Since I launched my first book in April of 2018, I’ve gone through a bit of an identity crisis. By identity crisis, I mean establishing a look, or as it’s referred to in the industry, Brand. A logo, colour, and text scheme for a product or business, that people recognize. Think of the round red Coke sign, or Nike swoosh; when you see them, you know instantly what they represent, whether or not you partake of their products. I’ve been struggling to find my round red sign, my swoosh.
I commissioned covers last year and the artist used the blue/gold, touch of black theme I mentioned as wanting for the first cover (My Dear One). There was more black on it than I preferred but having seen the original picture of the model she used, I understood why the artist used as much black (and blurred it) as she did. Developing the cover for the sequel was even more difficult.
When I shared the first version for My Own the artist created with a few readers, no one liked it. So, the artist created a second one, which received approval from readers only in relation to it being better than the first option. Despite reservations about how much black was on the cover—and my husband’s poorly concealed dislike for it—I plowed ahead with it.
When I finally revealed the third cover the artist made for me—and her first try for My One True Love that will be out later this year—there was immediate and whole-hearted and enthusiastic approval from everyone, Hubs included. Which niggled. Just a bit.
And planted a seed.
Or perhaps weed, in my gradually blooming garden of Romance covers.
The cover for My One True Love is very feminine in form and colour, and it captures the story wonderfully. And when I started putting together promo material for all the books together it burst on to the page like a lovely large and healthy pink Dahlia, exacerbating the harshness of the black of the other two.
I went back to the drawing board.
My Dear One and My Own have new covers with new colours and a look or impression to echo My One True Love, while capturing the emotional thrust of each story, thus creating a trio of covers that better suits the direction I want to steer my brand, which is Heartfelt Romance (thank you, Erin P. for, quite literally, helping me define my brand).
Embracing emotions, and femininity in colour and form, is to me, strength (which shows how much I’ve matured from my teens and twenties when acting cool and wearing black was my defining behaviour and colour of choice), while depicting emotionally conflicted heroines on the cover honours the female journey that is fraught with heartache, and moments of overwhelming loneliness, from which we emerge stronger in heart and mind, and more loved than ever. I’ve also updated the size and colour of the book titles and my name on all the covers to create consistency that I can carry forward with any future books in this series. I changed one other thing on all the covers; can you spot it?
When you do, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what it is (don’t post in the comments, please, so others can have fun trying to spot the last remaining difference), and I’ll enter your name in a draw to win an ebook copy of My One True Love when it launches.
There is only one thing about which I am certain, and this is that there is very little about which one can be certain.
W. Somerset Maugham