June 27, 2017 @ 9:36 AM

 

Some weird glitchy stuff has been happening to my blog. If you visited earlier and got a bunch of odd repeated chunks of copy, computer code, and missing photos, sorry about that. I double-checked the post before going live. Still, something went wrong after posting. Wonder if it's associated with the stuff I've seen in the news. Anyway, here goes AGAIN. I hope we're done with that cyber craziness.

Check out the *new* cover for Welcome to Mistywood Lane.  (left) Will change the look on retail sites soon.

I love the original cover of Welcome to Mistywood Lane. (lower right) When the designer sent it over, I couldn’t stop grinning at it for days.  Super-duper cute in my humble opinion.

 But with a heavy heart (sigh) I decided to change it. Why? Let me backtrack a bit.

 I’ve posted this before.

When I got the idea for Welcome to Mistywood Lane I wasn’t seriously thinking about doing a series or connected books. I had a vague thought that I might only after I’d finished an early draft, but I still didn’t fully commit to the notion. After all, I’ve been writing novels for years, and I’ve never done a series before.

Why haven’t I attempted a series before when they are wildly popular in the romance genre? My muse typically doesn’t like making a big commitment like that, being tied down to something. My muse is a loose, sometimes fickle, heifer. lol. But WTML felt different. The characters felt different. For once, the muse wanted to go back to expand and mine that particular world.

This cover (right) was a perfect one-off …for Reese, in particular, the goody-goody-cupcake-baker heroine in that book.  When I finally committed to do a series, I couldn’t get that particular cover concept to work with the other characters (Reese’s sisters) who would get their own stories. I couldn’t get the super-duper cuteness to match those sisters’ styles, personalities, or occupations. But I tried, oh, how I tried. And the designer who worked with me was patient and presented lots of tweaked options that nailed what I wanted at the time.

 This was the first cover option for Quinn’s book (He Could Be the One). (left)  To get the covers to look similar we tried emulating the cupcake/coffee shop awning by using the poppin’ pink and white polka dot top border. (The designer gave me several fun border options, actually. I needed to recruit others to help me choose one. I liked them all.) I asked the designer to try the bakery treat as the main graphic element. (Sugar cookies to go along with Reese’s cupcake). In HCBTO Quinn ate her favorite bourbon sugar cookies Reese baked for her. Hey, the cookies could work, I thought. Though I sort of knew it was a stretch. Sweets felt more like Reese. (Maybe I was overthinking it all as I'm prone to do.)

I rolled with a completely different look for HCBTO ---vintage sunglasses (that hair/beauty blogger Quinn collects) and hibiscus (one of her fave scents) that felt more like Quinn. This version (at right) was created by a second designer. The color schemes were sort of the similar to the original WTML cover. Hey, there’s pink in there to tie them together.

Still,  WTML and HCBTO had different *feels* to me. I had a devil of a time getting Amazon.com to do the series display for the books because they were not labeled “book 1” or “book 2” on the actual covers. Also, I believe because the covers looked so different I had to jump through additional  hoops to *prove* they were connected. Took weeks to get this part straightened out.

The longer those two covers were out in the world, the more I started to feel as if I needed to make them more similar. The Amazon “series display” really drove this home for me.

Epiphany. It was easier to make Reese’s book match Quinn’s in style than the other way around. I could do this and still be true to Reese with the cute cupcake and all. No bakery/coffee shop awning or top whimsical strip to worry about adding to additional books in the series.

 (Hope this explanation isn’t too convoluted.) 

In addition, it was easier to make Blaire’s cover match Reese's new cover and Quinn's. I already have a similar-in-style cover for this upcoming book in the series. So, whew! We have that out of the way. I can't wait to post it. Now, I just need to finish writing Blaire’s story! I’m on it, though.

This is one of the great things about indie pubbing. I can change my mind about covers any time. I’ve done this before. I blogged about it when I tested what I refer to as the “Billy Beefcake” covers for The Flirtationship and Just Her Type. Glistening rippled abs and man-titty galore on those covers. lol You might have seen lingering ghosts of these on other sites. In the end, I didn’t think they fit the tone of my stories.  After a few months, I went back to the pink cupcakes for The Flirtationship and the bold red heart for Just Her Type.

What do you think of  Welcome to Mistywood Lane's new, somewhat minimalistic, look?

Until next time…:)