Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway: By The Book by Amanda Sellet

Crushed on by kelly, on May 9, 2020, in Blog Tour, Giveaways, Guest Post, New Releases / 4 Comments

Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway: By The Book by Amanda Sellet

By The Book by Amanda Sellet releases this Tuesday the 12th, and today we are part of the blog tour and we get to share the author’s story about the book cover!

There is still time to pre-order, even a signed copy from Amanda’s local indie! And be sure to check out the tour-wide giveaways here at the bottom of this post and another one over on instagram!

Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway: By The Book by Amanda Sellet

By the Book

by Amanda Sellet
Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers
on May 12, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
BookshopIndieBoundiTunesBook DepositoryAmazon

As a devotee of classic novels, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all about Mistakes That Have Been Made, especially by impressionable young women. So when a girl at her new high school nearly succumbs to the wiles of a notorious cad, Mary starts compiling the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a rundown of literary types to be avoided at all costs.
Unfortunately, Mary is better at dishing out advice than taking it—and the number one bad boy on her list is terribly debonair. As her best intentions go up in flames, Mary discovers life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction. If she wants a happy ending IRL, she’ll have to write it herself.

Story Behind the Cover


Like many things in publishing, my cover took me by surprise. My editor let me know they’d settled on an artist, who was working on preliminary sketches. So far, so good; I’m a fan of illustrated covers, which were not quite as ubiquitous at that point (the early months of 2019). As someone who struggled to draw a recognizable earthworm in her lab notebook during high school biology, I didn’t have a firm vision beyond thinking it would be nice if it were as lovely as, say, the cover for HOT DOG GIRL. 

Time passed. I monitored my inbox like a bird of prey waiting for something tasty to scurry into the open. Day in and day out, sitting at my desk, always available, and … nothing. I leaped to the logical conclusion: it’s all gone horribly wrong, they had to burn it down and start over, they’re going to wrap the book in brown paper and call it a day. 

On the last day of the school year, there was a certain amount of chaos. Early release, a snow cone truck, unexpected playdates, carpool snafus, a fast-food experience so vexed it deserved a new name. Laborious Food. You Must Really Want Those Onion Rings. Hope That Strawberry Slushie Was Worth the Wait. 

At last we made it home, AKA where the wi-fi is. While my daughter and her friend sat down to lunch, I checked my email. Next to my editor’s name was the subject line “BY THE BOOK COVER!” I’m pretty sure I didn’t breathe again until I’d opened the attachment, which turned out to contain not the expected black-and-white sketches but a full-color final cover. 

It was almost too much to take in. Dazed and dazzled, I had to stare and stare, and show it to the helpfully assembled focus group of two pre-teen girls and my grumpy French art history major husband. 

Verdict: we all loved it. Once the initial shock and awe wore off, I savored the details. The palette, the lettering, the distinctive style – beyond the prettiness, it felt right for the story, and not just because I own the exact same outfit the main character is wearing. Like its cover, BY THE BOOK is romantic, whimsical, and soft. It takes place in a slightly stylized world, in the same way that Stars Hollow isn’t exactly known for gritty realism. I still love looking at it every day on the home screen of my phone and computer, and feel incredibly grateful to the artist, Monique Aimee, and cover designer Andrea Miller. 

Many months later I stumbled across early concept sketches for the cover on the artist’s web site. If anyone’s curious, you can check them out at

About Amanda Sellet

Debut author Amanda Sellet had a previous career in journalism, during which she wrote book reviews for The Washington Post, personal essays for NPR, and music and movie coverage for VH1. These days she lives in Kansas with her archaeologist husband and their daughter.


1 copy of By The Book by Amanda Sellet – USA Only – ends May 20th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Instagram Giveaway

Another copy of By The Book will be given away exclusively on Instagram. (US Only). The giveaway will start on May 6th 2020 and will finish on May 20th 2020 (00:00 GMT+1). The Winner will be contacted by @TheFFBC on Instagram.


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4 responses to “Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway: By The Book by Amanda Sellet

  1. Andrea Carroll

    I can’t wait to read it!! I will definitely be getting this for my classroom library, my students will enjoy it as well. Who doesn’t love a “library” book with book references.