Monday, June 13, 2011

A New Cover and a New Direction


Well, hello there my wonderful friends. I've been getting some questions, specifically on Facebook, about the direction I am going to be taking in the future, and now that my new book cover is showing up, It's probably well past time to clue everybody in.

To begin, I should probably back up a bit. I'm not sure how many people know at this point, but despite great effort and desire to make it successful, my publisher has gone out of business. I hold no bitter feelings. Some disappointment--well, a lot of disappointment--but I feel that they did all they could and it is time for me to move on.

I've done a lot of thinking and praying over the past few months, trying to decide what to do. I know how challenging it is to find a publisher for a series that has already started, but I didn't want this one to sit on a shelf for ten years while I try to build up a reputation with my other work so I could reprint and finish out The Woldchild Saga. So many of you have asked repeatedly when the next book is coming out, and I've hated to tell you that I didn't know.

So, I've taken things into my own hands. As of today, I printed The Sapphire Flute as an e-book at Smashwords.com and you will eventually be able to find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well as other places, all downloadable for only $1.99. You may be blinking your eyes right now in astonishment that the cost of the book is 1/10th of its hardback price, but you saw right. It is $1.99.

When I began writing, I did it for the sheer joy of it and only wanted to share my stories with others. Publishing this way allows me to do that. You can have the book, cover and all, for less than it would cost you to make a quick drive-thru for lunch. About 1/3 of the cost. All I want to do is share this story with others and let them find some joy in it as I have.

Now, I know some of you may feel you can't download an e-book because you don't have a nook or a kindle or other e-book reader. But guess what? You don't need one. My brother reads books on his phone all the time, and if that is too small a screen for you, you can read on your computer. Amazon has a Kindle version for PC, and I know there are many others types out there.

If you don't have an e-book reader yet, may I just put in a word about them? They are amazing. My eyes tire easily and I have a hard time reading from a computer screen for long periods of time, but reading from my kindle is just like reading a newspaper because of the new technology called electronic ink. It literally looks like it is printed on the screen, and then you push a button and voila! The next page is there. I love my kindle more than almost anything in my house--aside from people, of course--though there are days with my kids I wonder . . .

Just kidding! Wow, I've gone way off from where I meant to go with this.

Going back now. In leaving my publisher, I received my rights back, but they, understandably, kept the rights to things like the artwork, cover art, typesetting, etcetera, so I've had to redo that myself or have it done. Now, since I am NOT an artist, no matter how much I might wish to be, I hired a friend of mine who is also a writer by the name of Deirdre Eden Coppel to do my cover art. She did a fantastic job, well beyond my expectations.

Here, let me show you. The original cover, in case you need reminding, was this:

Now, I love this cover. I really do. It is a bit juvenile looking for the story inside, but it is stunning to look at. I have a poster of it on my wall, and with it being the first book I ever published, it will always have a place in my heart. It's bright. It's colorful. I love the way the flute is twined with the title. I love the wolf. And though you can't see it, I love the dark tree line on the back.

But obviously I couldn't keep it, so Deirdre and I talked about what I wanted and what she envisioned, and we came up with something that I think we both love. I know that the first time I saw the finished draft I stopped breathing, I was in such awe, and I literally had tears in my eyes. It is beautiful and exactly what I wanted.

And finally I have a cover that represents my book. It is a true reflection of what is inside. Want to see it? Well here you go!





So, it's been a journey--sometimes hard, and other times wonderful. I plan to publish the entire series as e-books and also as audio books, all for download. I'll be doing the reading myself as I have a small studio I built here in my office. That will be coming soon. And if there are enough people asking, I may even have some actual books printed, though I'm not sure when at the moment.

I'm sure many of you are still asking, "Karen, when can we expect the NEXT book? I've already read this one!" Well, let me tell you. Deirdre has agreed to do the covers for the entire series for me, so as soon as I have a cover for The Armor of Light, I will make it available through Smashwords, also at a really good price, then will have the audiobook follow shortly. I'll finish the series as quickly as I can. I just have one other book to write first.

Anyway, that is what has been going on. I'll keep you updated on when things change or I have a new version or book or audiobook available for upload. For now, if you want The Sapphire Flute you can get it HERE. And let me know what you think. I always love to hear back from my readers.




34 comments:

RaShelle said...

Karen - I love the new cover! It's beautiful. =D

Melissa said...

The new cover is amazing! Can't wait to download the e-book to my Nook :-) And you know I am looking forward to The Armor of Light! Sorry to hear about your publisher, but I am so glad that you are moving forward with the series! Best of luck and well wishes to you for continued success!

Terri Ferran said...

Karen--changes are tough, but you've made the best of them. The new cover is fabulous!

Donna K. Weaver said...

They've shipped my copy of The Blue Flute. =D Can't wait. Keep us up to date on your experiences with epublishing. I have a Nook.

Joyce DiPastena said...

