Cover Stories: Little Women and Me

Lauren Baratz-Logsted has been here before, sharing Cover Stories for The Twin's Daughter, The Sisters 8, The Education of Bet and Crazy Beautiful. Her latest novel is Little Women and Me, about a girl who gets trapped in Louisa May Alcott's classic novel and considers changing everything (Beth lives! Laurie ends up with Jo!). How fun does that sound? Here's Lauren to discuss the cover:

"Sometimes, I have ideas for what my book covers should be and I get my wish. Sometimes I don't. But this time, I had absolutely no idea! How do you visually express the idea of someone getting sucked into a classic book or living inside it???

"Bloomsbury is very good about respectfully asking for input, but this time I truly had no ideas.

"The cover changed a lot! Originally, it was just a picture of a girl with a book open in front of her, like she's reading it. Across the front of the book, it had Little Women and Me in script. It was a pretty-enough cover but in no way did it express the plot of the book (right).

"When I first saw my final cover, I loved it! I don't know how they came up with it, but somehow they truly visually expressed the book. The biggest - and only - objection came from my daughter Jackie. Originally, the picture of the main character literally busting through the book appeared at the top of the book jacket, with the image from the Louisa May Alcott cover of the March sisters together appearing below. Jackie said it should be reversed, and they did that.

"It looks to me like they took the artwork from Little Women itself and then did fun things to it so that it looks like a real person is trapped inside the book and is peering out from it.

"At first, I thought it only represented Emily trying to look outside once she's become trapped inside the book. But then I realized it could also be interpreted as Emily trying to peek inside the book before she gets sucked in. I think it's just great. It definitely evokes the plot of the story and I can't think of another book jacket I've seen that's quite like it."

Thanks, Lauren! I agree that the first cover doesn't have much "grab" factor. The final design is much more energetic. What do you guys think?