Friday, 20 February 2015

Book Covers for Series - What Works?

When writing a trilogy or series, it's vitally important readers recognise the books are linked. If a reader enjoyed the first book, you want them to notice the other books or when subsequent books are published. This not only helps sales, but also benefits the reader.

There are many different ways to let readers know books are linked - social media, newsletters, blog tours, and book blasts are just a few methods you can use. But there's also an incredibly simple and easy way for your readers to recognise books belong in the same story world - matching book covers. When done right, book covers are a powerful tool for writers.

What do I mean by done right? When the covers from a trilogy or series are instantly recognisable, but are also different. Alex J. Cavanaugh's CassaStar trilogy is a great example.


You can tell from the images used, the colour scheme, and the font, these are books that belong together. At the same time, each is unique and interesting in its own right.

Susan Kaye Quinn's Debt Collector series covers work equally as well.


I've seen covers that belong to a series that are so alike, I can barely tell them apart. The only real difference being the title. I find them boring, and as much as I'd like to say book covers are not one of the reasons I choose to read a book, that boredom puts me off looking any further. Of course, should I read the first book in a series and love it, subsequent book covers won't put me off reading more. But if you want to grab my attention in the first place, book covers are one way to do it.

Talking of matching book covers, friend and fellow Untethered Realms member Angela Brown has new covers for her Neo Chronicles series.

I did love the old covers (shown below), but there was nothing to tie the two books together.


Her new covers do. I can tell straightaway these are part of the same series, but also different books. They're also striking in their own right.


What do you think? Do book covers really matter that much? Does having covers that are linked in some way make it easier for readers to discover more of your books? How alike should they be? As always, I'd love to know your thoughts.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Julie Flander's Polar Day

Today I'm featuring friend and fellow Untethered Realms member, Julie Flanders. She recently published the sequel to her stunning Polar Night, Polar Day. If you're reading this today (Friday 13th), you've still got time to get the prequel The Turnagain Arm for free on Kindle! Read on for details.

Over to Julie.



Book Blurb 

The midnight sun bakes Fairbanks, Alaska as residents gather for the annual summer solstice baseball game. Amidst the revelry and raucous shouts of “Play ball,” a spark alights and a jogger bursts into flames. Detective Danny Fitzpatrick, still reeling from his near death at the hands of vampire Aleksei Nechayev, watches in horror as the man burns alive. 

Someone is burning Fairbanks and its residents and leaving nothing but smoldering embers behind. As the city sweats under a record-breaking heatwave and unexplained fires claim more victims, Danny and his colleagues struggle to find an arsonist who can conjure fire out of thin air. 

To Danny’s horror, the only one who may be able to help him stop the arsonist is his nemesis Nechayev. Will the vampire help in the hunt for a witch? 

Excerpt 

Danny flipped through the channels, stopping when he came to a Seattle Mariners game that had gone in to extra innings. They were playing the White Sox in Chicago and Danny felt a slight tug at his heartstrings as the familiar sight of Cellular Field filled the flat screen television. The time difference made it difficult for him to catch Sox games live. It was a welcome surprise to find one that was lasting so long into the Chicago night that he could watch it live as it happened.

It was dark in Chicago, but of course the sun was still high in the sky here in this strange frontier he had chosen as his new home. He squinted from the sun beaming through the window and cursed himself for not shutting the blinds before he sat back down. Next time he got up for a beer he would need to do that.

Danny rested his hand on his dog's head as he finished one beer and started another, the bottles now lining up on the end table beside him. His eyes grew bleary as Sox's gentle snoring mingled with the sounds of the faraway baseball game. When yet another inning ended and the game went to a commercial, Danny closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of the couch.

The noise of the television grew fainter as he slipped into sleep and his mind flashed images of fangs and bloodless bodies in an endless landscape of snow. As Danny drifted farther into unconsciousness, the snow was overtaken by fire. 

Buy on Amazon Kindle / Amazon / AmazonUKBarnes & Noble


Get The Turnagain Arm on Kindle for FREE here or for UK readers here (Ends Friday 13th).


Author Bio 

Julie Flanders is a librarian by day and a writer all the rest of the time. She is also a television show addict with a particular fondness for Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and a slightly obsessive sports fan who cheers for the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Reds. Julie is an animal lover and animal rescue advocate who shares her home with her rescued dog and cat. She has written about the joys of pets for outlets such as Cat Fancy, Thrive in Life, and Best Friends Animal Society. Visit Julie at julieflanders.net. 

Links: Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Thanks for dropping by, Julie. I shall be reading The Turnagain Arm tonight!