Anniversaries, Milestones, and The Bloodtruth Series

Two posts in one week- this is pretty amazing stuff for me! Like I say in the vlog, I SUCK at blogging, but I’m going to try to be better about chatting with you guys here. I need to, because Facebook is making it harder and harder for me to share news with you there and I’ve become way to reliant on it.

Breathe, blog, breathe!!

A few links to things I mention in the video:

Milestone necklace– a creative gift idea for someone special!

Links to the brand spankin’ new Bloodtruth paperbacks:

Links to the Shadows paperbacks (just in case you’ve never seen them before):

Finally, if you want the latest and greatest on the 4th Bloodtruth book, and don’t have time to watch the whole video (I got going and clearly had a lot to say!) just fast forward to the 4 minute mark. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you to everyone who has purchased one of my books and followed my characters. You all are amazing!

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On Covers and Adjusting When It’s Just Not Working

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You might not know this, but I agonize over my book covers. When you have one shot to entice someone to grab your book off the virtual shelf, first impressions are everything. I am the first one to admit that I’ve gotten it wrong. Like, a lot. If your book isn’t immediately screaming your genre and what to expect to your potential readers, it’s the first thing you HAVE to change. If you are getting it wrong, you’re missing the boat.

Do not wait. Do not pass go. Change it as soon as you are able.

Because I know that lots of people love the old cover/new cover comparisons. I thought I’d go back over the last two years of my self-publishing journey and share a few of mine with you. As evidenced below, you’ll see that I’ve never backed away from changing a cover if it just wasn’t working (at least eventually).

I’d also like to preface this by saying that I’ve enjoyed working with every cover designer I’ve ever had and changing the cover in no way reflects on their work.

Believe me- it’s all me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Edge of Shadows

Have you been hanging around with me since the beginning? If so, you might remember the original cover to my very first book, Edge of Shadows. To me, it had an old-timey wallpaper kind of feel to it that represented something you could see in the old, haunted Bradford mansion. Although I did have early success with it, once I changed it over to the current cover when I released the second book in the series, Shadows Deep, I noticed an immediate uptick in sales. It definitely says “ghost story” now with that creepy face over the stairs, don’t you think?

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The Soul Ripper (aka The Soul Garden)

Struggle, struggle, struggle. Toil and trouble. I have had nothing but heartburn branding the Twisted Souls series since the beginning. It is such an unusual story. Yes, it has zombies in it, but that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about good triumphing over evil and about finding out that when destiny calls, you have to answer whether you want to or not. The end was especially bittersweet for that reason.

But it all began at the base of the Fountain of Souls inside The Soul Garden. I thought the original cover was so cool and symbolic, but ultimately it really didn’t convey “sci-fi dystopian”. I liked the second cover with the bony hand and the grave, but it was a pre-made that was supposed to be nothing more than a placeholder for a few months. I just changed it again two months ago when I changed the title- and I can say with almost certainty that this will not be the last cover. Now that the series is complete, I think I can wrap my head around branding it in its forever covers.

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(Original)

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(2nd cover)

The Soul Ripper v1 Nook

 

 

 

 

 

(Current cover)

 

 

 

Heiress of Lies

It’s funny how the books that you expect to be the easiest to design end up being so difficult. I mean, YA paranormal is pretty set in what readers expect to see on the front cover. The pretty girl in the pretty dress with some kind of spooky background is something you can’t get away from. I started out in that vein, so it seems counterintuitive that Heiress of Lies has had the most covers changes of any of my books- and yet is has.

Well, fourth times the charm. I felt so good ย and certain that I had finally hit on this series “forever covers” that I even moved forward with converting this series into paperback.

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(Original cover)

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(2nd cover)

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(3rd cover)

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FINAL!!

So what do you think about all of my cover swaps? How much does the cover affect your decision to pick up a book? Sound off in the comments below!

(Header Photo credit Zach Klein)

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Time To Do It Again!

2012. Wow.

I really don’t have much more to say about that. In case you were wondering where I thought I’d be at this time last year, you can check out my 2012 resolution post. Yea- there were some changes made in timing and titles, but ultimately I said that I would publish six books last year.

And I did.

That made me think that I need to up my game in 2013. So I sat down last week and put together my production schedule for the year. My knees are still shaking just a little bit. To say that it is ambitious may be an understatement. But I’m a big believer in the saying “Go Big or Go Home.” I set a BHG (Big Hairy Goal) for 2013, and I think I’m going to have a ball going after it.

I am hoping that you will join me for the ride as well. That will multiple the fun factor for me by about a thousand!

So I know you are about ready for me to stop babbling now and just tell you what’s going on and when you are going to hear next from Angeline and Connor, Cameron, Samuel, and Malcolm, and maybe even Violet and Jeremiah. Well, here it is (please note that I say this is tentative and subject to change!):

Cege’s *TENTATIVE* 2013 Production Schedule

January 2013: The Shadows Trilogy omnibus

February 2013: Soul Cycle (Twisted Souls #3)

March 2013: Trials of Truth (Bloodtruth #3)

May 2013: Step To My Bones

August 2013: Twisted Souls series #4

September 2013: Bloodtruth series #4

November 2013: Immortal End

I am planning to release a paranormal thriller serial starting in April, and those episodes will be interspersed with my novel releases. Each of those will be 10K-20K words each, so that’s a lot of writing for those as well.

I’m also launching a new pen name that will serve up stories in the contemporary romance genre. It’s a completely new endeavor for me, and one I’m really excited about. There were be several short story/novel releases under that name as well.

Whew- I’m exhausted already. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย And nervous. But really psyched about what I’ve got spinning for this year. By the way, I can’t stress enough that I love to hear from readers of my series, and if there is a big push from fans, I may consider moving some things up to accommodate.

In the meantime, you’ll find me in my favorite writing chair.

Happy New Year!!

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Cover Reveal: Veiled Shadows (Shadows #3)

I can’t keep this one under my hat any longer. Yep- this is the cover for the final book in the Shadows series: Veiled Shadows (Shadows #3). It was designed by the very talented Dafeenah over at Indie Designz.

I suppose you are looking for a little tidbit or two on what’s to come in this installment? I’m happy to oblige.

**SPOILERS AHOY**

Well, Ellie’s finally going to find out everything she wanted to know about her parents and their tie to the Afterlife. The thing about knowing the full story? Sometimes you realize that you didn’t really want to know.

David’s on his own journey of self-discovery, but he hasn’t given up on a future with Ellie. He’s going to have help from some unexpected places, and that’s a good thing- he needs all the help he can get.

And we haven’t see the last of Mikel or Lillian. Oh, and if you thought they were bad, then trust me, you haven’t seen anything yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hopefully those little morsels give you something to look forward to. My opinion? I think this will be the best book of the trilogy.

What do you think of the new cover?

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