Before we get to that bit o' business, we'd like to bring you up on the Something Wicked cover art controversy. And, by "controversy", we mean, the mildly interesting design question we posed a couple of weeks ago.
As July wrapped, we mentioned that the good people at ACX needed an image to promote the upcoming audiobook of SW so Renée decided to create a new cover for the book (the old cover/new cover blog post is here). Before we changed the book's face, though, we wandered to a pair of our favorite websites and asked what other people thought of the two covers. Happily, several people chimed in.
Because of the forums we'd chosen, we heard from a variety of writers and graphic designers. It turns out, their opinions were all over the place. Some people liked the original version, more people liked the new version -- and one guy liked it "a million times better", which is seriously better, we're telling you -- and a few gentle souls liked both versions. Once we posted the new cover version of Wicked, though, electronic sales soared (soaring being a relative term: SW has never climbed the sales charts but e-sales did take a definite bounce). The paper version remains "out of print" until we can get a good color balance on the physical copy. We're on Proof #4 and still trying to find the perfect look.
Meanwhile, we gave the Audiobook Creation Exchange the new cover just as our narrator finished the project. The verbal edition clocked in at a healthy 10 hours-plus and we think it's more dramatic, more exciting, than the source material. Our actress, however, gave the files another listen and soon decided that she needed to rework the entire book. Her sound editor wanted to improve the overall listening experience and K. wanted to improve her performance. They're still working and we're happy to wait. For now, it remains a work in progress.
Although we may not have mentioned it, we also went looking for a narrator to do the audiobook version of Aly's Luck. This was not an easy task by any means. Our perfect narrator has to be able to do female, male, Bug and monster voices, often in the same scene...and we struggled to find anyone with that set of pipes. Finally, we got lucky. The fellow we found is an actor by trade but does voice work on the side. He was halfway through the project when he was offered the lead in a movie -- and, silly thespian, he was somehow willing to put our project aside while he went and made some real money. (Actually, he asked nicely if we'd mind if he completed the audiobook after the production ended filming.) Fingers crossed, the AL audio will wrap in September.
Returning to the 'detour' thing: For the nice people who have asked if they'll soon be seeing a sequel to The Atheist's Daughter, please know we're so glad you're asking. The Preacher's Son has been delayed due to life issues. (Don't blame us. Blame the doctors.) Half of our team is having surgery soon and the other half expects to spend day and night, hovering at bedside, pretending to be a nurse. That doesn't mean we won't be doing any writing, it just means that we won't be doing much writing...or any.
Because of this, Mars Needs Writers probably won't see an update for the next few weeks. Just know that we're not gone, we will be back, and we'll see you then.