Love the new cover, Karen! Deirdra does amazing work! I'm so sorry how things turned out with Valor, but it sounds like you're on a good track. I wish you much success with your series!

Annette Lyon said...

You've weathered these changes like a pro.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new cover!

Robin Weeks said...

So. Much. Better. The new cover is awesome!

So you say this whole series will be self-published on ebook? Will you go that route for all your future books or will you do the traditional route again later?

Angie said...

Love the new cover! I can't wait to download the next book. Best of luck, Karen! I hope you are very successful in your new venture. *hugs*

Valerie Ipson said...

Love the new cover way more! Congrats on your new direction.

ali said...

Congratulations! Good for you for taking control of your destiny and your dream. And the new cover? Stunning.

((hugs))

Kimberly said...

I'm so excited for you! For the good things on the horizon, for that AMAZING cover, and for the fact I can read the second book soon. I just started rereading the first because I missed your story!

Pendragon said...

Totally beautiful! Wow--tell you're friend she's an amazing artist. :) So pretty. Hugs!!

Betsy Love said...

I LOVE the new book cover. It's clean and shows off the story so much better. I would be more likely to pick up this book over the other one. Deirdre is amazing! She and I were in the same ANWA chapter for a long time. I keep telling her she needs to do my book covers for my fantasy series. She has such a knack for that kind of art. How exciting for you. Now, I'll have to buy a nook. I don't like reading for long periods of time on my computer.

Shelly said...

Karen, I love the new cover. I think it is sooo much better than the original. I wish you the best with your new direction. You are awesome! You had some difficult hurdles and you scaled them like an olympian.

Pass me some lemonade!

Lisa Mangum said...

Karen,

You are amazing. I am so proud of you and I'm so so so happy to see the new cover (which is PERFECT!) and to hear the news about your leap into e-publishing. I'll be doing the happy dance for you all week. :)

Lisa Mangum

Canda said...

It sounds like you've made some tough decisions, but it also sounds like you have some goals to move forward. Congratulations, it's an exciting change.

Julie Wright said...

I love the new cover! It is so perfect!

Sheila said...

Karen, the new cover is perfect!! I am so excited that you are taking this step forward. I can feel the excitement in your post. This makes m so happy for you!! ((HUGS))

Karen Dupaix said...

I love the new cover too! It's awesome!

Wendy Swore said...

My 12 year old daughter:
"It's finally coming out? Really? Yaaay! *happy dance* I can't wait! The first book was awesome, so I know this one will be too!

Susan G. Haws said...

I love the new cover!!!! Much more appealing to a wider audience. Impressive. Keep up the good work.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Love your new cover! Way to go with hanging in there through everything, Karen! :)

Roseanne's Spot said...

What a beautiful cover!! I'm excited to read your book on my Kindle :) Congrats on moving forward with your series!!

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm SO HAPPY for this news!! The new cover really is beautiful and clean! I'm beyond thrilled to know that book two (and the rest) are coming out! Yay! This story deserves it. You deserve it. Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

Marny said...

I think the new cover is so much better! It's beautiful. (I could never tell where the girls were looking or if their pupils had just disappeared; I suspect it was just a problem of a smaller, low-res picture and the real cover is just fine.) Keep at it and I know you'll find a publisher for another book. (Let me know if you ever decide to self-publish and need a typesetter.)

Jewel Allen said...

Great cover, Karen! Congrats on breaking into the exciting world of e-publishing!

Shari said...

I love your new blog look. There are just lots of new's everywhere for you!! Hurray for new's!

Mary said...

I'm happy for your success. I like this cover much better than the last one. I love that you are being so generous with the price of the e-book because I gave my copy away and would like to re-read this one before the next book comes out.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

So sorry to hear about your publisher. I wish you the best of success in where you're going!

Rachelle said...

Karen, you are incredible! I love the new cover--perfect for the story. I wish you lots of happiness in this new endeavor.

SEO Agency India said...

Awesome New Cover and Great Story in the post. amazing your idea i love it. fantastic sharing so thanks

The Damsel in Dis Dress said...

Great post. I needed that! And I like the new cover way better too.

Celeste Estes said...

I met you at Convention last year, and you gave me a signed copy of your book. I gave that copy as a gift to a teenage friend of mine out in Kansas, where we do not have an LDS bookstore. I want you to know how much she loved your book! She was so happy to read a fantasy book by another LDS author (she loves the Twilight series). Today I posted her review (that she has on goodreads.com) to our blog. I hope you read it and realize that you are a great writer and that you have admirers. Here is the link: http://ldsbookqueen.blogspot.com/2011/06/special-guest-review-of-sapphire-flute.html. Enjoy, and thanks! Please come and follow.

Karen Hoover said...

I don't know that I ever said thank you to all of you. Having your support has been so amazing and helpful. I'm so grateful to have friends like you guys! Hugs to you all!