Getting ready for springtime in Seattle

Yesterday I attended the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, and now I have spring fever. This brilliant burst of color and inspiration has been held at the start of spring every year since 1989. The exhibits and displays are incredibly imaginative and inspiring enough to motivate even "armchair gardeners." Although springtime is still a few weeks away, I'm ready for sunshine, warm breezes and afternoons spent in a garden sanctuary.

Flower Show Exhibit
Flower Show Cherry Tree
Flower Show Convention Center
Flower Show American Table
Flower Show Garden Flowers

If you're in the Seattle area, the Northwest Flower & Garden Show runs through Feb. 21 and is held at the Washington State Convention Center. It's a wonderful way to get ready for springtime!

Book Covers are CRUCIAL to your Genre!

Today on the beach we welcome KIM HORNSBY, author of the Bestselling Dream Jumper Series. Pull up a lounge chair, (this might be a thinker) and grab a nice cool drink with ice cubes and a paper umbrella!

Kim says...

I just changed the book covers on my successful series Dream Jumper and I might be regretting my actions. I dunno. Am I crazy to go from covers that worked reasonably well to a look that is doing really well in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category? Maybe.

My books have a thread of the Paranormal in them and I'm not talking WereBears or ShapeShifters or Vampires. I'm talking a type of paranormal that I believe might actually become normal in the century to come. It's not exactly magical realism and it's not exactly "Paranormal" in the literary sense. It's Supernatural and the presence of ghosts and messages from beyond the physical world don't fit in to a category with people who can shift into other forms and become a horny bear.

My main characters have this strange ability to slip into another person's dream, something they don't quite understand. With that ability comes premonitions and because of this, Jamey and Tina, can foretell the future. But the ability comes and goes and the rules are very sketchy, thereby making them unreliable at best. That's part of the fun and the excitement. Jamey unknowingly passed the ability to Tina when the first book begins and throughout the 3 Book Series they try to unravel the intricacies of this "freaky-ass ability." (Jamey's words)

Because I get a lot of surprise from readers who didn't think they'd like this book, have never read Paranormal, don't usually try a book with Paranormal aspects etc, I decided that my first book's cover, which I adore, might be misrepresenting the story. Maybe even trying to say too much.
Lately I've been reading lots of suspense books with the word GIRL in the title, maybe because I enjoyed Gone Girl, and most of them have black covers. Many of them have very simple conceptual designs, like Gone Girl's second cover of blonde hair disappearing off the page, and I decided to try to find my Suspense/Thriller readers who might not otherwise try a Paranormal novel by changing my book covers.
Rather than spending hundreds more dollars with a cover artist, I decided to do the covers myself. I knew what I wanted, have access to Pic Monkey, and was pretty sure I could manage the three-book cover design. I chose three stunning photos that in some way conceptually reflect the essence of each story and made the book covers.
It was painful to leave my gorgeous covers behind and try for the new idea that I'm not sure will pay off but I pushed SEND and waited for KDP to upload the new covers. Today they are live. In my opinion, they look great, fit the Thriller/Suspense Genre and I'm tentatively happy.
The next phase of my scary plan is to offer the first book free for a few months in an effort to drive sales to the 2nd and 3rd books. (There is also a Christmas novella!) That will happen in two days.
If you're reading this blog and aren't sure what I mean by genre specific book covers, here's some examples:

This is a Romance cover. It promises the reader an element of romance and physical attraction:

This is a Suspense cover. It promises the reader that things will get tense fast.

This is a Paranormal cover. It promises the reader that they'll be asked to believe something that probably isn't known to be possible.

This is a Historical Romance. It promises the reader romance along with a hefty dose of history.

This is a Women's Fiction Cover promising the woman's journey to discovery:

And these are my old book covers, all that I love!

These are some Bestsellers around the genre that I want to be associated with:

Drum roll please...These are my new book covers

See them live on Amazon here. Fingers are crossed.
In the comments, feel free to show me your book cover and I'll guess your genre!