The Book Cover Evolution

Christmas and New Year’s has come and gone, and we in the Weir family are no worse for the wear. Our daughter Dakota came home from college for the holidays, a long 6 week break for her, which she is enjoying. We’re all happy she is home, especially our dog Emma who has been running down to the basement while she’s been gone, searching for her. I hope everyone got to rip open lots of wrapping paper and popped a cork or two on a bottle of bubbly, before returning to the day to day grind.

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2018 was a great year for me when it came to my books. I released The Front Range Butcher to wonderful reviews and sales, got to meet lot’s of current and future fans at various events while selling lots of paperbacks. Thanks to everyone who supported me this past year by purchasing my books. And a big shout out to my family, especially my wife Kim, for supporting me on my author journey. I expect 2019 to be even better!

Over the next few newsletters, I’m going to discuss the covers for my books and how I work through the design process. From the contest I ran last year, I asked readers about what they look for when searching for new books. Book covers was a common answer, the design luring them into checking out the blurb, especially for a writer whose works they’ve not read. For my first short story in the Jarvis Mann Detective series, I had to be conservative on costs and a friend offered to design the cover for free. Being my first book, I wasn’t certain what I wanted in a cover that fit the story of Jarvis helping a young man track down a stolen baseball card. When the cover first was made, she had a picture of her nephew in a baseball uniform blowing a bubble. Early reactions to the cover, with his dirty face, were negative, thinking the boy looked as if he’d been beaten up. I got her to remove the dirt from his face, and the cover was finished. Released in 2014, The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card got good reviews, but many didn’t like the cover. Over time I saw this as an issue, especially as the series grew, even though the book did reach number 1 twice on a couple of Amazon short story bestseller lists. After much internal debate on what I wanted, I recently sent an idea to my current graphic designer on making a whole new cover. With her skills, she created a wonderful design, that is one of the best covers I’ve ever put out and I’m revealing now.

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What do you think? In my mind, this captures the story perfectly and makes for a great beginning in the Jarvis Mann series. And the ebook is still free on all major ebook retailers via this universal link. If you already have the ebook, you should get an updated version including the cover to download to your ebook readers. And as a bonus, you will get the first two chapters of the first novel in the series, Tracking A Shadow, to read and decide if you want to explore more of Jarvis’ adventures.

Speaking of Tracking A Shadow, I decided to make this ebook exclusive on Amazon, which is true of all the other books, other than Bubble Gum. This means it is now available on Kindle Unlimited for those who subscribe to this service. This was a tough decision,  but I wasn’t selling many copies of Tracking A Shadow on any of the other retailers, and I do get a lot of Kindle Unlimited reads on all of my other books. Be sure to check out Tracking A Shadow on Amazon, in either eBook, Paperback or on Kindle Unlimited.

If you recall last month I ran a 99 cent promo for my latest novel, The Front Range Butcher. Sales were wonderful, as the book cracked the top ten on Amazon’s Hard-boiled bestseller list, as well as top 20 on two others. If you were one of those who purchased The Front Range Butcher and has read it, be sure to let me know what you thought. Posting a review on Amazon, Goodreads and BookBub would be appreciated. Reviews are figured into book ranking algorithms, especially on Amazon. If you have some Amazon gift card money, you can pick up The Front Range Butcher and the other books in the Jarvis Mann PI series on Amazon. Here is my Amazon Author link with a list of all the books.

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I had a wonderful time at all of the holiday craft fairs and sold a bunch of paperback books. The best part is talking with book lovers and telling them about my characters and stories. I plan on doing many other events in 2019, some here in Colorado including a couple at local libraries and a few others around the country. On the right side of the newsletter, you will always see a list of upcoming events I have scheduled. If you are aware of other events or maybe are hosting an author event, I would love to hear about them. Drop me an email and I will see if it fits my schedule.

I have some new changes to the website, as my cover designer, who also designed my website, created some new banners which are now live. Along with that, she has completed the cover for the next Jarvis Mann book, Mann in the Crossfire, the story still in the hands of my editor. We’re looking at a release first quarter of 2019 and I will have more news on this book, the book blurb and some teasers on the covers in future newsletters.

With the new year comes more Prolific Works giveaways of free Mystery/Thriller/Suspense ebooks. The Cozy-est Mysteries is still running, with 37 books in all, including The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card. The giveaway runs until Jan 31st, so check it out via this link.

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Criminally Good Reads – Mystery & Thriller Giveaway begins Jan 6th and runs until Feb 6th, with 26 books for you to check out and download for free. Access those books via this link.

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That is all for this month. Next month I should have more news on the next book and I’ll talk about the cover design process I went through for Tracking A Shadow, including a couple of covers that didn’t make the final cut. Thanks again for reading this newsletter and my books. Be sure to spread the word with your reading friends. Have a joyous rest of your week and a prosperous 2019!!

R Weir

 

 

 

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