A Second Chance at a Cover

Jordan Dane
@JordanDane

I’ve been working diligently on getting my copyrights back from HarperCollins, HarlequinTeen, and Amazon Publishing (Kindle Worlds).

The Amazon Kindle Worlds novellas were simple. Amazon had discontinued their Kindle Worlds line and the stories reverted back to the authors in July. It left me with a number of stories where I had to tweak the covers and change the copyrights pages. Some of the host authors like Susan Stoker and Elle James started their own publishing companies and that made it easy to contract with them. Authors make great and fair partners. They are even making print formats for what were novellas only available in digital. As new publishers, they took on the traditional publishers’ roles and created the cover backs needed for print. That made everything smooth and easy for me to transition. I only had to indie pub two novellas.

When I got my YA book rights back from Harlequin Teen, that meant I had to do more. I had to create different covers and make any changes to the text and copyright page on the formatting. I’m in the middle of doing the book pages through my formatter – Kate at Wizards in Publishing. It was really fun to dive into my YAs and reread the books, but creating the covers from scratch (using only my opinion) really rocked. I got to tell the story through the art and the creative mind of my cover designer – Fiona Jayde Media.

This was my original cover from Harlequin Teen.

Here is the cover I created through Fiona Jayde Media for In the Arms of Stone Angels and will be issuing soon. These new covers make me want to read these books all over again. On the back cover, there is a dark cemetery with crosses on the headstones. That’s the shadow you see on her face.

Here is my 2nd YA original cover with Harlequin Teen – On a Dark Wing. (This cover always reminded me of the Village People. I didn’t think the guy looked like a teen, but the publisher liked it.)

Here is the recreated cover that I will be reissuing soon. On the back cover is a muted monochromatic image of Mount Denali in Alaska, where some of the story takes place.

I know that my house had been influenced by covers coming out at that time. These books were released in 2009-2010, but there is a story in the revised covers that’s told on the cover through the art that makes me want to buy the books again.

I’ve got a 2-book YA series called The Hunted that my designer is working on – Indigo Awakening and Crystal Fire. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for those. Our process has been for me to share important images I’d like her to capture on the cover. I share anything that would make a compelling story on the cover and of course, share what will be in print on the cover and back copy. I often look through iStock images and share anything that I like (since I can be a little picky…shhh).

It’s been fun reinventing covers with my designer. For HarperCollins, I will have SEVEN novels to recreate and reissue my No One series and my Sweet Justice series. This can get costly, but it’s a labor of love to have control back.

For Discussion:

1.) How many of you have reissued your novels after you had copyrights reverted? Can you share your experiences? (This is my first time getting my rights back.)

2.) What are some good ways to kick start an older novel and promote it?

3.) Any funny cover design stories you want to share?

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About Jordan Dane

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She is the author of young-adult novels written for Harlequin Teen, the Sweet Justice thriller series for HarperCollins., and the Ryker Townsend FBI psychic profiler series, Mercer's War vigilante novellas, and the upcoming Trinity LeDoux bounty hunter novels set in New Orleans. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two lucky rescue dogs. To keep up with new releases & exclusive giveaways, click HERE

24 thoughts on “A Second Chance at a Cover

  1. An UNpublished author here, so I can’t answer the questions you posed, but I had to pop in and say I like your new covers. The On a Dark Wing cover in particular is SO COOL!

    • Covers are like Christmas presents. It never gets old to see a new one. It’s especially fun to have a say in the design, yet keep your mind open to the brilliance of the designer. The collaboration and trust is a great process.

      The new cover for On A Dark Wing tells the story better. The exploding ravens came from Fiona, my designer. It’s what I was saying about keeping an open mind to a creative designer. Thanks, Priscilla.

  2. Jordan, I’m always looking for new writer resources. Just so you know your live link to Wizards in Publishing led to a black hole. The others were fine. Also, do Stoker and James publicize their publishing companies?

    • Thanks for the heads up on Wizards, Harvey. I’ll fix it.

      I didn’t have a good clear to their websites. Susan Stoker’s house is called Aces Press and Elle James’s house is called Twisted Page Press.

      As far as I know, these authors aren’t soliciting for generic fiction submissions. Their companies are for the intent of promoting their own series. They may be open to submissions if authors accept their concept of merging worlds like we all did with Amazon Kindle Worlds.

      You could contact Susan & Elle through their websites to see if they’re open to submissions from authors they may not be familiar with. They may expect you to fully complete a novella or novel length story that merges their defined worlds into your original plot, for their approval. I haven’t researched how they’re working submissions to authors outside the people who have already written for them. Thanks, Harvey.

  3. I love the new covers too, more intriguing than the first. Playing with new covers is a lot of fun, and I noticed even the big names update the covers on their backlists frequently. I assume that is to draw in new readers. I bet works well too.

    Thanks for sharing yours! It’s always fun to see good designs!

    • I hadn’t thought about creating new covers for books that have been pubbed for awhile, but I imagine it would be a good way to put a new face forward. Thanks, Cecilia.

  4. I am going through this right now with the planned re-released of NATHAN’S RUN in premium mass market, scheduled for release from Kensington in January of 2020. Determining what the cover should look like has consumed my morning. I don’t have any stories to share yet, but when I do, I will.

    • You have some outstanding covers, John. I bet you get a greater say in how your reissues will look through Kensington. You should do a post on the process. I’d love to see how things turn out. Thanks.

  5. We went through the same process when we got some of our rights back a couple years back. We packaged four of our Louis Kincaid books to have the same “look” and they were okay. But with a new Louis coming out soon, we decided to go back and give them all a new look. The new ones, like your own, are much for graphically dynamic and dark, with one compelling graphic element that symbolically sums up the story. It was exciting to do!

    Love the new covers! Your old ones were pretty darn good but these look much more compelling imho.

    • At the time, I wanted a teen on the covers but a publisher has several teams (including the sales team) looking at prospective covers & they also would get advance feedback from their top book chains mgmt. They also compare their design to leading titles at the time. With all the cooks in the design kitchen, I didn’t have much of a voice and it’s their money.

      But a perk of getting your rights back is to recreate a cover. I think it’s great to have your sister’s view point. Team work. Thanks, Kris.

  6. Congratulations, Jordan. My agent, Joshua Bilmes at JABberwocky, got the rights back for my Dead-End Job, Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper and Francesca Vierling mysteries and we’re in the process of getting new covers. I don’t have your artistic talent, so we’re using an artist.

    • An artist DID do these, Elaine. I gave feedback because I’m picky on images involving my characters & the implied story on the cover, but I certainly didn’t do these myself. I don’t have the skill or the artistic eye that Fiona Jayde Media does.

      The other cool things Fiona does is to supply social media headers, audio covers & covers created for each retailer system. She has other promo services that I’ve used on other books. She’s amazing.

      Good luck on your back list.

  7. I absolutely love love love the new On a Dark Wing cover. That’s just fabulous. But…. I don’t have the same warm and fuzzy feelings for the Stone Angels cover. The model’s face lacks definition under the chin and at the cheekbones. This makes her face look loooong. The parted lips don’t help, either. (Just to make this clear: I’m sure she’s lovely, but this is not the best photo of her possible.) It seriously reminds me of one of the Easter Island Moai. I know the book is entitled Stone Angels, but I don’t think the Moai are the stone angels you are referring to. I like the idea of this cover, but would suggest reworking the model’s picture, either through photo processing or using a different phot.

  8. While it certainly helps that you can write, people do judge a book by its cover. I’m sure the mesmerizing new artwork is going to generate sales. Love it!

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