Monday, September 03, 2007

The Down Home Zombie Blues gets a Facelift

Inevitably, just when I finish a bunch of promo shhhhtuff for my upcoming release, The Down Home Zombie Blues, I'm informed by my publisher that I have a brand new cover in a completely different style and color. (This is Welcome To My World of Being An Author, Part 10000...). All those bookmarks and business cards I ordered with the old red cover? Ads I bought in magazines--all showing the old red cover? Ka-ching. Ka-money down the drain. Okay, not completely. I was blessedly fortunate to catch two mag ads just before "closing date" and stayed up into the wee hours redoing them with the new cover (one of the advantages of being a graphic artist AND an author).

But all the promo material already OUT THERE... Ah well.

I really like the new cover. I liked the old cover but Bantam's trying to reposition me into the romance market and I think the new cover accomplishes that. (Do you? Post your thoughts.) At least, it's BLUE. I always wondered why I had a red cover for a book entitled THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES. (I know--red sells, but still).

Here's the new cover:

and the old one:

I've been told the new cover will be the template for all future Linnea Sinclair covers, so that's kinda of cool (I think--do you?).

I have redone the book video posted on my site but not the one on MySpace. I'm deep in deadline hell on SHADES OF DARK and there's only so much artwork I can get done in one fell swoop (working with large art files is very time-consuming and makes my computer utter strange grunting and groaning noises...)

So that's Monday's scoop, from where I lounge, poolside, at the Home For the Perpetually Confused.

Hugs all, ~Linnea


  1. I like the blue cover a lot better. It has more of a polished, professional look and it screams SFR. Sorry you lost money on the promotions.

  2. I like the blue cover. And it does seem to move you more toward the Sci-Fi ROMANCE portion. Can't wait until it's released!

  3. I prefer the old cover, though I would have liked it in blue. The shade of red on the original cover is harsh on the eyes, especially to those of us who are visually sensitive. It actually hurts to look at it. However, the new one is too similar to other Romance covers. A potential reader walks down the Romance aisle at the bookstore and she sees a lot of similar book covers. It overwhelms her senses. Unless she knows what she's after ("Oh, where is that new Linnea Sinclair book?"), she may become frustrated and walk away.

    Further, having read, reviewed, and discussed DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES, I believe it has excellent potential with the male readers and the female readers who read Science Fiction but not SFR. A cover that screams too much romance will turn this crowd off. I don't know if this cover does that. You'll have to ask those readers. I do think the old cover snagged them more effectively though.

    Not easy straddling a fence, is it?
    I, for one, certainly appreciate all your hard work in doing so!

  4. P.S. What a drag about losing promotion money! It doesn't grow on trees!

  5. Both covers were by the same artist. That's rather interesting, isn't it? I should have no doubt mentioned that in my blog.

    Yes, I know the blue cover may give some of my male fans the yips. But the hard cold (cash) facts are that more women buy books than men. Hence the jump for me to the romance shelves. I'm hoping both will still read me but yes, it's a crap shoot.

    And totally, promo money does not grow on trees. It's taken out of such things as my medical insurance and house update projects. No, I have no med insurance. No 401K or pension plans. No bennies. I'm "self employed." So when I have to toss several hundred (if not a thousand or more) dollars of promo, yep, it ouchies. Though yes, it's not lost. The promo is out there. I just hope there's no great reader disconnect as to...huh? It's BLUE?


  6. I find the new cover much more attractive. If I hadn't known your name and read previews of the novel, the old cover wouldn't have prompted me to pick it up and read the blurb. (Not only does it suggest action-adventure, a genre that leaves me cold, I tend to identify with the "painful to look at" reaction to the color.) The new version might have led me to examine the book more closely, even if I'd never heard of you or it before.

  7. While the old cover is very eye catching in red, I prefer the new blue cover which is much more eye appealing and definitely sensual.

  8. I agree with everyone else - the blue cover is much better. It is sensual and eyecatching and certain to attract you many new readers :D

  9. I think they should release this book (as they've done with other books) in BOTH covers simultaneously and see which sells more.

    It's true the red cover would appeal to a wider audience by EYE, but would that wider audience LIKE the book?

    Frankly, I love the book and will review it regardless of the cover.

    I don't think the promo money is lost -- it's the STORY that people will seek, and you can't put a cover into google. If you're looking for a book you put in the author or the title, not the cover image.

    Bookstores -- well that's another problem, but they alphabetize by author and put most books spine-out, so the cover image really isn't the first thing people go for unless you've got a promo-dump (one of those cardboard things that hold books cover-out).

    So I wouldn't worry about the cover and don't think the promo money is "lost" -- just think, you can REPROMO with the new cover and make everyone think the book got a new cover for a REPRINT because it was so popular.

    If life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

    Jacqueline Lichtenberg

  10. ps: you ARE doing a sequel aren't you? !!!!

  11. LOL, Jacqueline. No sequel planned at this time but I'm just starting to plan with Kristin (agent) as to what I'll be writing in 2008-2009. I'd LIKE to do a sequel--I'd like to do follow ups to all my books but Bantam has the final say. ;-) ~Linnea

  12. The thing I didn't like on the red cover, Margaret and all, was the guy. I knew the cover had to appeal to male and female readers, romance and SF readers and the guy just didn't do it for me, from the romance point of view. He looked tentative, frightened. That's not Theo and I don't think SF readers want tentative either. However, at ARCHON my coverflats and poster of the red cover got LOTS of positive comments but it might be because the red is so catching. Or it could be the babe with a gun syndrome. That's big in SF. ;-)

    The blue cover may offput some SF readers. I hope they know me well enough by now to stick with me. I feel the couple on the blue cover are more attractive and still accurate to the characters. ~Linnea

  13. Anonymous2:20 PM EDT

    Linnea Sinclair said...
    The thing I didn't like on the red cover, Margaret and all, was the guy. I knew the cover had to appeal to male and female readers, romance and SF readers and the guy just didn't do it for me, from the romance point of view. He looked tentative, frightened. That's not Theo and I don't think SF readers want tentative either.

    And __Young__! Ye Gods he looks like a 22-year-old! The blue one is much better from that standpoint. I also like the blue cover/Zombie __Blues__ match. The red, while attention-getting, hurt my eyes.


  14. I'm torn on this one. I do like the blue cover art but it puts emphasis on two elements that really aren't the focus of this book--her ship and love scenes.

    That said, although I think the red cover much better captures the spirit and tone of TDHZB, it wasn't as easy on the eyes, as others have noted.

    I love the idea of releasing both covers. I think they would appeal to different (and thus, larger) readership.

    But all in all, neither cover is bad. You do seem to get some great covers. (GoC is still my favorite.)

  15. Zounds!! Talk about me being a copy cat!!! I didn't visit until today - honest!
    As mentioned *g* I like them both but I do prefer the blue one (being one of those romance fans that Bantam is trying to reach - but then I was already reached by your books anyway)
    That does bite about all the $'s you put into advertising for the original one though.