Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Guest Author: LK Rigel - Killing Your Babies’ Names – Why I Changed Space Junque’s Title and Cover

LK Rigel is visiting us today to discuss the importance of choosing the right cover art and title.


LK says...

As I was working on this post, I saw a new review for Hero Material. It’s by MamaKitty, posted over at Goodreads. It begins:    

“I’m not normally into Sci-Fi type books.”


Gah!

I loved the title Space Junque, and the cover too. Space Junque is the name of the hero's orbital shuttle, and it plays a huge part in the story’s action. Jake, the pilot, has withdrawn from the public life he could have had, and he identifies strongly with his ship. One character, Rani, has an SJ tattoo.

But recently I had to admit that this might be the worst cover and title ever.

The problem? Instead of telling potential readers why they might want to pick up the book, it tells them why they may not want to.

Science fiction readers saw the cover and thought “romance – run!” Romance readers saw it and thought “science fiction – run!”

So many of the book’s reviews include a similar comment, something like I don't usually read this genre, but I'm so glad I did!

As the weeks and months ticked by after the book came out, I felt like I was always fighting with the title, always having to explain – no, no! It’s not what you think!

Hero Material is a prequel, the story of how the paranormal world in the Apocalypto series replaces the old unmystical normal world. The series proper is a paranormal fantasy, and all the action is definitely on earth or within the realm of the gods.

In fact, when the paranormal elements of Hero Material nee Space Junque kick in, it’s been a shock to a lot of readers, not expecting such things in science fiction. I blame myself for too-light foreshadowing. But I blame the old cover too.

It’s been like bringing a fiancĂ© home to meet the parents, and he’s dressed like a Hell’s Angel. My parents know me well enough to get past the shock and discover he’s also a corporate lawyer and trust fund baby. But as a new author, readers have no idea what to expect – and no reason to trust me as a writer.

The cover is one of your best marketing tools, probably the best – especially when nobody knows your name. More important than being gorgeous or dramatic, the cover needs to tell the reader with images what she’s getting into if she reads the story inside. It needs to convey, not obscure, genre.

Both covers were designed by fabulous Robin at Robin Ludwig Design. I used to adore the Space Junque cover, but the more I look at Hero Material, the more I love it better.

What do you think?

And by the way, what did MamaKitty think of the book? At the end of her review, she says:

“I've received the sequel to Hero Material, and I'm sorely tempted to skip through my requests list to read it.”

With the old cover and title, she – and a lot of readers – might never have been interested in trying it in the first place.



About the Author:
LK Rigel lives in California with her cat, Coleridge. She wrote songs for the 90's band The Elements, scored the independent science fantasy karate movie Lucid Dreams, and was a reporter for the Sacramento Rock 'N Roll News. Rigel received her BA in humanities from CSU, Sacramento. Her work has appeared in Literary Mama and Tattoo Highway. Her short story "Slurp" will appear in Anne Frasier's 2011 Halloween anthology published by Nodin Press. Her novel Space Junque was edited by USA Today bestselling author Anne Frasier/Theresa Weir.

She is the author of the Apocalypto series: Hero Material (Apocalypto 1), Spiderwork (Apocalypto 2), Blue Amber (Apocalypto 3) -- and Bleeder (Apocalypto 4) coming soon.



Thanks for visiting us today LK! 

See IPBR's review of Hero Material (formerly Space Junque)

and yeah...I was one of those, “I’m not normally into Sci-Fi type books” readers who ended up really enjoying it.  Maybe you will too!

You can find LK online at: http://www.lkrigel.com/ where you can sign up for her newsletter to keep posted on new releases and cool contests.  You can also check out the first chapter of Hero Material.

...or add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE
  
Find LK Rigel's books on:
Smashwords / Amazon  / B&N

1 comment:

  1. You have an excellent point about covers and titles - especially since we're all so visual - I admit that I have purchased a book or two based on the cover or title. I might have skipped over 'Space Junque' because the cover does remind me of Sci-Fi, but would definitely click on the cover of 'Hero Material.'

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