  53. JenniB.L. November 30th, 2009 9:22 pm

    I agree with ChristianGirl from Nov. 24th, the animal idea sounds fantastic. I personally think that a picture of Moxie or maybe one of Dolly’s Horses.

  54. Kim K December 1st, 2009 2:06 pm

    I like option 2!!! its awesome.

  55. hannah December 2nd, 2009 3:29 pm

    just my opinion- in the back of IM SO SURE was a sneak peak of so over my head and they had a page with like- circus tents, sorta faded out. i thought that was really cool.

    also the other books were farm animal related. this might stand out.

  56. Lauren December 4th, 2009 4:10 pm

    cover no. 2 all the way!!!

  57. Katie Jones December 4th, 2009 5:11 pm

    I personall liked the dog. it has more to do with the book you said, right? So… why not thet one? these just don’t match the rest. I don’t like it, but thats my opinion.

  58. Megan Reither December 7th, 2009 12:17 am

    I like option one…i love the color of that girls eyes!!

  59. jessie December 7th, 2009 11:38 am

    omg i love #2 but maby the stripes arnt really bellas thing if u do hav the stripes maby u could change the color. by the way love you books “so not happening” and “im so sure” rocked!

  60. Courtney December 7th, 2009 8:01 pm

    #1 is my first choice, but #2 is very fun and attention grabbing. She looks more serious in #1 than in #2. If u want serious go for #1 if not go for #2.

  61. Jourdyn December 18th, 2009 2:36 pm

    i like opt. 2. the other two i think ar sort of dumb. the third one doesnt even look like how i thought bella looked like. in the back of my book there is a big top on the front and i think that is the way to go if you don’t choose the bubble one =)

  62. Judy December 24th, 2009 4:49 pm

    I agree with Jourdyn: i like #2 the best, and if you don’t go with that one i would say go with the one that’s at the back of I’m So Sure.

  63. rebecca December 26th, 2009 9:16 am

    I like option #2…. option #1 she has blue eyes…. and she is supposed to have brown eyes, I love the option #2!

  64. pamela December 26th, 2009 9:10 pm

    stick with the animals! for the two first books, it has animals. people will be like huh? to find bella on the cover. stick with the animals. that would make everything in line.

    and JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ME was an amazing book. hopefully more of those books will hit the bookstore’s shelf in 2010!

  65. Emily December 31st, 2009 2:42 pm

    option 2 with the bubble gum would be awesome, but it would also be neat to do another animal with glam. Maybe a sheep with lots of bling or someother animal =)

  66. Bryana January 4th, 2010 3:27 pm

    I LOVE # 1. It shows us more of Bella. It gives us a taste of her more.

  67. Sarah D Wilson January 5th, 2010 9:23 pm

    Totally number two… But I think It would be super kool if you did another animal front cover… I don’t know, but seeing a girl on the cover, sort of “ruins” my image of Bella in my head… 😉 It’s fine though… but that’s just my opinion… I think an animal would be best… I like the dog with the clown hat idea! 😉

  68. Nari January 7th, 2010 10:11 pm

    I don’t feel Bella in all of these covers unfortunately!:(
    I like the dog….

  69. sahara January 20th, 2010 8:17 pm

    WHAT! awwwwwww. i got excited about the cover with the dog on it, and none of the covers up the page even look like bella(even though i dont what she looks like)I LOVE YOUR BOOKS. I CANT WAIT TO READ “SO OVER MY HEAD” i know it will be awesome!

  70. Angelina March 18th, 2010 10:40 am

    Definitely number 2, I think it goes with her personality, the other two don’t go with it at all. CAN’T WAIT TILL IT COMES OUT!! I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IT!!!! :)

  71. Saskia August 20th, 2010 9:21 am

    I like the book cover you chose, I’ve read it alreadya nd luved it! Tell us who the model’s name is!!! plzzz!

  72. Grace September 29th, 2011 3:54 pm

    I read the book and L-O-V-E-D it and I think that the cover shows exactly what Bella looks like. I might be alone on this but I think the last option looks like Christina the evil-almost stepmother of Bella…? Something about that cover looks like she is a Brazilian money hunter…..:)

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