New covers. Yes… again
Why do redo my covers? Well to be honest, it’s to maintain sales. There are certain genre expectations and as trends shift, cover designs no longer hit market expectations.
Let’s take Cursed by Fire as our example. Here is the progression of its covers. I did also briefly test a version of book 2 with a man in the background but I didn’t like it and don’t feel its worth sharing.
The original design is one of my favorites. It was done by Regina Wamba with Mae I Design and I felt it gave a strong urban fantasy vibe. This is the cover I used in 2015 when I first released book one. It also has a traditional publishing vibe. It doesn’t stand out in a sea of traditionally published books. Now, that is both a good and bad thing. Good if I want to fit in with traditionally published authors on a shelf. My original cover is absolutely gorgeous in print. But bad because when publishing houses take design into consideration they are first and foremost focused on print so while in print the cover is beautiful, in thumbnail on a phone or computer screen, it can get lost and the elements muddled.
Thats where the new ones come in. They are clear and easy to read in thumbnail. The colors are eye catching and the model is large enough to see. I sell significantly more ebooks than I do print books so my book needs to look its best on a screen vs in print.
My red and blue cover was my first re-design. It did great BUT I quickly realized while my text and model fit the bill. My colors weren’t exactly on trend. That’s where version 3 came in. I love this one. I threw it up on amazon for a while to see what would happen and well, nothing changed so insert version 4. I like my model. She fits my character well so I didn’t want to change her. What I felt I was missing on my cover was a shifter element so I plopped in a tiger. He’s the Pacific Northwest Alpha and I felt comfortable putting him on the cover knowing he made an appearance in each book.
Then I tweaked colors a bit since people seem to be gravitating toward purple/teal books and there we have it. The new covers generated a small sales spike which lets me know they’re a good fit and I went ahead and redid the rest. The nice thing about these is that I was able to maintain my original designs when I did the blue/red revamps and just added in a tiger while tweaking colors. For those who don’t know, I do my own covers now. And I was able to adjust all 5 books in under an hour. I think the most time consuming part was finding tiger stock images I liked and making sure each tiger was different.
Below are the most recent before and afters for the series.
One of the cover complaints I’ve had from readers is that it can be difficult to differentiate book 1 from 2 from 3 and so on because they were all the same color so this time around I mixed them up a bit. I might adjust the colors on Forged by Fire when it comes out. For whatever reason I feel like the pink color on the tiger is a little too saturated but I can take care of that later when we get closer to release.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with the results. What do you think? Hopefully you guys don’t hate them. That would suck lol
Now to answer a few questions that I know will crop up.
Q: Will these be available in Print?
A: To be honest, I don’t know. I’m horrible about getting my books into print mainly because like I said, I don’t sell that many print books so it becomes a large time investment with little reward. Right now getting Forged by Fire published is my priority. If you nag me AFTER it’s release, I will do my best to get them all into print. I believe only Books 1 & 2 are in print right now so I will try and get all 6 out likely at the same time after book 6s release but again… no promises.
Q: Will these be the final cover changes?
A: Probably not. I imagine they’ll get a facelift every 1-2 years. Moving forward though once ALL of these books are in print I will not redo the print covers, only ebook and possibly audiobook covers
Q: Speaking of Audio when will the audiobooks all be out?
A: I don’t have an ETA on that. It’s a hugely expensive undertaking. Books 1 an 2 are out and available now in audio. I need to get with Nicole about scheduling book 3. In a perfect world the entire series would be out in audio this year. But I just don’t have a definitive deadline on that. After Forged by Fire releases I’ll re-evaluate priorities and we will go from there.