Pink's New Look

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation is getting a makeover for fall. The mass market edition of Pink I comes out on October 5, sporting this new cover, designed by Alan Ayers of Lott Representatives.

What do you think?

(Just to clarify, this won’t be replacing the traditional Pink cover we all know and love. The new cover is purely for the mass market edition. NAL will continue to publish Pink I in trade paperback with the classic cover just as it is now.)


  1. Virginia on March 23, 2010 at 10:16 am

    That is beautiful Lauren! I love it!

  2. Leyla Kyria on March 23, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Oh I love it – that looks beautiful!!

  3. Leyla Kyria on March 23, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Ha ha ha, I just realized I siad the same thing as Virginia…
    You know, looking at the image, I love the look of the silky/satin look of the dress, however the turn of the hand seems off. I can tell she seems to be looking over her left shoulder but if you think about how you hold stuff in your left hand behind your back…9 times out of ten you will have your hand clutching the item , turned inwards? Right? It may be just me but I looked at it and happen to be holding a paintbrush, so I unconsciously did the pose and my hand was turned the other way. Like I said, could just be me – but otherwise I love it…really love the the street lamps!

  4. Courtney on March 23, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I’ll be honest, Lauren…

    I know that the mass-market edition is meant to bring the book to wider audiences. This cover may well appeal to people who might have judged previous editions by their covers and not been interested. That said, this cover art looks way too much like a generic bodice-ripper for my taste. I just feel like it doesn’t do justice to all the historical research and detail you clearly put into every book.

    But that’s just my personal opinion. If it gets more people to read your work who might not otherwise have done so, that is ultimately a good thing.

  5. Chelsey on March 23, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I love it! Very intriguing!

  6. Stacey on March 23, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Unfortunately, I agree with Courney. While the cover is very beautiful, it does give the impression that it is romance/harlequin type novel.

    Ultimately, you will probably still pick up more readers.

  7. carole on March 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I like it!
    The original is still my favorite, but I’m really liking the new look.

  8. sharon tyson on March 23, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    It is said that you can’t judge a book by its cover. This cover would not draw my attention like the original. Sorry Lauren but I can’t see Hen, Amy or Jane wearing this dress. Best to stick with the fashions of the era. I would love to see the lady’s face too.

  9. Alyson on March 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Oo ilike it. It’s pretty and i like the background too with the lamps. But I prefer the originals better because i like that the covers were paintings from that time (give or take a few years).

  10. Yvette on March 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    By itself, it is not bad, but if I didn’t know better, I would assume that it was not a historical novel. It is definately not a period costume, and it seems like her dress is about to fall down a leeetle too far from her shoulder. Also, there is something odd about the arm holding the flower, but I can’t quite pin it down.

  11. Stephanie Ball on March 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I agree, it does look like it might appeal to a different audience and i do really like it but i have one thought on the back of the dress being so low. that is not with the time period. oh well book covers are rarely correct on that. and it is very pretty.

  12. Christine on March 23, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Like other people have said, pretty, but if that had been the original cover, I probably wouldn’t have read it. The book will be more… intellectual than people will expect.

  13. Cassie on March 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    this is nice, but i have to say i like the older ones better.

  14. TheHoyden on March 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Well, seeing as how I do read romance & read a lot of books with this type of cover, I think it’s a great move (and very pretty).

    It will attract a lot of readers that primarily buy romance & or mass market paperbacks.

    Your books are such a great mix of genres (romance/historical/chick lit/mystery) that there’s no way to design a cover that can convey all that to the reader and I think that’s okay. I think your hardcover/trade paperback covers really attract the eye of historical book lovers & then hopefully they also end up loving the other elements in your books as well. So I say the same thing for romance readers who will pick up the mass market. Come for the romance & hope they love all the other bits too.

    I have to admit that since I don’t read much historical fic (mostly romance, young adult, & fantasy) even though I thought your hardcover/trade covers were beautiful I stayed away from them thinking they were straight up historicals. It wasn’t until I happened upon a blog review and found out about the romance & humor in Pink Carnation that I picked up the book.

    Another thing that prompted me to order the book pronto were (funnily enough) the negative reviews at Amazon. The sheer hostility & horror at discovering *gasp* ROMANCE & sexual happenings in it was enough for me.

    So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that people shouldn’t be upset that the book has a romanceish cover. There’s no way to put the different genres of Lauren’s books on a cover, unless you do a wacky collage or something.

