Special treat for readers who monitor the blog site and Facebook page – advance reveal of the new covers, one or two a week, starting today…
(And I’m keen for feedback!)
Okay, okay. Roundup first.
Inside Straight is late in the big and little sense of the word. In the big sense, I can’t quite work out how it has taken over three years from Angel Stakes to Inside Straight. In the little sense, I promised publication in 2018, then spring 2019, then summer, and then 30th September, but now it’s going to be the 31st October.
I will be concentrating on writing Bite Back and Bian’s Tale for the next year or so and I hope to do better than one of each per year. We’ll see.
Bite Back (published under the series name ‘Amber Farrell’) is doing very well in France. I’m expecting my first 12 month sales analysis from Bragelonne this month, but I already know that the sales are over 20,000 books and there’s 2:1 ratio in favor of printed books. I’ve attended the book festival at Epinal as a guest speaker and I’m also attending festivals at Lille and Dunkirk this year. Things are looking good.
I’m trying very hard to engage a German publisher on the same sort of basis as France and I’m having no luck. My emails aren’t even getting a response. I may visit the Frankfurt Book Fair next month to see if face to face is easier.
The launch of Inside Straight will coincide with a new marketing drive for the Bite Back series, including:
- New book covers for eBook (English and German versions), paperback and audio
- Amazon and Facebook advertising
- Bundling (selling books 1-3 as one for a discount)
- Newsletter promotions.
I’ve never been quite happy with the covers for Bite Back. The series is not a standard Urban Fantasy series, so there was always the argument that the covers should be a little different. At the 20Books writers’ convention in Edinburgh, I got some feedback on the covers and advice to go and talk to Andrew at Creative Edge Studios. Long story short, Andrew and I kicked around ideas, hired a big studio, got the props out, persuaded Maria to join us, engaged a makeup artist and spent a whole day, resulting in over a thousand photos. It was a fabulous day.
Maria is Amber, and she really got into the part. Even standing waiting for the cameras to be set up, she looked bad-ass.
This is not a retouched photo. I have done nothing apart from clipping the background out.
At the end of the shoot, I had the difficult task of choosing one photo for each book.
The overview for the images is a sort of compromise. I wanted the book covers to say Urban Fantasy, but I wanted to hint that there’s a lot of action as well. This is close to the brief for the very first covers I did, but the poses chosen for those were what is called in the trade ‘heroic’. Andrew and I decided we’d include more ‘action’ poses.
Book 1 is the key, the most important image that sets the tone for the series. I wanted Amber’s favorite automatic, the HK Mk 23, and I wanted an action pose with a Urban Fantasy background of Denver including witchy lights and oversize moon. Andrew took that brief and produced this, the full image without titles for the printed book.
I reckon it’s excellent.
And here’s the eBook cover.
I love the image.
What do YOU think?