The Smart Bitches happen to link to an article in Publishers Weekly on the clinch cover. And the verdict is, the clinch is here to stay.

One particular quote from Sue Grimshaw, Borders’ romance buyer, struck me. “A tastefully done clinch is a must-have for debut authors,” said Ms. Grimshaw, which is more or less what she said when she had breakfast at RWA SF with a few of us Bantam authors.

So now my wonderful publisher is giving me the must-have clinch covers for debut authors. Bantam will reissue DELICIOUS and PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS with new covers to coincide with the release of NOT QUITE A HUSBAND. And here, without further introduction, are the preliminary versions of the new covers.

I do love the background on this. There is something very fairy tale-ish about it. I am not crazy about the mantitty–I’m never crazy about mantitty to start with, and this one is bigger than mine. So…wish he had some clothes on. But chest is de rigueur so I’ll go with what sells.

Now this is much more my thing. Love the pose. Love the dress. Love the presence of the man without the actual mantitty. I’m, however, slightly torn about the color. On the one hand, I personally love it. On the other hand, there is something slightly poison apple-ish about it and rather startled the spouse when he looked at the high-def image. But there are certain colors that don’t translate as well in jpeg and I trust Bantam to get it just right in print.

20 thoughts on “Repackaging!”

  1. The new covers could not be more different than the old, but I still like them. The colors jump right off the page.

    I think I still prefer the original cover on Delicious, but the new PA cover is great. It would be interesting to have the old/new side by side in a store and see which one sells.

    I was on another Board recently and they were discussing the new trend of having faceless or headless heroines. Your new covers are part of that trend I see.

    Have a ice thanksgiving,


  2. Hi Sherry,
    Very cool that Bantam is reissuing both your books to coincide with NQAH. I’m a historical romance author with Bantam/Dell and have been meaning to say ‘hi’. I picked up PA when it was first out as the cover just absolutely snared me. I liked the idea of a different cover look (elegant and refined) for a book that was so intriguingly different (and delightful!). But your clinch covers are also lovely (those are some hot, attractive clinches) and should captivate readers. I love the way they have given you a distinct, strong color branding with each book.

  3. I just hurriedly bought the older Delicious before it ran out… I do not like mantitty/ clinch covers as a rule (or the headless heroine for that matter), but this puts me in the minority and I have resigned myself to it. My new rule is: if it’s a clinch, buy the ebook.

    Having said that, your new covers are very vibrant and eye-catching. Your luck is holding.

  4. Well, the colors are certainly eye-catching–even the “poison apple green.” And given the choice between clinch covers and mantitty alone covers, the clinch would be my preference too.

    At least the publisher remembered the heroine of Delicious is a blonde. Covers that get the physical appearance of the lead couple dead wrong are a pet peeve of mine.

  5. Hi, Kim,


    I don’t mind heroines head on or head off. The only thing that bothers me terribly is scary mantitty that comes with a vacuous face and a vague leer in the eyes–a la poor Loretta Chase’s Lord Perfect (I’ve always called the guy on the cover Lord Syphilis).

    Hi, Sharon,

    I know you. Frauke sent link to your webpage/blog when she was thinking of color schemes for me. I loved what she’d done with yours, but I asked for slightly cooler palette in the end.

    I thought you wrote erotic romance. I had no idea you wrote historicals too. Or that you are with Bantam. Nice to meet you!


    I am with you on mantitty/clinch, although I’m usually fine with clinch if there is no mantitty involved, as in the new cover for PA. I think we are an internet majority, but alas a real life minority.

    Hope you like DELICIOUS.


    LOL. Then you should be peeved at the new PA cover. If I remember correctly, the guy is blond. 🙂

  6. Really? To tell the truth, I remember Camden’s eye color–green–more clearly than his hair color. Although Gigi on the new cover looks like she’s had a henna rinse . . . but maybe that’s just my monitor. 🙂

  7. Would it help to think of it as how incredibly lucky you’ve been to get two sets of great covers? (Mantitty aside…) Honestly, I love them both, but I love what’s inside them more, so I’m biased!

    Congrats on the reissue!

