by Samantha Fenton One of the most surprising things I found had happened as a result from starting to write seriously, was how I read books differently. After writing a novel, I can’t look at a book the same way again – which makes sense, right? Picture someone close to you deciding to play […]
Well said. I find myself doing this a lot, even if the scenes never make the book. They help me to flush out my characters and see how they would behave in different scenarios.
by Meg Dowell Last week, I wrote a scene that both surprised and amazed me. NOT because I’m the best writer ever or because it’s the greatest piece of prose a human has ever written (nope and, uh, NOPE), but because I never planned on writing it at all. In fact, the moment the […]
I’m so excited to announce the new cover for Return to Royalty!
You guys have no idea how amazing this is to me. I’ve been working on this book for the better part of the last ten years. Crazy, right?
When I was 16 years old, I wrote the first iteration of this book. Let me tell you, it was horrible! It was everything you’d imagine a teenager to have written, with plot holes and weirdly-worded sentences. But it continued to evolve in my mind, and I continued to write.
And then I re-wrote. And re-wrote. Over and over again.
And each time it was never quite right. I’m not really even convinced that it’s quite right now. But that’s not really what matters, because to me, or to any artist, their work is never completely done.
The reality of being an author is that the characters are never finished. They’re always there, living just inside my brain. No matter how many times I put them on paper, or how many different ways, they just keep coming up with endless retellings of their lives. So I will probably write this story again. And probably a million more times after that. I hope that it just keeps getting better and better, like it has for the last ten years!
What matters is that the people living outside my head love what I’ve created. I’m really excited about all of the feedback that I’ve gotten so far and everyone has great things to say. The judges had awesome things to say, which you can read snippets of on my webpage. Even the editor, who has worked with renowned authors such as Brandon Sanderson in the past, really loved it! I wish I could share all the compliments he’s given me, but that doesn’t do the story justice. You have to see it for yourself!
And that won’t be much longer now! I’m shooting for a February/March release at the latest, so stay tuned! It’s totally worth it!
So this week I finally got cover art concepts! I won’t include them here because I don’t want to give the surprise away, and they’re not quite done, but I wanted to give you guys an insight into the process I used to decide on my cover.
Warning: I tend to do things that make sense to me. My sister says I would make a terrible scientist (she has a degree in neurobiology) because I tend to wing it and most of the time I couldn’t replicate what I did even if I tried! Drives her crazy when we’re working on embroidery projects together!
So the first thing I did, after my happy dance of course, was print them out. I love being able to have them on my phone to look at when I want, but it’s nothing like seeing them on paper, side by side. They were each very unique and conveyed a different, but similar, message.
The hardest thing for me about this whole cover process has been trying to understand what my target audience would like. That’s hard. I’m so immersed in this world that I’ve created; I have expectations! My characters should look a certain way, the background needs to look the way I imagined it, the font has to be just right…
Unfortunately, that’s not what is going to draw in people.
So my first task when trying to give the designer an idea was to look at best sellers on Amazon. So I did, and of course the cover that I liked would be the one that had all of the custom character art. So not fair. So it was back to the drawing board. Despite being frustrating, I learned a lot about what it takes to put artwork together. And I was pleasantly surprised by what can be done with stock photos!
I really appreciated the advice the designer gave me:
- Ask “which would you buy?” vs “which do you like?”
- There is no “perfect” cover.
- You can’t please everyone!
With all these things in mind, I set out to poll all my advisers, mainly my family and friends. They disappointed me…
They all chose the cover that I liked the least! But that just made me realize how close I am to the story. I don’t know if I’ll ever be 100% satisfied, and that’s hard for me to accept.
Fortunately, everybody was right. After sleeping on it and staring really hard at the picture, I decided that it was the way I needed to go!
The finalized cover will be ready soon! Make sure to keep up with my Wednesday News Posts on www.epaigeburks.com!