I’m excited to announce that “Dreaming Your Dream” will soon have a new cover! The current cover available on Amazon is now officially limited. If you want to grab a rare copy, order your paperback soon. The new cover is in the test printing stage now, so it will be a week or more before it’s released. In the meantime, I want to share my reasons for changing the book’s cover, along with a few things I’ve learned on my journey in independent publishing.
The main reason I wanted a new cover is to coordinate all book covers in the “Machine Dreaming” series. The second reason is that although I always loved the original portrait, it left little room for text, and it leaned into the mysterious aspects of the novel. Once I knew a new cover was needed to visually tie the series’ book covers together, I had a vision for the new portrait. I wanted it to express the beauty and emotional freedom of the dreams. The woman on the cover loves to dance, so I wanted to incorporate that. I knew I wanted the character’s face on the right side of the cover, with the tail of her dress flowing over the spine and onto the back cover of the paperback. (All future covers will have art that wraps around to the back cover.) It was such a pleasure working with Melinda Maria Lack again and the new cover is stunning! But I’ll tell you more when the new cover is revealed and available on Amazon. For now, I hope the cover tease below gives you a hint of its beauty! (Another cover tease is on my Instagram account, if you’re curious to see a little more.)
As a side-note, I created a free ebook for people who have read “Dreaming Your Dream.” It explains all the hidden omens, secret messages, and symbolic foreshadowing in the dreams throughout the novel. It’s not required reading, but I wanted to offer a unique bonus to readers who are interested in diving deeper into the characters, the story, and the series. Both the paperback and ebook formats currently available on Amazon also have information about how to access and download it. So, if you want to order the limited cover, you won’t miss out on any of the new bonus content.
Now, onto my lessons learned in independent publishing! My journey began two years ago, so I’ll definitely learn much more going forward, but my early experiences taught me a lot.
The first and biggest lesson I learned was that you have to research everything, and even then, research can only get you so far. There are many companies that make self-publishing an easy and rewarding experience, so you need to gather as much information as you can about each service. I won’t get into all the details, but I knew what I wanted when I published my first book, and I narrowed my list down to three companies. It appeared that two of them offered exactly what I wanted, and after studying comparisons of the books produced by each, I decided to publish through Blurb. It came down to the thickness of the paper and the reduced likeliness that ink from an illustration would bleed through the page.
The books produced by Blurb are of outstanding quality. They look and feel luxurious—but they are also very expensive. I created my book and set the price to be equal to the cost of your favourite band’s t-shirt, but I didn’t know retailers would increase the price by several euros. I’m amazed that I sold the number of copies that I did at that price! But then I ran into my first problem with Blurb. I needed to make a change to my book and the only way to do that was to publish a new edition. So, I made the second edition with them… and a lot of chaos happened somewhere along the line. After months working with their customer service to fix the problem, they blamed it on Amazon and said they could do nothing more. I had already published the second edition as a Kindle ebook on my own through Kindle Direct Publishing, so I decided to create a paperback through them and quit doing business with Blurb.
Now I couldn’t be happier than I am with KDP! Readers won’t be able to order my book through their favourite brick-and-mortar bookstore, but the physical book is much more affordable. And here’s the funny thing—funny to me, that is—the ink from the illustrations doesn’t bleed through even half as much as it did with the Blurb books! Research can only get you so far, like I said. It’s funny to me because KDP was the third company on my shortlist when I set out on my independent publishing journey. Even better than the ink not bleeding through the pages, I’m able to update the cover of my published book without having to release a whole new edition! Details such as the title, subtitle, and primary author cannot be changed with KDP after publication, but everything else can be updated if needed.
That’s the second lesson about independent publishing that I wanted to share. Things change, and you don’t know what you might want to change in the future. There are plenty of reasons why a publisher would update a book’s cover, including changing trends in the genre, but it’s an update that wouldn’t be possible with a lot of self-publishing services like Blurb.
I don’t mean to discourage anyone from publishing through Blurb—they are the right option for some people. I had a dissatisfying experience with their service, but I would definitely recommend them for anyone who wants to create books for a special occasion or wishes to produce a beautiful photo book.