  8. Pam,

    Oh, absolutely. Mantitty aside–oh, heck, mantitty included–I’m pleased as punch about the new covers. I have indeed been blessed by the cover gods.

  9. Hm, I may be biased because I absolutely love the old delicious dress/cover, but the blue is just :/. It feels slightly tacky to me and something Verity wouldn’t/could wear(not that I would be the expert). I like the PA cover a lot though if you were going to have a clinch cover. The green is a little eye popping, but as you said should be fine. 😀

  10. I have to agree with Psychoidiot. Verity’s dress looks like something a bridesmaid might wear at a wedding of Civil War re-enactors. Shiny prom fabric.

    That said, the new covers are better than I feared. I’ll mourn the old PA cover in particular, but the colors are nice and the clinches aren’t the superheated kind that always make me roll my eyes.

    I still just can’t wrap my mind around what mental process the publishers think I, as a consumer, must go through. “Hmm, I wonder if this historical romance, whose title is Private Arrangements, will have any sex in it? If only there were some image on the cover that could give me a clue!”

  11. You have the most absolutely awesome publisher! I knew Bantam was a really supportive, innovative publisher since they publish(ed) my a few of my “DIK” (tm AAR) authors, but this new development really clinches it for me. What beautiful covers!

  12. Psychoidiot,

    (I feel strangely disrespectful somehow, addressing you by your handle! I think in the future I’ll call you PI. ;-))

    I do prefer the new PA cover to the new D cover, for the lack of mantitty and the fab pose. But I didn’t think of prom dresses! LOL. What I did think was I wish for a book with such a heavy food bent, the color would be more foody, you know, something that might make me think of peaches, or strawberries, or cream, or heck, even chocolate. 🙂


    Apparently that is how the romance browser’s mind works! I guess until we come out with our own MPAA system, that’s what we are stuck doing.

    (And now I finally understand why Laura Kinsale had all those mantitty covers. Cuz she wrote commensurately hot books.)


    I couldn’t agree more! I usually only ask myself what more I can do for my publisher. 🙂

  13. OOOhhhh, Sherry, I can REALLY see the new D cover in a rich, dark chocolate color. THAT would be classy and divine! I Do like the old PA, it is so Anne Hathaway. It’s distinctive.

    I’m on the ‘don’t completely change the cover unless it’s completely ugly’ bandwagon, I like having my original covers and seem to identify the book inmy head with the cover image. I HATe when I go back and say,”No way, this is NOT the same book. The guy on the cover was blonde/shorter/hairier, etc.”

    BUT, I am ssoooooo glad you have a pub who appreciates you and recognizes your ability to fill pages with excellent story, no matter the outside image. YAY! Can’t wait for the new one, you KNOW I’ll be pimpin’ it!

  14. Heather,

    Yes, I can’t repeat enough how fabulous my publisher is.

    And thanks for the pimpin’. I hope to return the favor soon. 🙂

  15. I like the old covers. They’re tasteful. And sophisticated. And different.

    The new covers don’t stand out in any way, except for being colorful. They look like every other romance cover, and would send me scrambling for a brown paper wrapper, I’m afraid. 🙂

    I will still read your books, of course, but I really wish the publisher hadn’t decided to go with clinch covers.

  16. LOL, Beth, at the brown paper wrapper.

    I think publishers get tired of the same mantitty covers too–which is exactly what an editor from my house said at RWA Nationals last year.

    But there is the desire of the publisher to have different covers, and there is the reality of the marketplace. 🙁

  17. Sherry, I’m relieved you didn’t take my comments about the covers too seriously. I realized later I sounded like a grump. The books will likely sell like chocolate-chip hotcakes with cherries and whipped cream, and the covers have little to do with it. You are building a Reputation.

  18. I agree that the new cover for PA is better than the new cover for Delicious.

    Am I being contrary though if I tell you that I absolutely ADORED the original PA cover?

    <– not a fan of man-titty covers

  19. Hi Nadia,

    On these interwebs, fans of mantitty are hard to come by. And I’m most certainly not one. But they are out there in legions, man, legions. 🙂

    And no, it’s not contrary at all. The original PA cover made me walk on clouds. I luurrved it.

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