Some Come Easier Than Others….

ApexCover5Book Seven of The Human Chronicles Saga is coming along nicely. It should be completed by November 23-25 and then sent off for editing and proofreading.

The issue I’m having now is with the title.

It has evolved from Starlight Falls to A Galaxy to Conquer … and now to The Apex Predator. Since the story revolves around mankind being the supermen in the galaxy — and therefore the greatest predator around — the new (or proposed) title seems appropriate and strong. I’ve put together a mockup of the cover, and I really like it. Any comments would be welcome, of course.

Since the final book in the series is already plotted and planned for release in late January, the title of A Galaxy to Conquer appears to fit that one better. That cover will probably be kept and used for that book. But for now, I’m adding The Apex Predator to my inventory of cover art.

Title change for the next Adam Cain novel

Starlight Falls just wasn’t doing it for me, so I’ve changed the title of Book 2 of Part 2 of the Chronicles to: A Galaxy to Conquer.

Since the story does Galaxy Cover60deal with the collapse of the Expansion and the Kracori attack on Earth, everything is up for grabs throughout the galaxy, and everyone is out for their piece of the pie.

I’ve put together a tentative cover. If anyone has any opinions or suggestion, let me know.

(By the way, this cover mock-up still has the Fotolia watermarks on the artwork. Rest assured, these will not be in the final version!)

A note about my covers

Feb Legend Cover2 JPEGIt’s pretty obvious to most that there is something very similar about my book covers. If you haven’t noticed, take a moment to check them out — I’ll wait.

Now that you’ve had a chance to look them over, you’ll see that for all the books in Part One of The Human Chronicles Saga, they are all the same, expect for the book title and book number. I did this on purpose, and not just to be lazy. It was an experiment, but my reasoning was that a magazine doesn’t change it’s masthead with each new edition; instead, it remains constant, a way to make the publication stand out and to develop a brand.

I wanted to do the same with my books. When readers go on Amazon to search for new books to read, they usually encounter the thumbnail list of books within the categories they’re interested in. These lists are separated into pages of twenty books at a time. When people search the category of Galactic Empire, for example, they will see some of my books on nearly every page. The repetition of the image is hard to miss. At times, when I have a new book out for instance, I can have four or five books listed on a single search page. The constant familiarity of the covers is something that can be seen on a computer screen from across the room, which is the intent.

I’m not saying you have to use exactly the same artwork every time. A lot of very successful authors use different artwork while keeping the banner of their series constant. I’m just saying that in the competitive landscape of online book shopping, you need to be as dominant as you can, and if all five of your books have completely different covers, you can be easily lost in the mix.

In the days of paperbacks and brick and mortar bookstores, this need for cover domination wasn’t so important. But now, with online retailers presenting our books on a single page and with nineteen other competitors at a time, all trying to draw the attention of the book buyer, we need to think differently. This strategy has worked for me. Hopefully it will for you as well.

Important Notice about the release date of A Galaxy to Conquer

Tom's New Stock Photo          After releasing my last book — Cain’s Crusaders — with an unacceptable number of typos and other errors, I have decided to take as much time as necessary to complete the next book in the series — A Galaxy to Conquer — without having to rush it into publication. This way I can guarantee that it will be virtually typo-free when it’s initially released.
          This means that the next book will not be out until sometime in either late November or early December, 2013. I feel it’s more important to put out a clean book later, rather than rush something out and risk disappointing my readers. Just rest assured, the book WILL be out before Christmas.
          One of the great things about ebooks is that as authors, we’re able to go back into our books and make corrections, even after publication. I have relied on this feature too many times to go in and correct typos after releasing my books to the public. Although a few typos will always slip through the cracks — to be corrected as soon as they become known to me — it’s my job to make sure I put out the most-professional product I can — and right out of the gate.
          In the past I have done a lot of my own editing, yet for those who have ever tried this, you know that editing your own work is extremely difficult. The eye sees what the mind wants it to see, and so often typos that are obvious to the general public are almost impossible for the author to notice. That’s why I now employ a professional editor, a proofreader and several beta readers (fans who have volunteered to read the books prior to publication and help spot imperfections). Just because I’m an independent publisher doesn’t mean you should expect nothing but the most professional product from me. I’m making a very concerted effort to improve the quality of my work because you — my fans — deserve the very best I can give.
          Thank you very much for your understanding and patience.
          T.R. (Tom) Harris