My very first published book has had four different covers.
From collecting hundreds of rejections from agents and publishers, to plunging into the self-publishing pool back in 2013, to signing with an agent-assisted publisher less than a year later, and then completely back in my hands when that publisher dropped me, you can bet Let Me Out has been through a lot.
The book has scared my family members (it made one kid cry once, but my family mostly wonders what’s wrong with my brain), shot me into self-published stardom, and delighted readers for years, and now I want to throw it back to the visual journey this book has gone through.
So strap in, and let’s get to it.
Say hello to the very first cover for Let Me Out, designed by super designer and husband, Yevinn Graphics. It screams of suspense, thrills, and suggests the sense that the characters inside might not entirely be whole. Of course, the title is a nod to my heroine, who is in fact a psychopath trapped physically by the antagonist, but mentally by her own mind, and I believe this first cover is a perfect representation of what’s readers can expect by the end.
The second cover for this book came about after I signed with an agent-assisted self-publishing team. The original artwork they’d presented didn’t feel right to me, so, having kept the stock photo from the first cover, I asked for it to be implemented into the relaunch.
The suspense and mystery are still there, only embellished with the window frame and cracks. However, I never loved the beige coloring, but took my editor’s advice to leave it.
Fun fact: I actually signed the second book in the series, Die For Me, with this publisher first, then told them about Let Me Out, and they agreed to contract it as well.
Cover #3 came about around a year after I’d signed with the publisher and relaunch of the book. I was just starting to figure out what I really wanted to write (romantic suspense), and decided the book needed yet another rebrand to show that change in my career.
If you haven’t read this book (that’s okay, no judgement), you’ll notice Let Me Out is actually a suspense with romantic elements. I can’t call it a romantic suspense because it doesn’t end in an HEA, but instead of staying with the suspense element, I asked my publisher for a romantic suspense cover, showing the hero and heroine fighting together. However, while the artist does great work, I really wasn’t happy with this design. Again, so much beige.
This is by far my favorite cover of them all because I got exactly what I wanted. Once again taking advantage of–*cough*–asking my husband to redesign the cover, we came up with this darker teal version that fits the story perfectly.
The couple in the stock photo fit my characters’ descriptions, the city below (while not the city where the book is set) takes up a large portion of the design as it does in the book, and there’s an electricity you can feel with this cover.
While the book doesn’t end in an HEA, there is a strong physical attraction between the hero and heroine I think is represented here nicely.
So there you have it! A visual journey of the different stages of publishing Let Me Out has been through. Every version has given the book a different feeling (at least for me). There were a lot of mistakes involved, experimenting, and failures, but ultimately I learned a lot about branding and relaunches with this single title. Which I’ll never regret. Which cover is your favorite?
“A truly remarkable tale.” – Night Owl Reviews, Reviewer’s Top Pick, read the full review here
If you love thrilling, fast-paced suspense with a hint of romance, this book is for you. So much of my heart and soul went into producing this story, and I can’t thank my readers enough for taking a chance on it. Don’t have your copy yet? Dive into an explosive suspense today!