Happy New Year Bloglandia!
Well, nothing like leaving things to the eleventh hour, but I managed to complete one final goal I’d set for myself for 2020 just in the nick of time.
And that goal was…to slap new covers on all my Osteria-set books. I had a bit of luck and replaced Domna’s cover back in September (if you missed that, you can see the big reveal at this post). I absolutely loved the new look and the image was the perfect fit for the series.
Hating the Man Chest
Then there were The Osteria Chronicles books. Now, if you’ve stuck with me for a while, you’ll remember I just gave these books a makeover a couple years ago to give the series a cohesive look.
But let me be honest here…I F%$KING hated those covers. I thought the ones for The Trials of Hercules (book one) and The Return of Odysseus (book six) were okay, but the rest were utterly cringe-worthy with their man chestiness.
He’s okay, but….
Cringe….and cringe some more….
Basically, I’ve been wanting new covers for the series for quite a while (like since the minute I launched those covers!).
The trouble was, I could not find the right look for the books, or at least not the right image. Or rather “images”, because even if I found a great photo or graphic for book one…there were still five more books that needed a very similar look to keep the series tightly branded.
Plenty of Designs…No Winners
What I wanted was something like Madeline Miller’s novel Circe, since I’m sure anyone who loves that book or her other book, The Song of Achilles, will enjoy The Osteria Chronicles.
Simple right? Get something Greek vase-y and work with it. Not so easy. Again, Ms. Miller only needed one image. I needed six and I just could not find them.
I tried something like this, but it struck me as too…I don’t know, too something, that’s for sure.
Then, there were these. Clean lines, a hint of Greek-ness to them. But still, they didn’t grab me.
It was already December. That new-cover goal was slipping away like a hippo on a sidewalk made of Jell-o.
Then, in mid-December, I decided I wasn’t already busy enough writing three novels at once, so I wandered over to the stock photo site 123RF. I’ve used them before. Their prices are affordable, their licensing agreements are favorable, and even better, they were having a sale on image packages!
So, I searched for Greek mythology (Greek hero wasn’t giving me much unless I wanted to replace the man chests with more man chests…or lady chests…sigh). I really wasn’t expecting much except a guilt trip for wasting my precious writing time.
Procrastination Pays Off!
Holy Hercules, Batman! There they were. Well, sort of. Here’s an example of what I found from the artist Rudall30…
At first I thought the images might be a bit too cartoon-y, but then I started playing with them, adjusting the color tone, working with placement and cropping, and adding some vignette at the edges to give it a darker look.
Move the titles around, change the font, add a little something something to the lettering. Not bad. Not bad at all.
And this artist had about twenty different images that I could work with. I love this person!!! My goals would indeed be met…with a week to spare!
Here’s the end results…
(If you want to see those larger, just head to The Osteria Chronicles’ page)
Box Set Bonus!!
Even better….there were enough choices and I had enough credits to get images for the box sets. Previously, I was just reworking the covers from Books One and Six, but now each and every “product” of the series would have its own clothes.
There was a big decision process in deciding how I wanted these to look and why i selected the images I did for the boxes versus the individual books, but I won’t bore you with the mad workings of my mind.
This was perfect timing because the second box set comes out on 12 January 2021. New Year. New box set. New look! Hoorah!!
And another hoorah…to give the series’s new look and new box set a little boost, I’ve priced the first box set (that’s Books 1 – 3) to 99c for the month of January. The normal retail price is $5.99 (USD), so that 99c is a phenomenal deal!!
The downside to all this goal achieving, was having to re-format all my ebook files then reload those files onto Amazon, Kobo, Draft2Digital, Smashwords, Google Play, BookFunnel, and my Payhip Bookstore.
This was not fun, but it did feel like a huge win with each book I crossed off the list.
I also still need to update the paperback covers…another nightmare in itself and one that can wait until things are a little less crazy busy.
The Response to the Covers
The response to the new covers has been unexpectedly phenomenal!
Three days after loading the new cover for The Trials of Hercules, the book (which is free on most retailers) had more downloads than in the entire two weeks prior to the change. Not too shabby, eh?
My goal for 2021 is to give my keywords and blurbs for my Osteria books a little polish…hopefully I meet those goals with more than a few days to spare!!
What do you think of the new look? Better? Worse? Will you miss the man chestiness? I’d love to know what you think, so drop a comment in the box below.