I think it’s time to start taking this self-publishing lark a little more seriously. I’ve got a book out, but to be honest, I don’t think I’ve done very much with it. Before I disappear completely into my next work, there are a couple of things I need to fix:
- The cover
- The price
Okay, let’s start with the cover. This was created for me by a very talented artist who, in a shockingly short space of time, delivered exactly what I asked for.
To be honest, I’m still a little bit in love with it, which is probably why I’ve hung onto it for longer than I should have. I think the Manga-cartoon quality is wonderful, and I love the darkness of the city beneath her. The other thing I like about it is that the whole story is pretty much there, right on the front. The woman in the wheelchair is the main character and the way she is dressed and the fact she’s holding a taser (assuming that you realise it is a taser she’s holding a taser) tells you a lot about her character before you even read the first page.
The problem is that when shown on a website at smaller sizes, it’s a little bit unclear: a lot of the really great detail is simply lost.
The other problem is the tone of the artwork, which actually presents three problems:
- A lot of people have mistaken the book for a graphic novel. Nope, that never occurred to me until I started getting feedback.
- The ‘stationary’ nature is not really in keeping with the actual book: Regarding Avalon is a fast-moving thriller, and I think it needs a cover to reflect that.
- The title and author name doesn’t show up on smaller thumbnails.
So my lovely Manga-like cover had to go. 🙁
I decided that to get around the ‘Oh, so it’s not actually a comic book’ problem I would go for a photographed cover rather than an illustration. Fortunately there are a fair number of really cover designers plying their trade on the web, so after a quick Google search, I picked out Joie Simmons and tried him with a short list of contradictory aims for my new book cover:
- It must be exciting, yet understated
- Raunchy and tasteful
- It must highlight the technology nature of the book, but, like the book, should be accessible to thriller readers who hate computers.
‘Sure, no problem,’ Joie said, and came up with this:
It took us a few tries to get it right (Joie has the patience of a saint), but this is exactly what I was looking for. It’s colourful while retaining the darkness of the original and adds that element of action and movement. The two parts represent the two worlds the novel is set in, and the girl trapped in the digital realm could be either of two of the main characters in the book.
In a word, fantastic.
So, I’m relaunching the book with a brand new cover and a lower price, which I’ll talk about next time.
Thanks for reading … 🙂