It’s been over ten years since Enchanted Darkly was published in 2010. Looking back, I was overly conservative in regards to the original cover designs. At that time, the last thing I wanted for the series were paperback covers that screamed romance novels! To prove that the series was more than the multiple sex scenes found inside each novel, I opted for more obtuse covers…designs that depicted Celtic totem animals instead of the bare-chested men and damsels swooning I assumed all romance novels required. But the result of that presumptuous decision likely cost me sales. It probably also confused readers. Those covers, though pretty, fell woefully short of visually expressing what the books were about.
Of course, I now understand that there’s lots of creative wiggle-room between what I settled on back then and the tropes I was so afraid of depicting.
Fast forward to 2021… It’s high time to dust off those five books and breathe new life into a series I love.
Part of the perks of being an indie author is that I retain all creative control over my books. I can change the covers, the interior format, re-edit, re-issue editions, or add entirely new books to a series and there is no one to stop me. The bad news…there is no one to stop me.
Let me be clear, The Darkly Series is a contemporary, fantasy romance series that is full of immortal fey, realm-hopping, squabbling goddesses, Celtic mythology, steamy sex scenes, fey politics, quests with swords, and everyday mortals going about the business of modern-day living. That’s a lot to capture in one cover. Thank the gods I have 5 covers to play with!
I will be the first to admit that Enchanted Darkly remains the weakest of all my books. (I’ve written 10 to date, so I now understand why it wasn’t eagerly scooped up by a publisher in 2010.) Enchanted was both a divorce confession and my first-ever attempt at crafting a meaningful story. The emotions expressed in that particular novel are raw, even if the writing and plot itself lack the polish of my later works. But the good news is…I got a lot better at the craft of writing, plotting, and editing because of that one book. And, the series can still stand if readers want to begin with Bound Darkly, skipping Enchanted altogether.
Unlike my later series, The Legends of the Pale books, the Darkly novels illuminate a larger story for the reader over the course of their five-book journey. Ultimately, the series sheds light on the final fate of King Arthur as the once and future king and his relationship to the five couples whose love stories are Enchanted, Bound, Kept, Surrendered, and Resurrected.
For that reason alone, I didn’t want to simply let this series languish without attempting a little marketing wand-waving. At first, I was going to only update the ebook covers and pull the paperback editions from the marketplace entirely, but several friends and my husband urged me to take the extra steps to see the entire upgrade through to its very end. (That also means chasing down every site the books might be listed on, in order to make sure the new covers eventually appear.)
On the plus side, the redesigned paperbacks give me the chance to place a few review quotes on the back covers. That’s something I’ve never been able to do with any of my new releases.
I will be uploading all the new designs to Amazon KDP this week, ordering proofs, and hopefully approving them by the end of this month. What will I do with the old-cover author copies I still have stored? I have absolutely no idea. When I make changes this drastic, I like a clean break from the old. I may just bury them under a tree in the woods, say a spell, and pour a little wine over the gravesite. (You never know. Authors can be a little cray-cray about their word-babies)
I also redesigned the cover for the eBook Boxed Set. Cause… Why Not!
Thanks for dropping by the Chalkboard. And look for those new covers soon!
All my books are sold online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and so many more.
- Books2Read Universal links: https://books2read.com/ap/xbop4a/Tarrant-Smith
- AllAuthor Author Page: https://starrantsmith.allauthor.com/
- Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Tarrant-Smith/e/B004DDHDJ6/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
My paperbacks are also carried by: (links located in sidebar)
- The Madison Artist Guild in Madison, GA
- The Art Box in Monticello, GA
- The Southern Pen Bookshop in Monroe, GA