For my two new books coming out in December/January…….
Firstly, a really MASSIVE thank you to Chris Graham for making me three brand new fabulous covers so quickly. Also for his vision as far as what I wanted was concerned, and his patience with this old scribbler. He’s cool like that – could be a little psychic ape thing going on there I think. Cover design is far from easy. You can look at a gorgeous cover and think, well, that looks easy peasy. Just plonk a picture down, and then plonk some text on it. It really isn’t that simple though. You have to have a very specific kind of EYEBALL, and for my Science Fiction covers, Chris has the kind of eyeball that I like.
When I originally plotted my Shadow People series, I planned on it being open ended, with a minimum of seven books based on the huge outline I had prepared. I ordered the first four covers from Chris wanting wildly different colours, and also various images to reflect what I had planned for each book, with one connecting image throughout. Since then I’ve written a good couple of books worth of the series, but it’s morphed and changed substantially, as long stories will, into different time frames, and some events moved around by eons. Eventually it took proper shape, and I realised that I didn’t have an open ended series on my hands at all, but rather a series of trilogies set in different times, with different characters and different worlds. I’ve also decided to rebrand my Science Fiction series – they will be written by J C Robinson now – so as not to offend my Literary Fiction reader’s sensibilities with dragons and various sentient amoeba – and stuff…..
I also decided to change the titles of the books, and my ideas for covers changed and solidified. Finally I gathered up the courage to approach our beloved mighty ape. “Fine,” said he, totally blowing all the nervous air out of my sails, and promptly produced the covers for my first trilogy without so much as breaking a slight banana scented sweat. Now my future trilogies in this series will follow this same pattern, with one particular background image and colour, and various specific images for each book.
Don’t be afraid to change the covers of your books, especially series as they change and grow. As long as you don’t actually unpublish a book there is no need to worry about readers buying the same volume twice, because updating covers and interiors of an already published book won’t stop them from seeing the “You purchased…” message on its landing page. This really is also a fabulous way to breathe new life into a languishing series, and give it a brand new launch.