Monday, November 16, 2015

Liza O'Connor's 2016 book cover efforts.

Liza O'Connor's

Right now I’m working on 2016 books. Here’s my strange thought process when creating book covers. One thing you need to know, I tend to write series in multiple genres. 

After many failed attempts, too awful to share, I came up with this for my new 3 book mafia White Oak series (with room to expand if wanted.)

The White Oak Series

The above shows what I thought to be my final covers. Then I questioned the validity of my choices. Why must my font be stretched in book one? What would it look like if it were the same as the other two books. While I’d admit that book 3 does need the shadow, book 2 surely doesn't. And if we shifted the book cover down, might I be able to put my name down at the bottom so all three books match on location of my name?  Now as far as the title, that goes where it can. In the case of book 2 that means it’s not centered but it works for me. Wait, I’ve one more thing.  Why did I make book two wider than one and three? Jeez!
So I set about fixing stuff, and this is where I am now:

Which covers do you prefer? I like this better, because it doesn’t rile my Liza is an idiot button so much. Still I notice book two’s Series title needs to move to the left one click. There’s a slight issue with my name on book two. I will have to replace the name entirely from one of the other two books to get it exactly the same. (It’s a bit smaller. You can tell by the width of the black space around it.) But generally, I think following the rules on these three improved them.

Next will come my AI series. For this I've two finalist for the cover. Blue and Yellow.

This is a case where my readers like book 2 of Blue and book 1 of yellow, only that match doesn’t work as a series at all.  However, using my advice that you should start book 1 with the best pic possible, I’ll have to go with Yellow version. It was the clear winner in my Facebook survey. The second book I’ve tweeked. I made the typeface black and added a satellite in the corner, because that is how Adam saves himself from annihilation.

I also darkened the image, because the original one seem washed out. In my opinion they now seem closer to resembling one another. I did try putting a yellow shadow behind the title. Oddly, it made it harder to read.  Also, I’m going to remove the ‘The’ and just calling it Birth of Adam. I have to be Twitter conscious. Shorter names work best with Twitter.

To me, the Blue version is clearly the same series. However, book one is weird…who types all over the page? (A sentient computer trying to warn you that a deadly serial killer is after you.)

Sadly, it is far less compelling than book 1 of the yellow series. So Yellow should sell better. While Yellow book 1 tells you nothing about the story, it intrigues.

Next, we'll have two additions to my Late Victorian Series. 
Here is the series thus far. As you can see, it is highly stylized:

(The book that is different is a romantic spin-off, so it's style is different. Consequently, less people read it, even though they are missing vital information by failing to do so.)

Learn from my mistake. Calling a book 2.5 doesn't make it so. If the cover is different, then clearly it's not part of the series.

During the early months of creating covers for Xavier & Vic, I created several beautiful covers that I liked far more than these, but they couldn’t be made into a long lasting series. This cover allows for a character of importance to be highlighted in the magnifying glass while the book remains identifiable with the rest of the series. The connection to the series is, in this case, MORE important than having one beautiful cover that cannot be clearly be tied to the rest of the novels.

The next two books in this series are currently looking like this:

Tubs (left) and Samson (right) are two of the secondary characters who work for Xavier and Vic. Tubs knows that Vic is female, Samson does not, but neither will hesitate to give his life for her. Tubs nearly dies while saving Vic in Book 6. In book 5 Xavier had orders to kill the current Crime Lord, but he couldn't find a single lieutenant capable of taking on the job. So he asked Samson to take the position. Samson does, but he and Vic remains friends, and soon, Samson falls in love with her. Only, he is far more likely to act on his feelings than those who have fallen before. In book 7 he gets his chance.

Other contestants for getting published in 2016:

This a contemporary Western (Bull Riding story)
I'm a big fan of bull riding. It's the bull sport in which the bull has the advantage and is treated better than the rider.  I have a second book written, so this may end up as a short series.

Also while I've just begun writing it, I want to publish late in 2016 the kick off novel for The Search for Sentient's series. This series spins off from The Multiverses and will be Sci-Fi Romance with real science included, along with my perverse sense of humor, and the Gods will no doubt show up too. This is the most likely contender for the cover of book 1.

Expect to see all your Multiverse friends plus a whole bunch of odd aliens. I cannot wait to start working on this series. 

And on November 1st, I re-released Saving Casey, having gotten it back from its original publisher.
Here are the four covers I created for it.

The first one my readers nixed right off. The second one I nixed because she is listening to music, not being driven insane. (Casey was bullied to death, and the new occupant of her body is getting highly annoyed and frustrated with her parents. Thus, if not for the head phones this would have been a contender.) Cass sitting on a trash can is an eye catcher, but Cass isn’t the type to sit on a trashcan.

So I opted for Casey in a frame. 
For she is literally being framed.

She’s sad and a bit angry, but no way is she giving up. Cass is trying so hard to turn her life around, but NO ONE wants to help her, and the previous occupant has burnt every bridge imaginable. 

And see, I took my designer’s advice and found a cute, but thicker font for this series.  

That’s right, Saving Casey will kick off a new series in which even strong woman require rescue, because the truth is, there are times in life you do need a helping hand.

Which reminds me of another book I wish to publish next year, only I need a better cover first. Darn it, I need more days in our year. Can I live on Saturn?

And thus ends my discussion on DIY covers. 
In case you missed it, I did a three part DIY book covers at Kim Headlee's blog, discussing how to go about the matter, and the rules I've discovered for creating a cover and choosing fonts.

 (Find Parts 1, 2 & 3 (#3 will be available on November 18th)
I would love to hear your comments. I expect all of you to disagree with something I’ve said because I’m a rogue duck if there ever was one. 


Liza O’Connor writes in several genres including Late Victorian, Regency, Contemporary Romance, Humorous Disaster Romance (which should be a genre), Sci-Fi and Sci-Fi Romance. Liza currently has eighteen novels, fifteen of which have covers designed by her.


  1. Lady you are way too busy! I agree about living on another planet for more time but unfortunately the rest of Earth would miss us on those days. But you've given me something to think about!

    1. I am. I'm trying to pace myself but there is just so much I want to do.

  2. This is amazing stuff and I'm very impressed, both with your work output and your covers. I find it fascinating that you can write in multiple genres as well. I had my work cut out completing one novel, and am struggling with editing & rewriting that.

    1. I'm a pantser, so my characters determine how the story will go. So it's no problem for me to do different genres because my characters know how they should talk and behave. I just type for them. I'm a pantser on covers too.

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  4. Liza, do you EVER slow down? I figured taking your dog for walks in bear ridden woods was crazy enough, but you've pegged the meter and are now my hero! Heroine? One thing's for sure, neither you nor your books can ever be labeled as boring.

    1. Thank you. It's true. My life has never been boring. And a lot of it sneaks into my books in some form. Oddly those are often the items that cause some readers to declare an event unrealistic, Hey, I can't help that any thing absurd or weird tends to happen to me.

  5. God, you are bad for my writerly inferiority complex. *lol* So many books, so many gorgeous covers...

    1. But you have to understand. For ten years I did nothing but write novels. I have over a hundred of them (130 ish) that need to be considered for publishing. But before I can do that, they must be edited and they desperately need a pretty cover. So my work is NEVER done. And you have no reason to have an inferiority complelx. You write fabulous books that cheer up my soul.


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