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.
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!
Series: Angelo's Hearth
Come to “Angelo’s Hearth Tuscan Ristorante.” The food is glorious, the women stunning (at times literally), and love is always found in the heart of Seattle’s Pike Place Market. (The series is also now complete!)
Two identical gifts, a calendar of Pacific Northwest lighthouses, launches two people on journeys that will set the course of their lives and their hearts...if only they could stand each other. More info →
True love should be natural, easy, passionate. It conquers lawyers and chefs alike. But when both of their pasts threaten to swamp them, it is their hearts that serve up the answer in this Seattle romance. More info →
Maria Amelia Avico Parrano. Beloved by: 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. It is all she ever needed, until she meets a man who offers so much more this Christmas season. (also in audio) 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.
Emily Beale and Mark Henderson may have retired from the military, but they haven’t retired from trouble. They lead a team of the best heli-aviation wildland firefighters in the business. But sometimes what you find in the woods can be far more sinister than expected. Recurring “Night Stalkers” characters and a whole new cast of men and women who are the very best; they can only hope they’re good enough.
“The action and romance in this book will keep you glued to the pages.” –Fresh Fiction, Pure Heat
Top 10 Romance of Spring 2014 –Publishers Weekly, Pure Heat starred review
“Will blow the readers’ minds and leave them awestruck.” Romantic Times, Pure Heat 4-1/2 stars, TOP PICK
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 →
The Firehawks of Mount Hood Aviation are back and this time they're fighting the wildfires in California, Australia, and a little help for the U.N. in Indonesia. The heat outside the helicopters is almost as hot as the romance inside. More info →
Patsy fights wildfires as the new foreman of a hotshot crew, the last thing she wants is the distraction of falling in love. Sam bought a bakery in the small resort town of Leavenworth to get away from his past, including women. But they never counted on each other. More info →
A Firehawks / Larch Creek romance. Smokejumpers, crashed helicopters, and a quirky Alaskan town where trucks are identified by their bumper stickers and people fall in love when they least expect it. More info →
A Firehawks Smokejumper romance. Smokejumpers, crashed helicopters, and a quirky Alaskan town where trucks are identified by their bumper stickers and people fall in love when they least expect it. More info →