Nothing sells a book like its cover. It’s that first impression. If you self-publish, you can pick what represents your work. But if you write for a publisher, you’re sometimes stuck with that ugly baby. I’ve had an ugly baby a time or two in my career – ah, yes, that poor attempt to doctor the wrong hair color that turned it neon, the short hero who somehow grew a foot and added 150 pounds of creepy bulk, my modest, flat-chested heroine who ended up sprawled on the grass under the hero with her nearly non-existed bodice spilling forth ginormous endowments. Sigh.
My new reissue, MIDNIGHT KISS has one of those baby stories. When originally released in the mid-‘90s, I was shocked to see my hero represented with long black hair and a green-gray complexion. Who was this guy? Bookstores shelved it in horror instead of romance! After struggling 15-years to get the rights back, I was so excited to see it’s all new look as the first book in my “Touched by Midnight” series being rereleased, a book per month, with all new covers to an all new audience. (Squee!) But when I saw it, I didn’t know what to think. It wasn’t ugly. I didn’t hate it. It was pretty. But it was just . . . wrong. It didn’t represent my story - no paranormal elements, no hint of danger or suspense, no historical feel. (No, it had nothing to do with the fact that she looked like Kim Kardashian!) It just didn’t scream sexy, Regency-set, vampire romance.
Because this book would set the bar for those that followed in look and feel, I took a deep breath, and e-mailed my editor, citing my issues with it and asked if there was any chance it could be changed, knowing it could be too late. (Actually, it had already been released!) Another cover mock up quickly arrived, totally different in tone and approach. Yes! Then my critical eye noted how young the hero looked, a little too weak to carry two more books. We phone conferenced. After I apologized for being a fussy author, to which she replied that’s why she liked working with authors, we tossed around ideas and she solved matter by saying, “Off with his head!” (or at least part of it) to find a happy medium. Here’s the cover progression. Which do you like better?
Be careful what you ask for . . . you might get it! Once we solved the cover crisis, my editor suggested I might like to pick the cover models and back grounds for the other eight books. YES! my OCD soul shouted. The thrill wore off after three days hunched over my lap top viewing thousands of bare torsos. But I found what I wanted. I can so totally hear my mother saying, “You won’t know unless you ask.” The moral: Listen to your mother. You won’t know unless you ask, whether its title, cover, edits, ad co-ops, bigger advance, favorite author quote, promo spots, blog tours. They may say no, but they won’t have a chance to say yes unless you ask. Nicely.
Here’s a peek at MIDNIGHT KISS, now available in all e-formats, soon to appear in trade paperback:
“Dark and compelling, Gideon's novel will appeal to those who enjoy the vampire novels of Anne Rice.” —Library Journal
“A colorful and hauntingly beautiful tale of otherworldly love . . . destined to become a classic!”—Affaire de Coeur“Incredible, spellbinding reading!” —RendezvousHunt or be hunted . . . A centuries old obsession stalks a noble family fighting to hide their dark secret from an ever-changing world. Sink your teeth into Nancy Gideon's Touched by Midnight series.A DARK CURSEMiss Arabella Howland is content forgo the London marriage mill to assist her father in his research, especially when it comes to his intriguing patient, Louis Radman. But it’s not long before Bella’s curiosity alerts her to the danger of her father’s work . . . and to the fact that Louis is not who or whathe seems.A BRIGHT PROMISEAfter centuries struggling with his vile existence, Louis Radman will soon be free of his affliction, thanks to his very capable physician. Unfortunately, his heart is less secure around the man’s tempting daughter. His yearning to walk in the light once more is complicated by his desire for the delightful Bella, who is as intelligent as she is fearless. But if history has taught him anything, it’s not to tempt fate.AN UNFORGIVING PASTStill, happiness has a price and Louis is soon reminded that mortality comes with unfortunate limitations. To protect his new bride, he must face the demons from his past who wish to pull him back into their vampiric fold.Yet, if he’s forced to return to his midnight world, will he lose his beloved Bella forever?
What have you gotten because you’ve asked for it that you wouldn’t have had otherwise?
I’m excited to be one of this month’s IWSG co-hosts!!
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
IWSG awesome co-hosts for the August 5th posting will be Nancy Gideon, Bob R Milne, Doreen McGettigan, Chrys Fey, Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia!