About ten days ago, I released the cover for Outtakes From The Grave. The next day, I was looking at it lined up next to my other book covers on my website and I realized that the model looked a little small in comparison to the models on the other covers. So, I contacted my agent and requested that we "zoom in" a bit on the model since most readers will only see the cover in thumbnail size while they're scrolling through ebooks, and that tiny thumbnail size means a lot of detail will be lost.
That resulted in some slight changes. Helsing, Cat's cat, had to be moved, as did the title. My name shrank a little, too. So, below is the new cover for Outtakes From The Grave. It really doesn't look much different than the old cover, except that it makes me happier, and since I'm self-publishing this, I can make changes based on my happiness whether those changes are totally necessary or not :). In case you missed hearing about this on my other post, here's the info, too:December 22nd, 2015Go back to the grave with this new outtakes compilation from the Night Huntress series!
Indulge your love of paranormal super couple Cat and Bones with this ultimate “director’s cut” collection of deleted scenes and alternate versions from the first four novels in the Night Huntress series, complete with author commentary on each selection. Includes: the original beginnings of Halfway To The Grave, One Foot In The Grave, At Grave’s End and Destined For An Early Grave; a chapter written in Bones’s point of view; alternate versions of sections of Halfway To The Grave, One Foot In The Grave, and Destined For An Early Grave; the “white wedding” scene between Cat and Bones that never made it into the final books …. and much more!
Special holiday price of $2.99
in ebook from December 22nd though January 5th
. After that, the price will be $3.99 for ebooks. To learn more and get a sneak peek at some of the contents, go here
As I explained in the prior post, the model is different from the other Night Huntress books because the model for books 1 - quit doing book covers, and we couldn't find copyright-free images of the model who was on books 6 - 7. Hence, the new model for this cover, who I think exudes a lot of Cat's toughness, even if she doesn't look like the other models from the other books.
Since I get a lot of questions about book covers, and there are a lot of incorrect assumptions about them, I'm going to spend the rest of the post talking about the process behind book covers when you're traditionally published. Skip the rest of this post if you don't want to see the behind-the-scenes look.Myth 1: The author controls what's on the cover of their book.Mythbuster:
Unless that is specifically written into your contract (and publisher most often do not do this) my experience with three different publishers has gone something like this: Before the publisher has their cover conference meeting, someone (usually the editor) asks me if there's anything particular that I would like on the cover, or anything particular that I really wouldn't
like. I then reply with my Wish list and my Please Not This list. Then, months later, I am emailed an initial mock-up of the cover. That cover usually has at least one item included from my Wish list, but generally not all or most of what I requested. On the plus side, it usually doesn't have anything from my Please Not This list. At this stage, regardless of whether I love the cover or not, neither the models nor the background will change. I can make small change requests regarding the font color, shading variances, and/or picking between two cover images, if two cover images were sent to me, but nine times out of ten, that's about it.Myth 2: If an author is a bestseller and she/he really hates their cover, it WILL get changed.Mythbuster:
Maybe for some bestselling authors, but not for most of the ones I know, myself included. If I really hate something about a cover, I can request
that a change be made, but the likelihood of it happening is slim. Overall, I've been very lucky with my covers, but there have been a few times that I've requested drastic changes, and out of those times, I've only gotten what I asked for once. The rest of the time, I received a polite "Sorry, but we disagree with you, so the cover stays" reply. You see, an author is only one cog in the wheel when it comes to covers, and most times, the author is the smallest cog. The art department is a major contributor in what goes on the cover, as is the editor, but there is also the marketing department, the publicity department, and retail vendor reps, and they all outrank the author when it comes to opinions.
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The knife that almost never was.[/caption]
For example, the cover for Halfway To The Grave was almost changed because the Walmart rep didn't like the knife that Cat held. The concern was that the imagery the knife conveyed might be too violent. The knife stayed because the rep finally decided that it would be okay, but if she/he hadn't, my publisher would have taken it off and changed the cover before risking the chance that the book wouldn't be sold in Walmart.
Conversely, the cover for First Drop Of Crimson was originally going to be what is now the stepback of the book. My publisher thought that the image of the woman with the fang marks in her neck had a great True Blood vibe and wanted to capitalize on the show's popularity. I had preferred the image of the man/woman from the stepback more, but I was overruled. Then, the Barnes and Noble rep said that she, too, liked the image of the man/woman more than the solo neck-bitten image, and presto! The cover and stepback switched.
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Former original cover image[/caption]
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Former stepback that became the published cover[/caption] Myth 3: But if an author suggests a cover idea that the publisher loves, that idea WILL be used for their book cover.Mythbuster:
Usually, but not always. Once, for a cover chat about a Night Huntress book, I suggested a pose and image similar to this screen shot from the move Underworld because I thought that Cat would look great on a high perch looking as though she were about to jump down and start kicking ass. I was given another cover instead, so I thought that the art department/marketing/publicity/my editor had simply disagreed with me. Then, about two years later, I saw a similar pose and setting on the cover for another author's book from our same publishing division. *grins* So, sometimes the art department, marketing, publicity and editorial might all agree that your cover idea is great, but just not great for your
And that's your behind-the-scenes glimpse at book covers. Have a great weekend, everyone!