Covers for JADE TIGER

As of January 1st, I have regained the rights to my first novel, JADE TIGER. One of my projects for this month is to convert it to various eBook formats so I can begin selling it myself. Since my publisher owns the artwork to the print edition of the book, I needed to make a new cover.

The process proved far more difficult than I ever imagined, especially considering my rudimentary Photoshop skills and lack of a personal art department. I can’t post all my early attempts because I don’t own the artwork, but let’s just say I got a little frustrated and created this:

Then I got back to work, threw out another dozen or so designs, and came up with this one, which I liked quite a bit:

I got some great feedback on this one, almost all of which said it need to look more like a romance and less like a literary novel. Eep! We talked about adding flowers, patterns, warmer colors… but I really wasn’t sure what to do. I headed back out to the photography websites looking for inspiration, and found a beautiful photo of a Chinese cheongsam that I thought might work.

I really like this one, and I think it might work. But I really wanted to get the tiger back in, and to imply a little more action. In the end, I came up with something I’m fairly happy about. Would I like to fiddle around with fonts for another six months? Of course. But what I’m basically hoping for is something that might interest romance and romantic suspense readers, and that does not look horribly amateur. (A little bit amateur is probably impossible to escape.)

You are welcome to suggest tweaks to fonts and font placement, but please — if you value my sanity — don’t send me back to the drawing board. :-D


SarahTigerfan 7 years ago .

Love the final version! Perfect. And I don't think it looks amateurish at all. When does the book go up? I want to be sure to re-review it and put it on goodreads and stuff.

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    I, er, don't have any idea when it will go up yet, as I'm just starting to research conversion methods. (Ugh.) I'm also thinking of dropping my plans to edit it first — feels like a time sink at this point, for no noticeable reward. (Except maybe peace of mind.) But thanks so much for saying you'll do that stuff — you are the best!

      SarahTigerish 7 years ago .

      Have you talked to Toby at all about converting? He'd seem to be the go-to guy for that kind of thing…

        Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

        He's already posted about it in the SFNovelist group, so I'm going through his old comments and researching from there. (And putting together info on the Wiki as I go.) At this point, I need to dig in and get my hands dirty.

        Someone else posted that Scrivener also does some converting — but JADE TIGER is pre-Scrivener, so first I'd have to convert it to that…

        Good writing avoidance, though!

MoviePen 7 years ago .

I love the cover art as you've posted it. There's a noticeable lake of the color "jade" on it, though. Is that important to you?

    MoviePen 7 years ago .

    Now that I re-look I guess the tiger's already jade… I guess having the "Jade" in white is what brought it to mind. (And I want to re-emphasize that I love the cover art design.)

      Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

      Jade and red are not friends. I could not have them touch in the design — they look horrible together. This was the best way I could get both, but I agree, it's not very "jade-y" in general.

      The original artist (who created the woman, not the original cover design) just contacted me, and it's possible I might be able to use his artwork with a different design. I'm definitely going to look into that, since I think the original cover hits my target markets pretty darn well. (And is very green!)

Rick 7 years ago .

Your final is beautiful, and certainly very professional. A few things to think about though…

* Your first cover (and first instinct?) was to write a teaser. Does that teaser match your final cover? You might be missing some of the adventure, sass and humor that is so much a part of the book.

* I think your fonts are good, but I'm not 100% sold on "Jade" for readability, especially on the busier background. Be sure to shrink it down to Amazon/iBooks thumbnail sizes to see how it reads.

Nice work overall — as always. :)

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Thanks for weighing in, Rick!

    I did test them all at thumbnail size, and they passed. (Some other versions did not!)

    I did a locked Livejournal post about the earlier versions (because I don’t own the artwork), and one of the things I talked about was how I had to focus my target market down from action and adventure and romance to mostly just romance. With my limited resources, I couldn’t find a way to appeal to all the segments I wanted, so I identified romance as being the primary target. (Romance readers are voracious and own tons of e-readers.) Thus the more romance-y final covers.

    The original cover artist just suggested that we might be able to reach an agreement over use of the original art, which would send me back to the drawing board, but in a very good way. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that one!

Bruce Cordell 7 years ago .

Love the final cover, nice job!

I heard a glowing review of Sigil ebook editor which does conversions to ePub from a source I trust. Add that to your list perhaps to research. Anyway, you can't beat the price (free!).

Good luck!

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Ooh, Bruce, that software looks incredibly useful! I've been playing with Scrivener's conversion to ePub, but really wanted an easy way to edit it. Thank you so much!

Christine Ashworth 7 years ago .

LOVE the final version. Though I think the first one is pretty funny!

You might ask Dayle about the conversion stuff – I know she's been putting her old stories up.

Good luck!

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Thanks, Christine!

    I've gotten a lot of info on the conversions to go through before I need more, but I'll put Dayle on the list. :-D

marty gruber 7 years ago .


I LOVE the final version the best. When I saw the second one, I wanted the tiger in it….then I scrolled down and found him. Great job!!

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Thanks, Mom! :-D

Brad Beaulieu 7 years ago .

Love the final cover, Jenn. Excellent job. It's evocative and bright and eye-catching. One question. Is Jade Tiger a YA novel? If so, this seems to have missed the mark slightly, IMHO. It has much more of an adult adventure/romance sort of feel to it.

    Jenn Reese 7 years ago .

    Hi Brad! Nope, Jade Tiger is an adult novel, published by Juno Books as part of their action-y adventure romance line.

      Brad Beaulieu 7 years ago .

      Ok, well then you really nailed it. Good job.

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