Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Makeover for the Black Dog series

Okay, so! I have been going back and forth on whether to mention this yet, but here it is: I’m having brand-new covers done for the Black Dog series. The first new cover went live yesterday:

I wasn’t going to mention this until the four novel covers were all finished. Then I was going to put the new covers on all the books, just in time for Copper Mountain to be released. But I’m ALSO scheduling Black Dog free for October 30 – Nov 3 and running various free-book promotions during that time, and it turns out that to schedule those promotions, I needed the new cover on the book. So instead of waiting, I will be switching the covers as they are finished.

What I wanted:

–A style of cover that was more genre-specific. I think — I hope — that this new cover screams URBAN FANTASY / PARANORMAL.

–A very simple cover, with figures that are eyecatching and a black dog with plenty of sheer size and monstrousness, but not too werewolf-y.

–Super-readable title and author at thumbnail size.

I think this cover ticks those boxes. I hope you all like it, and I REALLY hope that prospective readers like it and find it clickable. The Pure Magic cover is very closely related to this one. It’s also finished and should be going up in a few days; the artist is starting the cover for Shadow Twin now.

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13 Comments Makeover for the Black Dog series

  1. Mike S.

    I think I like the original cover better, but the new one is good, and I agree it looks like it should be much better for matching the book to its intended audience.

  2. Elaine T

    I’m hardly the target, but just have to ask if it’s my monitor or of the magic is really fuschia pink? Shouldn’t Alessandro be surrounded by scarlet?

    And the pentagram silver, but that wouldn’t catch the eye so much.

  3. Rachel

    We — the artist and I — agreed fuschia was a very eye-catching color. So … fuschia.

    Mike, do you mean the original-original? From Strange Chemistry? Like the cover still shown on Goodreads?

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17884103-black-dog

    Because I have to admit, I always hated that cover. I grant you, I like that version of Natividad. But I hated the black dog as humanoid monster a LOT.

  4. Mary Beth

    I never saw the black dogs as humanoid monsters in the book, so I like this one better—though I imagined the face more lupine, I think the Tibetan mastiff silhouette and ruff is GREAT for size and intimidation factor and the hints of the black dogs’ aura/shadow.

  5. SarahZ

    I agree that I like the new version of the monster more, but this version of natividad doesn’t read right to me – she’s always wearing color and tends towards feminine looks, and had long hair, I thought. Also, while I appreciate that she’s not being whitewashed, she doesn’t look Mexican either – she looks Indian, maybe, or somewhere else Southeast Asia.

  6. Mike S.

    That’s the one, since it’s on my Kindle copy. I guess I wasn’t so much reading the Black Dog as humanoid as in the midst of rearing up. Though on closer inspection I see what you mean.

  7. SarahZ

    Other than Natividad, I like the design – I agree it fits the genre conventions well, and is eye catching

  8. Elaine T

    I get SarahZ’s points but looking at it as a marketing tool, the pink magic surrounds and is reasonably clean and clear in the image. If Natividad had color, too, it would clutter the image and everything would be less clear.

  9. Amara

    This is beautiful! I really like this version of the black dog – the design is more interesting and looks less like a standard werewolf than before.

    It’s also gorgeous from a marketing standpoint – I think readers will get a clearer “feel” for the story from this cover than from the old one. (the Strange Chemistry cover reads as a lot more horror-y than the book really is.)

    Back in my library days, I would definitely have put this on an endcap display to lure in tentative readers!

  10. rilkefan

    I really like the image on the cover of my kindle edition – N seen mostly from the back in a snowy wood recoiling from a black shadow just discernible as a beast. Very moody. This new cover – I don’t know if I would pick up this book, which would be terrible.

  11. Rachel

    I appreciate all your comments! Personally, I like the Natividad from the Strange Chemistry cover the best, the composition with Natividad’s back to the viewer the best — I’ve always been a sucker for covers with figures who are turned away from the viewer — but the, um, genre-specific-ness of this new cover by far the best. Is there a term for that? At the moment, I can’t think of a word for that.

    Also, this is the first cover artist who believed me when I said “Not a wolf! Much bigger and shaggier and a lot more like a Tibetan mastiff, but bigger!” But that’s a perk. The REAL plus, as far as I’m concerned, is eye-catching-ness and genre-appropriate-ness.

    Rilkefan, I really hope the majority of readers feel differently, because here we are.

    I’ll be putting the new cover on the second book today, I expect. Might take a day or so for the change to go through. I’ll say in advance, this is not quite as I visualize Justin, BUT I do only a little physical description, so this image should be okay. This guy looks like a modern American teenager, at least to me.

  12. Craig N.

    FYI, Amazon is now showing the new covers for both BLACK DOG and PURE MAGIC. The style is very similar for the two of them.

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