The End of an Epic Saga Aproaches!

The End of an Epic Saga Aproaches!

I hit publish on my first novel (Island of Lost Forevers) in 2014. We were living in England at the time, and I had no real idea what I was doing. I just knew that I wanted to be an author and I finally had a book I felt was worth sharing with the world. I’m pretty sure as soon as I hit publish, I scampered into my room and cried.

By the time I finished the Mystical Island trilogy, I had a much better idea of how this indie publishing thing works. But in order to get the rest of my projects up to the standards I knew I needed to set, I needed time. I’m actually a fairly slow writer. It takes me 3 years to get a book from the early outlining stage to final polish. And most readers don’t like to wait 3 years between releases.

I needed a publishing buffer. But I also needed better cover art and some idea how to advertise my work. At the same time, I didn’t want to vanish from the publishing world for 3 – 5 years while I gathered the necessary resources.

Then I had a dream about a group of goddesses desperately trying to reach their home temples. And Eternity’s Empire was born. It was originally meant to serve as a stop-gap project, a way to fill the space while I figured out what the hell I was actually doing. As a result, the project went through several iterations.

At first, I released new chapters of Eternity’s Empire each month. Each was roughly 10,000 words in length. And not a single one was outlined.

This series has come a long way

In 2019, I realized that I could no longer maintain the chapter a month release schedule. It cost too much time and effort to polish, format and create a cover for a new book every month, no matter how short. I also realized that there was so much going on in this story that I need to have at least a rudimentary outline.

Something else had happened by 2019. I had a grip on how to actually format and release a book without flailing through the entire process. I had even discovered a cover artist to work with. Unfortunately, wonderful as Molly is, I can’t afford to purchase 6 covers from her every year. (To my eternal dismay.) And 6 books was how many I had my heart set on releasing from 2020 onwards.

Revisions were easy. It didn’t take long to spruce Eternity’s Empire up a bit and make the switch from singular chapter releases to full-length books.

But the books needed new covers. And from my attempts with chapters 11 – 15, I knew that would be harder than anticipated. I have only rudimentary skills with Photoshop. And though I improve with each cover, I don’t have the time to devote to really learning how to make spectacular covers.

I needed some form of template. Something that would allow me to swap out elements on each cover but still create something with a fairly unified theme. Lucky for me, a dear friend swooped in and provided me with exactly what I needed. But the experience taught me a lot about cover composition for the future.

An epic series needs epic covers

Since I started streaming, people have asked me a lot about cover composition. And while I’m far from an expert, I can at least share what I’ve learned primarily from making the Eternity’s Empire covers. Here’s a list in brief.

~First and foremost, if you can afford a professional cover artist and find one that you work well with, that should be your top option. A good cover artist will be able to guide you through the creation process. They’ll be familiar enough with the elements expected on certain genre covers, and they’ll be able to tell you what will and won’t look good.

~If you plan to make your own covers (or can’t afford another option), take some time to scroll through the best sellers on Amazon in your genre. Try to note the elements common across the covers. Romance, for example, tends to feature shirtless dudes. Fantasy tends to have bright, vibrant colors and some sort of magical effect. Sci-fi often features guns or spaceships. (This is just a very general list, but it’s worth taking the time to make a more detailed one.)

~Pick a central focus for your cover. You want this to be something that will immediately catch the eye. This could be a character, or it could be an object. For Island of Lost Forevers, it’s most certainly the floating island. For Eternity’s Empire, it’s the objects in the center of the magical circles. (Each was chosen based on an important object relevant to that particular book’s story.) The circle provides a magical effect (a genre cover element), but it also draws the focus to whatever’s in its center.

Covers are an important part of branding

Branding is an important part of publishing and marketing books, especially series. Lots of authors struggle to discover their brands. I certainly did when I first started! If you’re releasing a series, there are a couple extra considerations you’ll want to take into account for the first cover. That will make it easier to make all the subsequent covers.

~If you are creating covers for a series, you want them to look fairly uniform across each book. The main elements and typeface should all appear in roughly the same locations. You may also want to use a specific color scheme. In my case, I chose an elemental theme, so each new book focuses on a different element.

~Make sure the titles are readable at several sizes. Even if some of the elements disappear or blur at smaller sizes, the title and author name should remain sharp and crisp. This may mean that your title takes up a significant portion of the cover – but that’s not a bad thing!

~It’s important to choose a readable font. But certain fonts are also associated with certain genres. There are several sites that list common (though not always free) fonts for different genres, so check those when planning the typeface for your covers.

The most important thing is to make sure you’re happy with how it looks. If you hate the cover, your readers probably will too.

I don’t think my Eternity’s Empire covers can compare with the gorgeous covers Molly crafts for me. But everyone who visits my streams comments on them, so I must have done something right. They might not be as spectacular as the covers I buy, but they aren’t drowned next to them – and that’s important too!

The Empire of Eternity is finally here!

Their love was forbidden.
So they fought the universe to be together.

The moment of truth has finally arrived. Only one last obstacle blocks Aeternitas and Gaea’s eternal happiness. Unfortunately, that obstacle is the empress Aion, Aeternitas’s mother, goddess-like in power and unrelenting in her cruel desire to devour the Earth queen’s soul.

Their guardians are scattered to the four winds, attempting to stifle other threats. While Nuit hopes to overcome her old rival Ra and at last reunite her sundered family, the clans of Yggdrasil chase the shade of Odin One Eye and the forbidden magic he hopes to unleash.

But it is the rebel fleet which faces the most dire threat, attempting to distract the last of the imperial daughters so they cannot prevent Aeternitas’s attempted coup.

A single wrong move could spell disaster. And Aeternitas has only a thin alliance with her oldest sister to carry her through the final leg of the journey. But if she succeeds, everything she has ever dreamed of can be hers.

The fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance. Aion won’t hesitate to destroy everything her opponents hold dear – unless Aeternitas and her guardians can once again muster the strength to overcome impossible odds.

It’s hard to believe this not-so-little-anymore series is finally finished. But you can buy the final installment here! (Or check out the beginning!)

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