This has been a strange week, but a good one. I have achieved something that has been on my to do list for over a year, and I’m thrilled.
Beneath the Mask is my first indie publication. I’d been wavering between indie or traditional for a very long time, and on a whim, I threw my rough draft of Beneath the Mask onto my Kindle to read. This is a novel I’d written a while ago and never touched since for a variety of reasons that had more to do with loving the writing portion of the writer gig and balking at the editing. I’ve matured as a writer and now enjoy the editing part of the job almost as much as the raw creation, but it’s left me a bit of a backlog of first drafts.
Anyway, between a shoestring budget and a penchant for design, I created my first cover using a scan of an out-of-copyright drawing depicting an actual theater on Drury Lane in London (yes, the muffin man’s turf). If you’ve read the novel, you already know this, but if not, Drury Lane and theaters play a major part in the story.
Fast forward a year, add a cover artist in search of examples to display his work, and you get the cover for A Country Masquerade, which kept the backdrop concept of the theater, but added a person. I liked this style enough to continue it with An Innocent Secret, but Beneath the Mask no longer fit. So, I put adding a person to the cover on my list, but though I tried, I wasn’t happy with the Daphne images I had.
This month, though, I got it. Suddenly, it’s all working, I’m doing final tweaks to bring the formatting up to current standards, and everything’s grand. Oh, and the other piece was moving to a 5.5 x 8.5 print format to match the later books when Beneath the Mask was my only 5 x 8 in print. To do the last, I needed a page count, though, so when I sent out my monthly newsletter on Sunday and announced the new cover art there, I didn’t have that finalized.
Those of you who subscribe to my newsletter might notice the cover here is a little different than the one I sent out. I hope you’ll agree that it’s better. Basically, the page count for the print turned out to be higher than expected, and the scan of the drawing wasn’t wide enough to compensate.
Now, there were half a dozen ways to deal with this, but I wanted to keep the original theater backdrop, and frankly, didn’t think through all of the possible solutions. Instead, I searched for a higher resolution scan of the drawing and found one with much more detail…in a different color scheme. This led to some frantic color battles, but I’m happy with the final result.
The new cover is working its way through the various eBook stores now. The print will be delayed until I receive my proof copies and can verify them (currently scheduled for the first of May), but here it is in all its glory, both eBook and print flat. In case you’re curious about the other, you can see it here.