It must be spring! Yep, it’s time to redo my covers… ONCE AGAIN! Gack!
What happened? Well, for my popular “Angelo’s Hearth” series I kept hearing little comments like:
- “I love these books, but the covers… Ewww!!” -a major reviewer and fan
- “You know, if Matt would just redo these covers, these books might actually sell.” -a skilled cover designer
- “Oh my gosh, you’ve really got to fix these.” -a publisher friend
Not being the sharpest tack in the office supplies drawer, I still got the message…eventually. Now mind you this is my second-best selling series after my “Night Stalkers” series. Everyone agreed that the covers were well branded and the quality of the design was good. This series has also been completed, the story arc is complete (at least I think so). Going back to a finished series…do I really want to do that?
What the heck was the problem anyway?! Some of my buddies at WMG Publishing spent an hour with me and about halfway through I had to sit down, hard, because my knees had just gone out. Here are a few of the comments:
- Your name is hard to read.
- There’s no contrast between the title and your name.
- In the last six months, because of the recent huge successes in erotica, contemporary romances are moving away from large couples in the foreground and are now shifting to smaller couples in the background.
- They’re looking at me out of the page and that’s totally freaking me out!
- They’re out of proportion with their background.
- They’re blue.
That last comment was the real shocker, and the one that made me sit down abruptly. It was a real “Duh!” moment. I had gone to a lot of trouble to brand to that blue because these are set in Seattle where there are a thousand shades of blue between lakes, ocean, and sky and they’re always shifting. HOWEVER, blue is not a warm, inviting, romantic! color. These are charming, contemporary romances about a group of friends finding love and success in Seattle. And I’ve been pushing away readers with my cool blues rather than inviting them in with warmer and softer colors. SIGH!
The good news is, as an indie publisher working in the modern world, I have control of these covers and can rebrand them.
So, here’s the cover reveal of the whole M.L. Buchman “Angelo’s Hearth” series in order (old vs. new) that is already moving into all of the retailers and distributors. Let me know what you think!
The conclusion to the "Angelo's Hearth" series. Melanie finally get her own Happy Ever After in the heart of Seattle's Pike Place Market. (release April 1, 2014). More info →
Book #4 of the "Angelo's Hearth" series. Yes, we finally get Perrin's story, and it was a blast to write! More info →
Maria Amelia Avico Parrano is beloved by all: her son, his restaurant staff, and the people drawn to her love of life and Italian pastries in the heart of Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Yet after years of warming the hearts of others, Maria wants to cook up a little heat for herself. Which is all she's looking for until she meets a man who offers so much more this Christmas season. (also in audio) More info →
Jo Thompson is the hottest lawyer in Seattle, her victories are national news and her past is a closed book. The last thing she wants is small-time restaurateur Angelo Parrano whose past is a part of every breath he takes. But when both of their pasts threaten to swamp them, it is their hearts that serve up the answer. More info →
Cassidy Knowles, a leading food-and-wine critic isn’t sure what she wants. But she knows what she doesn’t want, and that’s Russell Davis. The problem? They were each given a calendar of a dozen lighthouses to visit on the first of each month. Neither of their hearts can plot a course that steers clear of the other. More info →
While I was at it, I also upgraded my recent release of Wildfire at Dawn to better match the series look set by my traditional publisher with Pure Heat.
Mount Hood Aviation's lead wildfire smokejumper (from Pure Heat
) takes to the skies to battle the flames. But his heart is heated by a woman with both feet on the ground. More info →
Firehawk Book #1!
A new spin-off series from the immensely successful "Night Stalkers" series. Mark and Emily are off to form a new team of heli-aviation wildland firefighters. The battle is on the ground and in the air! More info →