Rethinking: The Moon Cried Blood
Those of you who have liked my Facebook author page (advertised there in the gutter of my webpage/blog here) are probably aware of the fact that from time to time, I receive photos of people holding my books (and I am always very, very glad to receive them). This all started when I received a photo of my first contest winner, Kateryna Fury, holding a copy of “Warmth”. That was for the
That reminds me: we have another contest going on right here
When I received the most recent photo, of a guy who bought all three books
standing and grinning happily with them, I was thrilled. Then, not much longer, I took a good look at the covers (he has the original Lulu editions, not the Amazon Createspace set) and I thought, Whoa! The Moon Cried Blood, it looks HIDEOUS! I mean… it’s all purple, with stars, and a moon that looks like a horrible blod clot in the middle of it. The guy looks really happy to have the books, but me? I don’t feel happy about the way this cover looks. It looks kind of like the cover for “The Little Prince Has A Really Bad Acid Trip”. Which is not remotely what I was going for. In fact, the “Blood Clot Cover” series emerged from some attempt to update the original, “I look like Young Adult Fiction but I am not” cover. Yet… it wound up worse.
The version for Createspace wasn’t as bad, it was just boring. It was all black, with the blood clot paintball moon zooming and oozing across the cover. Still, both of them needed some serious rethinking. Neither really showcased the subject matter appropriately. ‘ve had a lot of trouble getting the right concept for a cover for the book, because it really is a horror/fantasy narrative with a coming-of-age story arch: to the extent that The Firestarter could be considered a coming-of-age story for Charlie McGee or the first Dune book could be considered a coming-of-age story for Paul Atreides. I have, infact, blogged about how troublesome this very cover was here, in this very blog at least twice. Let’s see…
in my second post, and again here…
in a nice article about character development that somehow ends up getting
into my repeated theme of dismay over that cover, which started out confusing the crap out of people because they thought it was a Young Adult fiction work (no, it is not).
So I went back and redesigned the cover using one of my acrylic paintings as the basis for it: the work is hanging in my living room right now and is called “Cat Lady”, and while the story has wolves-and-other-creepy-things that are not cats, the piece actually goes with it pretty nicely. I ended up revising both the Lulu and the Amazon/Createspace versions of the book so that they have orange covers to go with this particular piece of artwork. I asked my readers (people who have read this book) if it represented the story well enough, and they think it goes with it nicely.
Here is a photo of just the painting, “Cat Lady” sitting on the side of my house with another one called “Computer Love” . I have to photography them outside, my indoor lighting is awful:
I wish I could find and burn every copy of the “blood blob” version of TMCB, but I can’t. I managed to rehome the YA-Cover version with some family members, so I guess that the “good” thing about the blood-blob one is at least it sold – although in no where near the numbers of “Solitude” or even “Warmth”. I am planning on promoting the novel around Christmas time, along with the Short Story anthology I am working on.
I am a lot happier with the orange covers. I am happy that all of my covers are distinct from one another – and I can only hope easily distinguishable from the covers being used by other self-publishing authors. The goal is go be noticed by the reader, my direct audience.
~ by Sumiko Saulson on July 29, 2012.
Posted in Announcements, Sumiko's Writing, Writing Advice
Tags: Author, autobiographical, Horror, literature, novel, novels, scary, self-publishing, Sumiko Saulson, supernatural, The Moon Cried Blood, Women in Horror, Women of Color, writing