I finally bought the rights to the cover art and so can now share what First Impressions will look like! We are reviewing the pdf, ready to be sent to the publishers, one more time for any obvious mistakes. Once that clears, it's off to the printer!
I had such a good time helping to lay out the book and design the cover. It has totally changed the way I think about books. I always considered myself a bit uptight about which publications I preferred and why but I never really thought too much about what I based those preferences on. This entire process has been extremely diverting.
So both of the images are engravings that we toned for depth and color. It seems to be de rigueur to have a period looking lady on the front of these things; while these ladies aren't precisely period, I have seen worse (for example, the ladies gracing the cover of this Barnes & Nobles Classic Edition of Sense & Sensibility - I feel like it gives me a good bit of leeway).
I would really have liked to use the engraving on the back cover (doesn't it just feel like Meryton?) but the image was too small. I wasn't able to make this jpeg big enough for any but the most nearsighted to read so here's the blurb in a more legible form:
"In Pride and Prejudice Fitzwilliam Darcy begins his relationship with Elizabeth Bennet with the words: 'She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.' What would have happened if Mr. Darcy had never spoken so disdainfully? First Impressions explores how the events of Jane Austen's beloved novel would have transpired if Darcy and Elizabeth had danced together at the Meryton Assembly. Jane and Bingley's relationship blossoms unimpeded, Mary makes a most fortunate match, and Lydia never sets a foot in Brighton. Austen's witty style is authentically invoked in this playful romp from Longbourn to Pemberley."
So what do you think? Since it's too late for me to change this, I sincerely hope your responses are positive.