Monday, February 11, 2008

Reinventing Linnea

Bantam will reissue my backlist this summer with all new covers, and, I'm told, shelve my books in the romance section. To that end, they've decided Linnea Needs a New Look. It's called 'branding'--creating a design or image that will be associated with a "Linnea Sinclair" book.

So here's a sneak peek at the upcoming books. They're trying to lure romance readers without losing science fiction readers. What do you think? ~Linnea


  1. Anonymous11:48 AM EST

    Wow, those are some hot covers. I like the look. You can still tell that they're science fiction based but it's obvious it's romance too. I think they've done a great job "branding" you.

  2. I think they'll sell really well to romance readers Linnea.

  3. Wonderful covers Linnea. They should sell very well as they shout romance but also let the reader know htat it's science fiction based.

  4. Boy is my face red... I thought that was the original covers in fact they are the ones I own... Wow! Anyway if it matters I like them.

  5. Hi kids, thanks for the input! Glad the response so far is positive. SHADES OF DARK no one owns yet. That will be out in July 2008. But the others are reissues. THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES is the only one not pictured but it's the same theme. Keep those comments coming! ~Linnea

  6. Needless to say, I'm bummed they changed the cover for GAMES OF COMMAND because it was my favorite!

    Regardless, branding is an excellent concept because readers are tired and in a hurry. And some are more likely to remember an image than a title.

  7. Anonymous5:55 PM EST

    I like the covers because they remind me of movie posters for some science fiction films. I just came across an ancient poster I had of Han Solo and Leia which is in the same vein as your covers.

    The shot of them gazing into each other's eyes was so romantic--I much preferred it to the main images that have been used over the years (but of course STAR WARS is Luke's story, innit?).

    Fwiw, I think the branding also goes beyond just you as an author; it's also about distinguishing the science fiction romance genre.

    Many happy sales!

  8. Anonymous6:55 PM EST

    Linnea, I really, really like the space stations and the ships and hi-tech look of the covers. That in combination with the strong I'm-melting-in-your-arms-it's time -to-draw-the-curtains look between the couples should pull the romance readers to the books. It's definitely a new look.

    Personally, I think a combination of the original people with the new space stations/ships would really rock. Maybe they could develop a hybrid cover for your original readers!

  9. Anonymous7:40 PM EST

    They are definitely hot. They're going to sell well in romance.

  10. Anonymous8:09 PM EST

    I like the new covers. I worry about your books being shelved only in the romance section at bookstores. When I went looking for Down Home Zombie Blues I couldn't find it right away because it wasn't with the science fiction. It's a shame they can't shelve your work in BOTH sections.

  11. Anonymous9:00 PM EST

    I'm with Patty - combine the new space elements (lower half ) with the people from the original covers. The 'about to pull the screens'look just doesn't do it for me. Romance readers are likely to be pulled in, yet they may be disappointed by the actual level of 'heat' in the books. I personnally think you're spot on with the romance/sci-fi/action intermix, and thoroughly enjoy your books.
    These covers would lead me to think that the story is much much hotter - i.e. pushing towards 'romantica/erotica' - which doesn't occur for me as the kind of writing you're doing here. - a long time reader and PNR lurker.

  12. Hmm, Linnea. Being a Sci-Fi Rom writer, I'm a little torn. I do like the covers, especially the one of SHADES OF DARK, but like Kimber, I prefer the original GAMES OF COMMAND cover.

    As far as the 'branding' concept goes, they do make a very attractive series of covers.

  13. I agree with Anon 9 pm and Linnea knows I'm a huge fan of hers.
    I'm afraid would-be fans who are teetering on the edge of SFR will shy away.

    Ah, well, we can't please everyone and have a perfect world all the time.

  14. Anon 9pm, these are actually the second go on the covers. The first go--same colors and such--were very erotic. These are MILD compared to what could have been. As Kimber An says, there's no perfect world.

    I loved the orignal GAMES cover (it has my cat--sob!!!) and the original FINDERS. I wish, yeah, they could have used those people but they chose otherwise. The FINDERS cover was by artist Dave Seeley. Since he didn't do the reissues, they can't use his artwork (although actually I like the FINDERS gal the best on the resiusses). But Stephen Youll did GAMES and he did the reissues. I wish he'd used the original models but... trust me, it could have been worse. ;-)

    Clara, the concept I gave them when they asked (after I finished choking in horror at the erotica covers) was the SERENITY movie poster. So you're on-point there.

    Cor, shelving me is a real issue. I don't know the answer. No, I do. ::evil grin:: I'd love an end-cap or a front of store display. But alas, that's not about to happen. So jumping over to romance gives me exposure to a wider readership. There are more romance readers than SF readers, plain and simple. It's a numbers game. ~Linnea

  15. Anonymous11:45 PM EST

    Having drifted over to SFR from the SF side of the book aisle, I'll always prefer the earlier Bantam release covers -- they're distinctly SF. Even so, the new covers are growing on me -- the monochromatic tints, bold author line, and SF touches in particular. I still think the overall draw for the un-Linnea-initiated SF readers is going to be minimized, at least at first, especially given the shelving of the re-issued editions in the Romance section. And even if it chafes, I do understand the realities of sales numbers of Rom vs SF. Even so, word does get around, and what's between these covers is top notch, regardless of genre or placement. I've got to think there are more than a few SF readers out there looking for an HEA. Write on, Linnea! ;-)

  16. Anonymous8:24 AM EST

    I'd say, as david gray said, that it will draw romance readers to SFR and that's where the numbers are. I come from the SF side and my first reaction is No. I find the covers too explicit (and you said the first ones were downright erotic!), which means, falsely in your case, that's it's futuristics, SF being just a background for something else. What it might do is convert romance readers to SF. Will your books catch new SF readers : maybe, through the buzz and through book reviews if they emphasize the quality of your SF worldbuilding and if they appear in the "SF world".
    As for those already knowing you, no problem. Please keep on writing:-)
    I hope I'm not being too negative.

  17. It's my understanding the new covers are intended to pull in romance readers since the original covers are in the SF/F section, yes? I can't imagine Linnea's books not being hot enough for romance readers--"heat" isn't the only thing romance readers are looking for, not to mention they enjoy a variety of heat levels anyway.

    In other words, IMO these covers seem like they will do well in the romance section of the store :)

    Jody W.

  18. I actually like them and the fact that they all seem connected. They give a feeling of unity to your books.

  19. The covers look great! The balance between SF and Romance is right on for the artwork. It really is too bad that they can't shelve you in both sections, because I really don't think too many male SF readers are going to cross the aisle. Those you know you and your writing will, though, and this way you can draw in additional female SF readers.

  20. I understand why they did what they did, and I think it will work for you. Add the romance look yet it still shows the sci-fi feel....

    Good luck with the sales and new covers, I'm sure it will do really well.