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Time for a Refresh

The Stairs in the Woods Gets a Whole New Look!

In August of 2018, I took the biggest chance of my life by clicking the "Publish" button on Amazon. Life's been a bit of a blur since then. Five published novels and three paused works-in-progress later, it seemed like a good time to look back and see what I could do to improve the offerings I already had out while I got my writing back on track.

And there was one obvious answer. My first book, The Stairs in the Woods, was in dire need of a refresh.

And look, did I already get a new cover made for it once before? Yes. My first cover was one of those "made with Amazon's free cover tools" abominations. I hate seeing it still pop up on Goodreads ocassionally. I would love to be able to just erase it's existence from history. Alas, we live and learn.

When I got my second cover done, I made the mistake of trying out Fivrr. Never again. The artist completely screwed up the sizing (I mean, I sent them templates and everything) and they refused to fix it. I ended up having to get another artist to fix their mess. And while my second cover artist did a great job saving what my first one had botched, I never felt like it fully captured the story within. Not their fault, they did great work. I probably should have started over from scratch.

So this time I took a different approach. I reached out to a cover designer whose work I'd seen all over social media: Fay Lane. She'd done work for other self-published authors like myself, as well as a few small presses. And I'd always been impressed with her work. I reached out sometime last summer, and she was already booked through January of this year. So I booked her for as soon as I could. When this February finally rolled around, and she reached out, I was excited to see what she would come up with.

So, without further ado:

Aside from being absolutely gorgeous, if you're read The Stairs In the Woods you understand just how well this cover fits the story within. If you're a fellow author and have the chance to work with Fay, do it. The back and forth process was an absolute pleasure. She had the concept mostly nailed by the first draft, and nearly perfect by the second one. She takes feedback well and works to find a shared vision. I couldn't be happier.

And not only are the paperback and eBook versions already available on Amazon, hardbacks are on the way complete with dust jackets! That's a first for any of my books, and I'm excited to get my hands on one. Personally, I usually prefer a paperback. But in this case, for my own collection, I think I'll make an exception.

But it wasn't just the outside of the book that's getting a new look. My editor Vanessa Redmon and I undertook a reformatting project as well. I have to say, I love the way it came out as well. And while this is just a screen snip, you get the idea:

So yeah, Kaitlynn's tale is getting a refresh inside and out, and I couldn't be more pleased.

Ironically, I also recently started doing a reread of this book. And while I know my writing has improved over the last few years as I've put more titles out, I do feel like this is an easy read that holds up and is accessible for non-fantasy readers as well. If you've never checked it out, Here's a quick look at what you'll find inside:

So that's the big news for now. I promise I will try and keep up to date on blogging, as well as getting back into the swing of doing TikToks again. In the meantime, take care and I'll talk to you all soon.

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