Improving On Greatness

Well, here’s the next installation on the evolution of the cover.

The first change we did was minor—adding the back cover teaser, which ended up looking like this:

Spree Concept (2)

But then my editor, Duke Pennell, suggested that the background was too dark, which made it hard to see anything when it was reduced to a thumbnail. He also suggested a font change for my name. The idea here is that we’re branding me, the author, and not any one of my books in particular. Think of a book by Stephen King or Dean Koontz and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Their names are a logo that stays the same from book to book (though it changes slowly over the years), where the way the title is displayed changes. The way we had my name on the original cover looked great, but it had an urban feel to it. That’s fine for Spree, but it doesn’t work so good for my Rural Empires setting.

So the challenge was to come up with something clean and crisp that could be used on multiple books. The result, shown below, demonstrates why picking Ohgma Creative to take care of this kind of thing was a good choice. Casey Cowan come up with this that night. He also changed the color on the car, as Duke felt that it was fading out against the deeper background.

Spree Concept(1)

At first, I was wishy-washy about all this. After all, I loved the cover as it was. And my email back to Casey and Duke reflects this ambivalence. But after some thought, I had to agree with Duke that the background needed lightening, though my reasoning was that the dark background made it seem like Spree is a dark book when it’s not. And I could see the merits in making a logo of my name for branding purposes

Ideally, this is the way thing kind of thing should work: a creative partnership between editor, author, and PR firm. This shows the advantage of dealing with smaller companies: you get personal attention. Everyone present will be more involved with seeing that the project is a success, and there’s certainly no harm in that.

So if you’re looking to submit, I suggest Pen-L. And if you need a good PR company that will give you personal attention, look to Oghma Creative. I think you’ll be happy with your choices.



3 thoughts on “Improving On Greatness

  1. Author and Speaker Pamela Foster

    Ah, the creative process in all its glorious wonder. The cover’s great but the thing to remember is that once the reader picks up Spree, they’re going to fall, hook-line-and-sinker for those characters and their misadventures. What you need to be thinking about is the cover for the sequel. ‘Cause folks are going to be looking for it about five minutes after looking at the back cover of Spree.

    1. gilmiller Post author

      At this point I have no plans for a sequel to Spree, though anything is possible. Duke suggested I write one, but nothing is coming to me, so I can’t say there’ll be one. But you never know…

  2. Jim Davis

    I really like the cover and blurb, Gil. My experience with covers has led me to believe the book cover is vitally important to the success of ebook sales. Potential readers give a thumbnail view about 3 seconds before making a decision to move on or click on it to read the blurb. I have no doubt the people who read Spree will love it and want to read more from you, but getting readers to that stage requires both an excellent cover and a great blurb, which you have, along with a wonderful endorsement by author Velda Brotherton. I suspect your readers will demand a sequel so I hope something comes to you soon.


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