The Watch and Wand – Cover Reveal

Once upon a time a mother and daughter went out for a walk. They chatted along the way, mostly about the daughter’s progress on her latest book project which was underway, but was far from done. The mother innocently asked a question about one of the supporting characters.

A year later, the words End of Book Two, were typed on an entirely different book than the one originally planned, but a book that was so much better than that first draft.

For that, all I can say is thanks, mom.

Fifteen years have passed. The future no longer seems as bright. Between a war declared on all but the most basic technology, worldwide economic collapse, and a plague-spurred global panic, governments have collapsed leaving law and order to be defined by those left behind. Stephen knows he should be grateful, but can’t help wishing his life was more than survival.

That was until he met a girl on the run from a group known as the Watch.

Now, caught between rival factions with their own hidden agendas, Stephen has no choice but to go on a mission to reclaim a piece of missing technology.

He is told the device is the key to a better future, but in the new order, one person’s salvation can be another’s total destruction.

Available December 2017. The Watch & Wand (Project Gene Assist Book Two)

I have a few spots remaining for those interested in receiving an advance copy for reviews. Those interested should contact me at allie AT alliepottswrites.com.

Want to catch up before the big release?

The Fair & Foul: Project Gene Assist Book One can be found at here

“Allie Potts does a marvelous job of creating a group of characters that even above their arrogant brilliance are still only human. Even when all seems lost, and things are piling up against our heroine, Allie consistently throws in a few surprises with things both fair and foul. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat. Well done, Ms. Potts!”

5 stars! – Stephen Fisher for Readers’ Favorite

The Fair and Foul Cover Reveal

Patience is not a virtue of mine. I hate waiting. I realize it is a necessary part of the publishing process, but oh, how I dislike doing nothing. So I don’t. I find other ways to stay busy.

Last month, I nervously waited for beta readers to get back to me with their comments. I started outlining follow-up projects and writing a few placeholder scenes, but I didn’t want to go too far away from my current project, just in case another round of major revisions was needed. I didn’t want to lose my sense of the characters or the story’s timing. So instead of jumping fully into my next project, I spent some of that time creating covers for my manuscript.

It may sound like I was procrastinating, but it makes the work feel more real and seeing a cover, even a fake one, helps keep me motivated to push through bouts of writer’s block. The mock-up process also helps me with the project’s final development even if I ultimately don’t use any of my creations. For example, if the title doesn’t look good on a cover, I consider changing it altogether, not just the placement. If the back blurb doesn’t stand out, I refine it. Additionally, my designs help me focus my elevator speech and discuss must have elements with graphic/interior artists.

As useful as my mock-ups are, I usually don’t share my actual graphic designs with anyone except the hubby who has been trained to smile and say, “nice work,” even if he is thinking please don’t quit your day job. Only this time he said, “you might have something.” I tinkered with it some more, and then some more until I realized I agreed with him.

Feeling proud, I showed the cover design to my younger sister over the weekend. “Hmm, it looks nice,” she said with a shrug before returning her attention to something else.

Publishing a book is easy. All you have to do is hit the Publish button on any number of publishing sites like Smashwords, Kindle Direct, CreateSpace, Lulu, etc, but pushing that button yourself is hard, really hard. One of the reasons the traditional publishing route is so appealing in the face of lower royalties and smaller advances is because other people are helping you push that button. You get instant street cred. You get to feel shiny and validated. That is until the first negative review comes in. Then you start questioning your work (and worth) as much as the self-published author, but at least the self-published author has the power to make quick changes if needed. The key is to trust your gut and always remember your audience.

While my sister reads often, she is not what anyone would describe as a book nerd. I trust her to tell me when something I do is terrible, but sometimes her polite indifference is as glowing of an endorsement as I am ever going to get. Therefore, without further ado, I would like to reveal my cover (or at least the title) of my second novel – The Fair & Foul: Project Gene Assist Book One.

FairandFoulFrontHQ2_02

And the winner is…

Back in October I decided to terminate my agreement with my publishing channel. While this decision will provide me with greater creative control of my existing work, it also presented a major challenge in that I did not own the rights to my original cover design. I was going to have to address this as books don’t tend to sell without covers no matter how many times we are told not to judge them.

I reviewed my options:

  1. Sit back and sell nothing waiting for a big time publisher to sweep me off my feet and offer to pay for everything. Because that’s how it works, right…
  2. Do it myself with Photoshop and hope that the casual viewer doesn’t notice the rough edge where I accidentally erased out too many pixels, but hey it is only the cost of a stock photo license!
  3. Purchase a ready-made cover that might possibly, sorta, kinda, maybe represent a scene or theme from my book. Although, if I find a pre-made cover not requiring a full-page of explanation, does that mean the content of my work is so cliché that a suitable cover is on standby? Does that really matter? This option would be shoestring budget friendly. Meaning I could afford to actually do additional marketing with said cover.
  4. Hire a professional hoping that with my limited experience I’m able to identify someone capable of reading my mind in 2-4 tries (and in as many weeks or less) well enough to produce a cover that not only do I like, but readers do as well. Because if reader’s don’t, I just bought myself a nice new decoration for my shelf and little else.
  5. Launch a design contest and throw myself on the mercy of designers, some amateurs playing with Photoshop, some seasoned veterans, but all as hungry to distinguish themselves as I am. Sure, it could potentially cost more than hiring a single professional, but I’d have the one thing I was looking for when I started down this whole road – more choice (and a money back guarantee).

I thought long and hard about my options. It seemed that every 4th tweet that crossed my feed was “Bad Cover = Bad Sales!” No pressure!

After my eyes had gone blurry from viewing pages and pages of images and designer portfolios, I ultimately designed to bite the bullet and launched the design contest (I chose 99designs.com). Entries began to roll in. A few of the early designs looked similar to my Photoshop mock-ups. I felt justified. Talented even (I refused to worry that I made the wrong decision). I began to think maybe if this whole writing thing didn’t work out I could earn some spare change selling my own pre-made covers.

Additional entries started to roll in, and wow! I thought to myself, what an interesting idea – I wouldn’t have considered doing that! Now I understand what separates my Photoshop dabblings from experienced professionals. Keep them coming. In the words of my 2yo, “More! More!”

I found myself with over 160 entries in less than a week, and more than half of them were completely unique (I believe my experience may be atypical – I was told to expect 30). Suddenly all that choice I wanted so badly a week ago was overwhelming. How can I pick just one? What if I pick the wrong one? Too much choice was almost as paralyzing as having no choice. I was once again stressed, but it was worth it.

Thankfully, the contest offered the option of sending out a poll and letting the public vote. After whittling down the list to a few favorites, I asked, and a number of you answered. I am now extremely pleased to present the winner and new cover of An Uncertain Faith!

Cover by Danny Design Studio, Photography by Dave and Les Jacobs.

An Uncertain Faith

A brand new cover for a brand new release!