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The why of changing covers.

It wasn’t until I started on the publishing venture, it wasn’t until I published book 2 in my spy series, it wasn’t until I was a few months away from releasing a novella and book 3 (Fall 2013) that I understood why publishers change covers for the paperback, or even the hardcover halfway through a series. (As annoying as that is for readers.)

When I started self publishing, I had a limited budget. I knew covers were important, so I hired a designer. Problem was – I wasn’t completely happy with my paid cover. As my first time working with a designer and planning for a book release independently, I’ll take the blame for that. But money for that was used up.

So I spent hours creating my own, learning the ins and outs of Photoshop. I don’t regret that one bit because the skills I learned have been invaluable, and I continue use them with headers, photo teasers, badges…etc.

But, heading into my third book, I had money earned from profits to invest in a series of branded covers for my spy series. And with the release of the novella and book 3 – the time was now.

With no further ado, here they are!


I left the old ones on the sidebar so you can see the differences. They’ll soon be changing. And I’ll soon be revealing the covers for Vanishing Point (novella) and Twist of Fate (book 3). Both to be released in the next couple of months.

And with other news, Heist will be on a book blitz tour with Xpresso Book Tours. Feel free to sign up to receive an ecopy to give away on your blog, and your choice of a guest post or excerpt. You can post between September 9th-19th.

Have their been any cover changes you haven’t been happy with? (I’ll admit it’s annoying when I planned on purchasing the print version of the series, but often times, I agree that the cover change was a good thing.)

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Finding Inspiration and awesomeness.

Summer ending is bittersweet. For what seems like a brief moment, I’ve had my kids back, away from the daily influence and pressures of academic and social life. I’ve enjoyed spending time with them, even though at times, I couldn’t do enough to entertain them. As summer heat fades way too soon, I see they are ready to go back. Already, fall activities are creeping into our schedule.

Bittersweet for me.

Even though I’ve squeezed in work in the early morning and late at night, it’s goodbye to relaxed evenings and lazy mornings. Soon I’ll be back to making lunches at 6 a.m. when I can barely function.

In just another week, the kids will be gone, and I’ll be starting new projects while finishing up older ones. As summer ends, I’m finding inspiration, encouragement and exitement.

1. I’m proofing the young adult Real Girls Don’t Rust Steampunk Anthology, edited by Jennifer Carson. She’s my friend, critique partner, and an editor at Spencer Hill Press. She has an amazing eye for good work.

2. Karen A. Hooper paid for a Bookbub ad for Taking Back Forever. Watching her book skyrocket up the charts made me realize anything is possible and the sky’s the limit. Same with Sue Quinn’s serial: The Debt Collector, which is sitting on my Kindle, taunting me with its wonderful prose and gritty characters.

3. I’ve seen Indie friends sign with agents and court publishers, though that doesn’t seem as paramount to their success as an author.

4. I’m excited for Christina Lee’s New Adult debut, All of You, release this fall.

5. My blogging friend, Stina Lindenblatt signed with an agent and penned a book deal.

6. My crit partner and friend, Kris Asselin signed with agent, Kat Rushall.

7. Magan Vernon released a YA contemporary romance, Life, Love and Lemons, which I can’t wait to read.

8. Leigh T. Moore revealed her cover for Watercolor, the third book in the Dragonfly series.


I know I’ve forgotten someone or something, but there’s a lot to celebrate and encourage me as summer ends and I head into another season of writing and publishing.

What inspires you? Share a friend’s or your good news in the comments!

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Indie Life – Self publishing middle grade.

Welcome to Indie Life, sponsored by the Indelibles. This is a monthly blog hop where participants focus on anything and everything to do with self publishing.

Join in the fun!


Have you wondered about self-publishing middle grade?

I have. A lot.

My first love is a great story – for any age.

But I love reading and writing middle grade. I’ll be honest. I’ve been a little hesitant about self publishing middle grade. It does seem to be tougher…but not impossible. And let’s face it. Any kind of publishing is hard work.

There are many middle grade writers though who have self published their middle grade works. Some have found great success. Melanie Marks and The Slumber Party Wars. Sybil Nelson and Priscilla the Great. Marcus Emerson and Diary of a Sixth Grade Ninja. Just to name a few.

My friend and critique partner, Ansha Kotyk self published her middle grade novel, Gangsterland about a boy falling into a comic book set in the 1920s. Pretty cool stuff.

Recently, a group of self-published upper middle grade or tween authors formed a group similar to the Indelibles. They call their blog Emblazon. Their blog launches today and I believe they’re running a huge giveaway. You might want to check them out.

As for me and middle grade? I’m still debating. Maybe someday.

So what say you about self-publishing middle grade? Have any good book recommendations?

Head back to the Indelibles to find the links to all the posts!

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Indie Life – Taking advantage of the impulse purchase.

Welcome to Indie Life. This monthly theme is a creation of the Indelibles. Click on over for the complete linky list to read up on everything Indie.

Yes, I’m a writer, but this is coming purely from a reader’s perspective.

I’ve always loved browsing in bookstores, but these days, more often than not, I browse on Amazon. Lately, I’ve found very specific reasons on why I click on a book and then why I purchase it.

1. Cover

Definitely at the top. But not even close to why I actually purchase a book. So if you want people to at least click on your book to give it a try, then go for an appealing cover that represents your story.

2. Blurb

Even if you have a great cover, I won’t click on the Look Inside feature, if I’m not crazy about the premise. This is very subjective. So hook your reader by being concise and getting to the heart of your story.

3. Rank and Reviews

After the cover, after the blurb, I check out the rank. Is the book selling? I also check out the reviews.

4. First page

I have very specific tastes. Voice, tone/mood, the writing – all comes into play. I know almost right away within the first page, the first paragraph, if I want to buy it.

5. Price

What turns this whole process into a purchase is the price. If I’ve loved everything so far, and the book is on sale for 99 cents, then it’s usually a definite impulse purchase.

If the book is 2.99/3.99, I wait and think about it. If I keep thinking about it, then eventually I’ll buy it and read it.

Final conclusion: Even though the cover, blurb, rank, and price play a role, the first page is most important. Because even at free or 99 cents I won’t buy a book unless I really want to read it.

What was your last impulse purchase? And why?

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Indie Life – Be encouraged!

Indie Life was started and is hosted by the Indelibles. This is a chance to talk about any aspect of publishing or writing you want: to encourage, share news, offer tips. It takes place the second Wednesday of every month. Feel free to join us!

Indie Life

I want to talk about the hedges in the front of my house because they take some major abuse over the winter.

The hedges lie not only underneath my roof but next to the driveway where my hubbie snow blows. These hedges are piled with heaping mounds of snow every year.

Plus, these hedges are shielded from the sun by a small screened in porch, so quite often, the snow turns hard and icy.

Company often comments that these hedges are just going to shrivel up and die one of these years…and I wouldn’t be surprised.

But they don’t. Year after year, they spring back to form, the perfectly trimmed square hedges they should be (almost always perfectly trimmed.)

Right now, gazing out my window, they look great. It didn’t happen right away, but it happened.

Never let the ups and downs of the publishing industry keep you down for long. Be patient. Give yourself time. Just like my hedges.

On a side note, this Saturday I’ll be at the Cape May Author Fest from 2-5 p.m. selling and signing A Spy Like Me and Heart of an Assassin! If you live in the area come by and visit! There will be close to thirty fantastic authors of picture books, middle grade, and young adult.

Visit the Indelibles blog for another Indie Life post and the list of links! A great chance to meet new people!

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