Summer 2017 – Branding Truth In Lies – the wait (readers), the writing (KO)
Greetings, Warrior Princesses!
Unless you follow me on Facebook, I realize my updates to the blog (here and on Goodreads) have been infrequent. Two different but intersecting events that I would say were almost cataclysmic have occurred in the last 18 months.
One, I released Tell Me Something True in late October 2015 and experienced a classic case of writer burnout. The novel was draining emotionally (to write), readers didn’t flock to this one like the others in the trilogy, and the muse seemed to have wandered off.
Then, the second event came along that changed so many things for a time… In the summer of 2016, just when I felt “my muse” had finally returned, my personal life became chaotic as my dear husband experienced a health crisis of rather epic proportions. He doesn’t like to talk about it and I respect his wishes in that. Let’s just suffice it to say, it took some time for him to return to work after his health scare and I spent every waking hour trying to better understand cardiac conditions that put us both on a better road to health. A year later, our life has returned to normal. We are now huge fans of a low carb/high fat diet and intermittent fasting. If you see my posts on Facebook, I talk about these endeavors there.
To that end, getting back to writing has been a challenge (understatement).
Writing is tricky. It messes with your mind even when things are going well and when you are not writing, well, then the fear, uncertainty, and doubt creep in.
Have I lost my touch (talent)?
Do I even know what I am doing?
Will people even read what I write?
So, there it is. Written on the page.
Fear. Uncertainty. And doubt.
I had talent but it seems to have left me. <cue the crying>
Anyway, I have been reading a ton of books to get my mojo for the craft to return. In order to start up the book writing and the marketing and the publishing again. It’s a big undertaking.
I thought I would start with things I know and do well.
Redoing Book Covers
Focus on Simplicity in marketing the books and myself, the writer.
So, if you stalk me (haha!), you know I tweak the covers quite a bit.
The fall of 2013 was my epic run with This Much Is True and it seems like I am trying to make lightning strike again. I felt so strongly (passionate) about that story line. My beta reader hated it, and I published it anyway only to watch it spectacularly soar into the stratosphere on the best seller lists and garner me a whole new bunch of readers. I am forever grateful to have experienced that. It was epic! Like This Much Is True if I do say so myself. Amazing.
Fans wanted more so I wrote the next two books and creating the trilogy ~ Truth In Lies. It was a great endeavor, but the newer books never soared quite as high on the best seller lists. Then, Amazon introduced Kindle Unlimited and reaching new readers became much harder since I was in wide distribution and not exclusive with Amazon. It was not impossible to sell books and gain new readers, but almost (unless you were willing to play it Amazon’s way with exclusivity etc…) The writing gig was getting tough. I resisted going exclusive as much as I could and basically stopped the marketing of my books after a while because I was so focused on my home life. Not a bad thing but it seems I forget the balance in either endeavor. Love my family, but I need to write.
Thus, a blog post (to start). Go you! I mean, me!
Where was I?
Branding. Oh yes.
So, I have changed the book covers and I thought I would go through as to the whys and wherefores of that.
In reverse order because that is the way I roll.
Tell Me Something True – the long standing black and white cover was this one:
This one worked for me so well because this is a dark story and the black and white depiction perfectly illustrates Linc and Tally’s flaws to a T!
But, maybe it is too dark and to on point for readers, so a change to the cover seems to be in order to get readers interested in reading this Trilogy to the end…
In Tell Me Something True, the character that grows and changes the most in this story is Tally. So, when an instant, unsolicited reaction from my eighteen-year-old daughter
was “I love that cover. ”
I went with it.
Here it is:
This is a big departure for me, but my daughter’s reaction was instantaneous and positive. “Like WOW! Best cover ever.”
I truly was just playing around because I had used a like photograph on Seeing Julia‘s cover…
So, I had to change that cover, too. But I always liked this black and white photograph for Seeing Julia.
This one better depicts Jake Winston and Julia Hamilton. Love, love, love. I hope you do, too. And, if you missed this one, go here and you can sign up for my newsletter and get if for FREE.
Branding. Book covers. Changes.
Trying to recenter myself on the marketing of my books, so I made slight updates to The Truth About Air & Water.
I loved the original cover of This Much Is True but then a few critiques of the cover slipped in to my psyche, and I started changing it.
Again, you never forget the amazing feeling of being on the best seller lists and you are always trying to recreate that feeling again…
It becomes a quest.
See this wall in the original? My mind immediately goes to the scene of Tally at the baseball field where she saw Linc pitch and then she watched him interact so intimately with Nika Vostrikova.
Oh the angst.
The defeat she felt in that moment.
I wanted Linc on the front cover of the first book with Tally.
I love this photograph and finally got it to portray what I wanted. And, it has a wall like the original cover for This Much Is True did!
This new cover portrays something slightly different between them, but it is an important moment and Tally just looks like she is lying about something. And lies, Princesses, are such an important part of the story line…as you may well know.
So here it is:
Lastly, my marketing plan is to gain readers and go all out while I write furiously to finish my seventh novel, Saving Valentines. It will be a standalone.
I would like to say, thank you for being so patient in waiting for my next book. I hope to have more updates for you in the next few months regarding said book.
I hope to be writing feverishly in the meantime. Wish me luck! Your comments of adoration about my work are always welcome.