Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I Have My Rights Back. Now What?


It's been a long wait, but I finally have the rights back for the first book I ever wrote, Murder Passes the Buck, which is a northwoods mystery with Gertie Johnson. Much to my anguish, the publisher let it go out of print right after the second, Murder Grins and Bears It, came out. It had been gone a whole year before Murder Talks Turkey was published. Series lovers will tell you that's a big no-no on the publisher's part, because a whole slew (that's Gertie talk) of us like to start with the first one and work our way through the series.

Well, it's gone, has been for a year, which is the time I had to wait to request my rights back per the contract.
But it isn't gone for much longer.
One thing I didn't think about until recently was cover art. My rights for the content have reverted, but not the right to the cover. I asked for it just to see what they'd say. Nada. No reply.
So I'm studying covers and making note of the ones I like. I'm learning that I like bold, primary colors. They stand out for me. Here are a few recent covers that caught my eye.



Lisa Lutz's Spellman series is a hoot and the cover art tells you that. All of them are big, bold, and whimsical.








Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie mystery by Spencer Quinn called to me the moment I spotted it. I love dogs and love this cover.


So I want a humorous cover that makes a promise to the reader even before she opens it and reads the first page.
For research sake, chime in here. Which book covers are irresistible to you? I'm taking notes. Next week, I'll talk about my publishing options.