Here’s your chance to read the book that launched the Brethren Series — nine volumes so far, and still going strong! — and that Romantic Times Book Reviews called “new twist on the vampire legend, filled with cultural differences and the challenges facing a deaf-mute hero” and “a fascinating and unique romance.”
Why haven’t I ever looked into pre-made covers before now? In the past, I’ve hired some very talented graphic artists to create covers for some of my titles. I’ve also designed and created my own, using my serviceable, albeit limited, knowledge of Photoshop. In both cases, I’ve also had to rely on my own ideas for what would constitute a good cover, and provided input on subject matter and layout suggestions.
To be honest, that ain’t my forte. If I had any eye for graphic art, I’d be a graphic artist, and while I’ve done some design work in the past (and have definitely seen so-called “professionals” whose work is worse than mine), I don’t consider that to be where my true talent even remotely lies.
When I get my hair cut, I like my stylist to be imaginative, to look at my face shape, to listen to my preferred regimen for hair care and style, and then use their creativity to come up with what they feel would work best for me. I used to live by the motto that if I came out of a salon looking pretty much like I did walking in, the stylist didn’t do his or her job right.
I have come to realize I expect the same level of creative liberalism from my cover artists. I like dinkering with Photoshop, but after spending much of this week exploring the immense and varied offerings of premade covers out there, I realized I don’t know enough to even begin to compare with some of them. I also realized that, for all of the input I might offer in terms of commissioned layout, characters, background, etc., I know jack shit about these things, and ought to trust them to the professionals in whom I am investing my money.
So I’m shopping for premade cover artwork to replace the lackluster cover I doctored on my own for “Darkness Falls,” book 10 in the Brethren Series. Even better, I may have stumbled across a series of three premade covers that would be perfect for a new series — a series I got the idea for, having seen those covers.
I know premades aren’t for everyone, but trust me — there are some immensely talented artists out there with keen eyes and great senses of style and art direction. If you’ve got a book you’re indie publishing, I highly recommend checking this option out first before commissioning a specific work you have in mind. They’re the professionals. Trust them. And best of all, most are surprisingly affordable.
I had a moment of depression tonight to realize my book, “Dark Thirst” is out of print. I had a reader contact me through Goodreads, asking if it was available in ebook. I found this kind of odd, since it hasn’t been available in paperback for some time, outside of used copies, but has sold pretty well in both Kindle and Nook formats since its release. But when I went to both Amazon and BN.com, I realized to my dismay that my reader was right — it’s no longer available.
Which kinda sucks, considering it launches my entire Brethren series, and is considered by a lot of fans to be the best book of the bunch. (I have a harder time choosing the best from among them — too much like choosing your favorite from among your kids.)
So I have an email asking “Hey, uh…what’s up?” out to my former editor at Kensington, the publishing company who’d released both “Dark Thirst,” and its sequel, “Dark Hunger.” We’ll see what, if anything, I hear in reply. I suspect the book is out of print — the literary equivalent of purgatory, or limbo. If so, I’m going to try to get my rights back to it and go from there.
Ironically, this discovery comes on the heels of me deciding to draw the Brethren series to a conclusion with my current work in progress, the tenth installment, “Darkness Falls.” I’ve enjoyed the ride with Brandon, Lina, and the gang over the years, and love the connection I’ve found with so many readers who have invested so much time, energy, and emotion into the Brethren world. But before I end the series, I want to make sure it’s available to those who want to read it — in its entirety, and that includes “Dark Thirst.” One way or the other, it will be available to readers again in the immediate future.
I’ll keep you posted.
After corresponding with my former editor at Kensington, I have been assured that “Dark Thirst” will be available for sale in ebook formats very soon. Not sure why it was pulled in the first place, but I suspect it’s because it’s been eight years since it’s initial release. That’s a long shelf life, even for an ebook.
I’ll post an update once “Dark Thirst” is available again, and plan to have a hella huge Grand Re-Launching Party once it does! Stay tuned!