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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

CJ Carmichael: The Art of Experimenting with Cover Design


One of the many fun things about Indie publishing, is the ability to experiment with book covers when you realize your initial packaging may not have been the best. When I started out to write the Carrigans of The Circle C, initially there were only  going to be 4 stories. I had a rough idea of the stories I would write and the characters, so, together with Jane Porter (Tule Publishing) we decided on a certain “look” for the series and had covers designed accordingly.

Then I wrote the books. And four books became five. And I got to know the characters and their world, on a very intimate basis. And suddenly we had a problem with the “look.” It needed to change.

Fortunately Jane is open to experimenting with her authors’ books. In fact, it was Jane who first identified the problem with the packaging of this series. So we went to none other than Lee Hyat and asked her what she could do.

Here is what she came up with for Book 2, Good Together (old is on the left, new is on the right):


SO much better, right? Next we asked Lee to come up with a new cover for Book 5,which was Callan Carrigan’s story. Callan is the youngest of the Carrigan sisters, and in many ways her story is the most important, as it reveals old family secrets and deals with the future of the Circle C Ranch.

The first cover we had for this book, just didn’t feel right to me anymore. First, the setting was wrong. Since the ranch is so pivotal to the story, we needed to be there on the cover. Also, Callan looked too urban and, well, frivolous.

That wasn’t our only problem. The timing was working out so that this book would end at Christmas. It seemed to make sense that we reflect that in the title. So now we needed a new title AND a new cover. Here is what we decided on (again, old cover on the left, new on the right):


I’m hoping we got it right and came up with the perfect “packaging” for both these stories. Here is the way the covers look when they’re all together:


I’d love to know what you think. Do you prefer the new covers to the old? Please comment below for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.


***CJ's winner is Kelly Y!  Thanks for including your email address. :) Look for an email from CJ soon!***

21 comments:

Stephanie said...

While I am partial to the original cover of Good Together, I do love the new cover as well and I really like the new title/cover for Callan's story. I think the series has a great look when put together and you can see all of them. :)

Janine said...

I LOVE the new covers. I totally agree on Callan's story. The first cover did not fit her personality at all. I didn't see anything wrong with the cover for good Together, but the new one is really eye catching.

Laurie G said...

I prefer the new covers. I like the intimate scenes. They're very attractive
Courting Trouble the woman looks like a hooker. First Good Together blah. I like to see more of them as a couple.

Alina P said...

I like them both! I haven't read your books, but I really want to :)

petite said...

I like the new and old. The covers are attractive and very appealing.

traveler said...

All the covers resonate with me. Such great artwork. The new are great though with the truck and the beautiful scenes.

Unknown said...

I like the new covers much better than the old...sleeker look to them and much crisper lines...plus, I like seeing the couple, not just the one, or partial. Yeah for redos!
Blessings,
Kelly Y
kellyATdkcountryartsDOTcom

mysmilingirisheyes said...

I love the new covers.

Debbie Carney said...

I love the new covers, The old ones were great also, but like the new better :)

debbiec1313@yahoo.com

Lil said...

I do like the new covers you show, especially for Good Together. The five covers shown together show a certain cohesiveness and the Christmas story with red seems just right.

Bonnie said...

Yes love the new covers and seeing them all together is WOW. I keep thinking about the secrets in A Cowgirls Christmas and there just has to be another book right?

Kerry said...

I like the new cover, but am still partial to the original for Good Together...but I do believe the new design for Callan's fits more with the character and series. Love the stories!

Barbara Ankrum said...

Love the new cover, CJ, and especially that they are interacting more instead of looking into the distance for/at something else. Good job!! Hope they sell a bunch for you!

Tatiana L. said...

Great job on the new covers - love them!

Cindy Hamilton said...

Really like the new covers!!

Sharlene Moore said...

I love the new covers, it was the right choices.

Mary Preston said...

I think the new covers are fabulous & it seems like they reflect the stories well.

Emma said...

I like the new covers,Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books.

Michelle H. said...

I love the changes made to Callan's title & cover! The original does not look like it fits with the series at all, so good call on that. I liked the original cover for Good Together just fine, but the more I look at the new cover, the more I love it. The blues really seem to pop. Great choices!

Kimberly V said...

I think I prefer the original cover for Good Together, although the new one is nice. For A Cowgirl's Christmas, I definitely prefer the new cover and new title. Overall, my favorite cover in the bunch is Snowbound In Montana. I veer towards covers without people, but I think I am in the minority on that.

Laney4 said...

Definitely like newer covers better. Congrats to Lee on a job well done!