Monday, October 7, 2013

When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens, Cover Reveal

I'm thrilled to share the cover for my debut MG novel, When Audrey Met Alice, which releases from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on February 4, 2014. Here's a little bit about the book:

First Daughter Audrey Rhodes can’t wait for the party she has planned. The decorations are all set, and the pizza is on its way. But the Secret Service must be out to ruin her life, because they cancel at the last minute for a “security breach,” squashing Audrey’s chances for making any new friends. What good is having your own bowling alley if you don’t have anyone to play with?
Audrey is ready to give up and spend the next four years totally friendless—until she discovers Alice Roosevelt’s hidden diary. The former first daughter’s outrageous antics give Audrey a ton of ideas for having fun . . . and get her into more trouble than she can handle.

And here's a little more about how the cover came to be. If you've seen an ARC for When Audrey Met Alice, you probably noticed that it has a very different design:

This was actually the final version of the first cover direction! When my (awesome) editor at Sourcebooks, Aubrey Poole, sent me this image last spring, I was thrilled. Before I'd seen anything related to my cover, I was crossing my fingers that it wouldn't have too much White House imagery. I wanted to make sure the cover conveyed to readers that this was fiction, not nonfiction—and that it’s a fun story! So when I saw this design, with the cute old and new shoes on a background of modern typography and script, I was thrilled.
(True confession: I still hope to find shoes that look just like both of those pairs. When I need a break from writing and revising, I scour the Interwebs for them.)

Here's what my editor, Aubrey, has to say about the first cover design, and why it eventually changed:
With such a unique book that blends the past with the present, we asked the designer to create a cover the reflected that juxtaposition. Also, because this is for the older end of the middle grade audience, we initially leaned in a photographic direction. And our brilliant designer Elizabeth Connor came up with the Alice-era boots vs. the Audrey-era ballet flats. And then when the Sourcebooks in-house design team dropped in the handwriting vs. typed sentences in the background, we thought we had a winner. We all thought it was a lovely cover that represented the content. But! We started to get some feedback that it didn’t quite match the fun, modern tone of Rebecca’s story. Does this look like a fun read to an 11- or 12-year-old? So, we added the tagline “First daughters just want to have fun.” It helped, but it wasn’t quite enough. That’s when we decided to go back to the drawing board for a second pass.

On to the new, and final, cover design! 

Later this summer, I was checking my email on the train when into my inbox popped an email with a sneak peek at the new cover direction. It's a good thing I wasn't in the quiet car because I squealed with excitement. I love the style of these illustrations—they are adorable and whimsical. Some of my favorite details from the book—such as that little snake in the lower right corner—are pictured, which I love. The design looks modern, fresh, and fun. I think I gushed in an email to my agent and editor that this is basically my dream cover—it's very me. If I were browsing at my local bookstore and saw this on a shelf, I'd probably buy it without even reading the jacket copy.

Here's what Aubrey has to say about the final cover design:
Okay, confession time. An early version of the final cover design is actually a concept that the designer sent over at the same time as the ARC concept. It was staring us in the face the whole time. Usually, a designer is not thrilled to be asked to totally re-design a cover, but when we went back to Elizabeth, she was actually very pleased, because she had hand-drawn all of the doodles on the cover after reading the manuscript, and it was her favorite concept out of the bunch. (Quick story: The designer said she was reading When Audrey Met Alice on the train and got so engrossed in the story she actually missed her stop!) So, we definitely had a unique cover that reflected the content with all of the wonderful, story-specific illustrations. We played around with a variety of color combinations before settling on the eye-catching cover you see here. And it was icing on the cake that Rebecca was so thrilled with the new look.

To celebrate, we’re giving away an ARC of When Audrey Met Alice.
To enter, please leave us a comment and tell us what you think about the cover! Don't forget to include your email address. US residents only.

Rebecca Behrens grew up in Wisconsin, studied in Chicago, and now lives with her husband in New York City, where she works as a production editor for children’s books. Rebecca loves writing and reading about girls full of moxie and places full of history. When Audrey Met Alice is her first book. When she’s not writing, you can find her running in the park, reading on the beach, or eating a doughnut. Visit her online at

Pre-order the book:

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~