Wren 1 cover evolution – 2020 Writing Week 51

Mike Grist Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

Here at the edge of closing out 2020, it’s time for a retrospective on Wren book 1 covers. I just bought a new cover, and am kick-starting the process to get all 4 remaining books re-covered, and I’m extremely pleased.

Here’s the new cover, absolutely fitting, expertly made, and pretty eye-catching:

It’s gorgeous. It draws the eye. It looks totally pro and I believe can hold it’s own against competitors in the store – something my old covers couldn’t really claim.

It’s been a long road. I think Wren’s found a home.

Here’s where we’ve been over the past year plus change:

The top 3 were all self-made.

Top left was first, aping a Jack Reacher cover. It fails in comparison to Jack though, because JR covers have him usually rolling toward a dusty one-horse town. He’s the cowboy lawman come to clean up the corruption. Here Wren is just strolling, no sense of threat.

Top middle I try to add more sense of threat and move a little away from JR style. The guy has a gun and looks combative, the colors are darker and fonts stronger. There’s still nothing ahead of him though. Little sense of urgency. Who is he facing off with?

Top right was my effort to keep on addressing that. Burn out the sky, make it all red. It just doesn’t look good, though. I’m not a pro designer. He’s still just facing off with a sunset. I tried many times to use other images, but none looked any better than this.

Bottom left was the Damonza cover I requested. It looks like Stieg Larsson or Livia Lone – but it gives me no room to move to for the sequels. It doesn’t martch the genre. Those books it’s similar to are literary works put out by big publishers who can make thier own genre. I’m learning, as an indie I can’t make my own genre. I have to color within the lines.

Bottom middle is a second cover I bought from Damonza. Leaning back toward the genre-trope of a silhouette guy, but again the black and white style leaves me nowhere to go with subsequent covers. They’ll look dull. It looks grainy and too gritty. I feel it’s unattractive.

Bottom right is the latest. I think it’s the most pro. It takes the trope of a silhouette guy, but unlike many covers, it gives him something to run toward.

Words achieved this week

I wrote nothing this week – I was too absorbed with monitoring covers, handling my new FB communities (they are slow to grow), and of course my day job was really busy in the run-up to assignments coming due. I taught a lot of sessions and 1:1s.

For the next 2 weeks I may write a lot. I also may write nothing 🙂 I could focus on new covers coming in and getting ads working for this new cover. Also, it’s Christmas, so I may just chill the heck out.

Goal by next week

Week 52 of 2020! I hope by this time I have the new cover for book 2. The concept is cool. It kind of gives away the ending, but I’m not worried about that – movie trailers often show the best clips from the movie, and people don’t feel too bad about that when they see the actual movie. It should be cool.

Words-wise, maybe 10k would be good.

Ads-wise, running and in profit would be great, particularly on AMS where I am never successful.

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