Showing posts with label book covers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book covers. Show all posts

Oct 4, 2021

At the Point Where I Can Tell You

 I sent my next book to the copy editor a few days ago, which for me is a major turning point. It's a commitment of sorts; the book that for a looooonnnnngggg time has been only mine is close to being offered to others. I've certainly talked about it at length to friends and family, but no one has read it except my first-draft beta reader, my content editor, and me (many, many times). And yes, I do pay three different people to critique a manuscript before I inflict it on the public.

Sending a book to the copy editor indicates that it's in its final narrative form, so now it's her job to find the silly stuff that would take away from readers' enjoyment: spelling errors, extra commas, etc. Once that's done, it will be formatted and prepared for print, e-book, and audio offerings.

In other words, I'm saying I don't intend to make substantial changes anymore, and that's really hard for me. Any time I look at past work I think, "I could have done this differently." It's really, really painful to say, "I'm done. This is what they get."

So what is this book about? It's not a mystery, though it has mysterious elements. Not social commentary, though it explores relationships, both family (the sisters in the title) and general attitudes we adopt as we move through society. I'm not a literary fiction type, so that leaves women's fiction as the category closest to accurately describing it.

The premise: Three sisters, close in their youth, have grown apart as adults, due to the way their lives evolved. When events push them back together, they face their differences and make choices that will change their relationship forever.

One is a murderer. One is unsure about her future after her long-time marriage falls apart. And one might well be the next First Lady of the United States.

Here are some possible versions of the cover. Comments?








Jun 9, 2020

Looking at Covers-Please Weigh In




The Kidnap Capers is a three-book series starring Robin and her "hoods," who take down crooks by unorthodox, often humorous methods. 
Book 3 will be out on September 1st, so we're trying to settle on a cover. I'd like input from readers on what's eye-catching and gives the sense of a humorous but suspenseful story.
Here are their covers (these are for the audio books because that's what I can find right now):

Keeping the red/black theme, we got these two possibilities. They'll be fine-tuned once we choose a basic idea.



If we skip the idea of coordinating colors, I like this one too:



Please tell me which cover you prefer, or choose elements that work for you that might be incorporated into a new cover (e.g., "I like the lettering in X but the picture in Y.")








Feb 26, 2018

Another Oldie Reborn

I wrote recently about re-releasing my historicals now that I have the rights from the publisher who originally launched them (2 down, 2 to go!) I explained that they have to have different covers because the original ones aren't mine.

There's another book I'd like to tell you about, but we have to talk about some additional things.
First, sometimes a book title just doesn't work. You might have seen FORMER TITLE on some of your favorite authors' novels (Did you know that Fitzgerald almost called his book Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires? I think THE GREAT GATSBY is a better title!) Titles aren't etched in stone, and if one doesn't work, the smart thing to do is change it. The book I once called A Lethal time and Place is a good example. I realized over time that it sounds scary and dark, while the story is whimsical and fun. Hence a new title, NOT DEAD YET...
The same is true with covers. The cover artist listened to my ideas and did as I asked, but from the first I knew the cover below was (again) scarier/darker than the story.











After a while of feeling that wasn't right, I tried for a lighter tone here:










But honestly, this one's boring.



So we're going with a new title and a new cover. If you already bought the book with the above title/cover, don't do it again!

If you haven't and you're looking for something fun, try Not Dead Yet...
You are sure to love Leo, Libby, Memnet, and Roy, and you will probably want to read this one twice so you can pick up on the hints to the big plot twist you missed the first time through!

Available now on Amazon and many other e-book sites. Print will be available as soon as I do the "real book" proof, maybe two weeks, and I've started the audio, which always takes much longer.


Jun 29, 2015

Choosing New Covers

I asked the original publisher of the Dead Detective Mysteries to give me back the rights to the books. They were very nice about it, and I began the process of re-publishing them. Since audiences are often interested in how book covers come about, I thought I'd share my experiences with this series.

When publishers accept a manuscript, they often ask the writer for her ideas on what the cover should look like. There is NO guarantee they'll listen, and other writers I've spoken with had covers they hated or felt didn't represent their books at all, but they were stuck with them.

When asked about a cover for Book #1, I said I pictured a girl on a ship with a mysterious man in the background. My publisher's cover artist chose this as the cover for The Dead Detective Agency. Some people liked it; some didn't. A couple said the girl looked like my daughter; others said she looked like a robot. My first reaction was disappointment, but I recognize that I am NO judge of art, so I left it to them to say what would sell.

This time around, it's up to me what the cover will look like, although I worked with a cover artist because, as I said, art isn't my forte. I still liked the ship/mysterious man combination, so this is what the artist came up with.
The second book had a great cover when it came from the publisher, with the Mackinac Bridge as the background, but I can't use someone else's art when I re-release the book. I asked the new cover artist to do much the same thing but with a little less of a dark feeling, since the books are rather light-hearted in their look at the Afterlife. They definitely aren't scary, spooky, or gory. Here's what we had and what I chose for the new version:

Book Three is my choice of cover, since the old publisher never got around to releasing it. The artist found a detective to represent Seamus and we have several poses, so it will be the same guy in Books 2, 3, and 4. Three looks like this:

I like that there's a theme connecting the books now: similar lettering, the same Seamus, and the character(s) in front of the most important setting, the ship for #1, the Mighty Mac for #2, and Toronto for #3. Note of interest: Title fonts have gotten bigger in the last few years because so many people buy their books online. It's a huge no-no to have the title too small or fussy to read when it's reduced to a tiny little rectangle online (as the original for Book #1 is).

Four isn't coming until next year, but it will feature another pose of the same Seamus with an "old Chicago" cover, since he's going back to solve his own murder. Shout out to Phillips Covers for the new art, and for taking the burden off me. Once again, NOT a cover expert!


It's Getting Close!

  You might think "Christmas!" when you read that headline, but for me it's the release of SISTER SAINT, SISTER SINNER on Dece...