A few people have asked me why I chose to get new covers for The Watchers of Moniah trilogy, so I thought I'd share a bit about my process.
Several months ago, I requested and received my rights back from the original publisher of the trilogy. At the time, I did not have the rights to the covers, but I eventually received those rights, too. I did that more as a convenience than anything else.
Getting a new cover might sound simple, but it's really not. There's a lot of technical and artistic knowledge involved in creating a cover. Technical and artistic knowledge that I don't have. Most authors don't have this knowledge, so it's best to use someone who does.
Once I realized the intricacies of creating a new cover, I republished the eBooks with the original covers in order to have something available to readers until I got the new covers. I did not choose to publish paperbacks with the old covers because changing a print cover involves a bit more than changing an ebook cover online.
At least, the books could still be available while I worked on getting new covers.
Let's face it, the cover causes people to click on the book or pick it up in a bookstore. It must intrigue the reader enough to want to know more. Unfortunately, the covers didn't convey the story's setting, characters, and audience the way I needed them to. They were misleading.
Yes, the artwork is beautiful. A lot of people liked them, me included, but once people started seeing them and talking to me about the books, I realized they created a middle grade reader vibe.
I wrote The Watchers of Moniah to an adult audience with the knowledge it would probably appeal to the young adult and new adult reader also. As expected, it does, and many people perceive the books as young adult. That's fine, but the voice is not young adult. It's adult. I needed covers that conveyed that so people would pick the book up.
If you look at the original covers, the portrayal of Adana, the protagonist, is not the same from the first book to the second. Adana is biracial. In the early parts of the first book, her mother describes her hair as tawny like a lion's mane. A lion's mane has golden brown and black hair. The hair on the first cover was too dark at first. I explained what we needed, and the results are what ended up on the cover. It wasn't accurate either, but my publisher was only willing to do one revision. When the second and third books came out with the darker hair, I didn't try for fear of getting something worse and being stuck with it.
People were confused by this.
Not to mention that Adana wears her hair in a French braid. If you look closely at the original covers, it's there, but most people see a young girl with short hair. The braid depicted in these covers is too long. No warrior would wear a braid long enough to be grabbed from a distance and used as a weapon against them.
Don't even get me started about the second cover. No one rides a giraffe like a horse, fyi! The one time Adana did ride the giraffe, the experience was not enjoyable or easy.
There are colors that go with each genre. I'm learning this as I navigate the process. The colors on the original covers do convey the warmer climate of Moniah, but they don't match the colors associated with fantasy books right now.
Since I'm republishing the books, I need them to reflect this. So far, I have one new cover and have seen some mockups for the second book. They fit the books' themes so much better than the originals. Added plus, Miblart, the designer I chose, are open to multiple revisions until we get it right. That's a relief after the one-revision-only experience before.
I recently learned that most books get new covers after a few years anyway. At least, if you want them to continue to sell. Cover styles change. and your cover needs to fit the current book climate.
If you compare the covers of the first book, I believe the second cover is much more inviting and conveys a stronger feel of the book's setting and characters. It has a more realistic feel to it and Adana is portrayed as a physical presence as a warrior instead of a child with a bow.
So, that's why I'm redoing the covers.
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