  15. Renee on March 23, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I agree with many of the comments above. It certainly is a pretty cover. However, what originally grabbed my attention about this series was the cover. It looked unique and, frankly, like a historical romance that was going to have more than just sex. Also, it stood apart from other books on the library shelf, whereas this one seems like it will get lost in the crowd of covers that all look like this. I’m a little sad, as if your books had to settle. But I’m glad more people will be buying them, which allows you to keep writing, which is what I want anyway!

  16. Charice on March 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I think it’s gorgeous but I agree with the others who said it looks like a bodice ripper. It takes away from the humor, the history and the uniqueness that the cover conveyed.

    However, I can understand why it was done and after all, if more people read it you’ll keep writing :O)

  17. TheHoyden on March 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    And not to be defensive but there are plenty of intelligent romances with this sort of cover out there. Eloisa James’s (whose wit & humor remind me a lot of Lauren’s) books frequently show us a view of the backside of a lady in dress.

    Plus, let’s not forget that Laura Kinsale frequently had Fabio on her covers. If there was ever an instance of don’t judge a book by a cover that’s it right there.

  18. Becky on March 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I have to agree with the people before me – the cover is very pleasing to the eye but really does not represent the series. It may sound like a broken record but your books are the exact opposite of the smutty romance novels this looks like. I understand the cover is being used to draw in a great audience (after all, if this is the new cover I may finally get my sister to read your books) but I worry that people will overlook the new edition because it looks like another Harlequin

  19. AngelB on March 23, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I don’t think it reflects the book too much. Are those lanterns or lamps? And the hand is freaking me out. It seems large and awkward. And the dress is way too modern.

    It’s a pretty cover…just not a good enough cover for your book.

  20. amy on March 23, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Very pretty. I would buy the book if I was not already familiar with the series. 🙂

  21. Joanne on March 23, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    I’m sorry to say, I do not think this mass market cover adequately reflects the quality of the Pink Carnation books.
    The NAL trade covers are gorgeous and suggest “historical romance/literature;” the mass market cover has a dress that is completely wrong and the hand looks very odd. Willig’s books deserve so much better.

  22. Erin C on March 24, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Who are you all kidding the book does have bodice ripping in it. I love the books because they are both intellectual and sexy. I think the cover is beautiful and the hand shaped that way gives off a sensual vibe. It’s not that awkward if you remember that Amy is trying to portray the coquettish vixen.
    Congrats on a wonderful cover Lauren!

  23. Alicia on March 24, 2010 at 12:28 am

    I’m really diggin’ this cover!!!

  24. Yvette on March 24, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Sorry, aside from any opinion of the cover’s suitability, when I mentioned the arm I meant that her arm seems structurally wrong. Maybe it is a forward-reaching right arm, instead of a backward-reaching left arm?

  25. Yvette on March 24, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Ooops! I hit submit a little too soon. I meant to add …

    I think that the problem can be seen in her elbow. Have someone stand in front of you & stand at the same angle as the picture. Then have that person reach gently back, as in the picture. Their elbow CAN’T bend like the picture. It is not possible. The lady’s elbow should be TOWARD the viewer, not to the side. Her wrist is a little off, too, for the same reason.

    I really do think that they “pasted” a forward-reaching right arm, instead of a backward-reaching left arm, to the figure.

  26. Jessica on March 24, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I picked up the first Pink book after looking at the cover and was immediately intrigued by the discription. And I was not disappointed. Hen’s story remains my favorite, but all of them are well-written. Until reading these comments above, I had no idea anything bad COULD be written about these books, much less was written. I looked at the comments on Amazona and there were a lot of great comments, but I noticed that one person thought it was a “bodice ripper.” I never would’ve catergoized this as a “bodice-ripper.” When I was younger I read alot those and this series is a class above. I am really looking forward to the next book and have pre-ordered it from Amazon. Keep on, Lauren! Lots of us love your books. Thanks.

  27. Tami on March 24, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I’m not a fan of this new cover..reminds me of a Harlequin novel, and in no way reflects the complexity and intellectual nature of Eloise, certainly, as well as the “joie de vivre” of the other main characters in the series thus far.

  28. Stephanie Ball on March 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Agreed i love the histrorical and humor part of the story. Romance is really just an added bonus. Also the arm does look a bit double jointed. I probably would have still picked up the book just because of the title. but its not the same as the pretty covers of the others. Less obvious romance books> i hate the romance books with some guy who looks like hes got a sock stuffed and a girl throwing her self on him. I like pretty girls in pretty dresses. it works.

    THANK YOU for not having Fabio in there!!!

  29. Erica D on March 24, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    I LOVE it! It has an air of mystery to it. And the dusk with the lanterns… There is just something ‘anticipating’ or ‘exciting’ about the cover. I’m hooked all over again!

  30. sania on March 24, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    I love the original cover but I think this is cute and fun. And I really like the shade of pink used for the dress. Although I do think some people who buy this edition might be a little surprised (but in a good way!) by the content.

  31. anna on March 25, 2010 at 12:35 am

    I like the pinkish lights. But, really…boring. Like so many other book covers in the romance section. Sans half-naked dark-haired man. Oh well. At least the booksellers will have no trouble figuring out which section to put it in.

  32. Erin C on March 25, 2010 at 2:22 am

    I think that though the Pink books are not as racy as some “bodice rippers”; it is still racy enough to be inappropriate for some age groups. I think the new cover shows that the Publisher is being responsible to the public. If you are a parent and your 10yr old daughter comes up to you with a book in the super market, where the genres are not easily distinguishable, the new cover will let you know that the book does contain racy material. If the same book with the old, and much loved, cover was shown to you with a historical sounding title even if you read the jacket cover you would be unaware of the racy content. But that’s just my opinion.

  33. am7 on March 25, 2010 at 11:43 am

    My response is I love it.
    then I read the comments.
    I thought it interesting people said it didn’t look like the regency. I think it looks traditional yet modern. With the right alterations i could see Amy wearing it, but also Eloise….
    Maybe that’s the point. If so kudos to the cover for being so sneaky.

  34. Brenda P. on March 25, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    It is a beautiful cover. Everything in it flows.

    However, I am very intrigued and look forward to each of your books to see what type of face will be on the lady on the cover, what type of dress and color, jewelry, color of hair, etc. Then when I read the book, I have a better image in my head. With this cover, my lady would be headless, but with a beautiful dress.

  35. Claudine on March 27, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I also have to agree with other comments that this new cover is a bit of a disappointment. I would have never picked up the book if this had been the cover in the first release. The beautiful art work was what grabbed my attention in a busy library with my children waiting for me to find “Mommy’s book”. It looks like so many other romance novels that it makes me wonder what would make someone pick it up on the shelf and read the front or back cover? I understand the need to appeal to a different target market, but I still feel it “cheapens” the story on the surface and doesn’t quite fit.

  36. Linda D on March 28, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I LOVE the new cover! I think it looks very elegant….

  37. Francie on March 28, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Sorry, Lauren, but I don’t like the mass market cover–it looks way too much like the romance books, and I don’t consider your books romance. Yes, the books have romance in them, as well as some ‘naughty bits’, but they don’t fit in that department, and with this cover, that’s where bookstore employees will put it. Having worked in bookstores, I know when they unpack those suckers, that’s exactly where it will go.

    This does a disservice to your books, which I would put on a higher level than the standard romance books, which my mother reads like candy. My mother wouldn’t enjoy your books…there’s enough intellectual/history stuff that I don’t think she’d get into them the way that I have, and I’m an English teacher who specializes in British lit. I’m also a bit of a Jane Austen nut, but that’s beside the point.

    Example: A friend of my mother’s, waaaay back in the late 80s/early 90s, gave my mom a mass market paperback of Judith Merkle Riley’s “A Vision of Light”, and mom said she couldn’t get into it. I, on the other hand, LOVED it, and I saw it on your favorite reads list, so I know you are familiar with her work. Riley’s books go in historical fiction, or general fiction, in the bookstore. But invariably, I find her in romance. Why, I have no idea.

    One of the things that caught my eye on your books was the intriguing art, and the hint of history and mystery. If I’d seen it with the mass market cover, I’d’ve passed it by. Why fix what isn’t broken??

    (ok, and being a closet fashion history junkie, I’m also bothered by the dress…it is nothing like Regency, or for that matter, anything that Eloise wears, and looks a bit too much like an old prom gown/bridesmaid dress from the 80s)

    I guess the cover, to me, just doesn’t fit your work.

  38. Jane on March 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Oh, no…

    This makes the book look sort of like a circa-1991 cheesy romance novel stuffed into the shelves of a neglected library. I don’t mean to be harsh, it’s just that I thought the old cover came across as elegant and intriguing, and definitely intellectual. You put so much research and work into this book, and this cover does not give credit to that fact at all!

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