OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Exciting times! My next novel, Prophecy, will be coming out at the end of December (final edits still to come!) and I wanted to share the cover design and also the back blurb for the novel. I'd love to know what you think! It's the next in the ARKANE series, kind of Dan Brown meets Lara Croft in a kick-ass thriller! Below I also share some information about my fantastic cover designer and a giveaway for print copies of Pentecost which I am soon to ‘un-publish' in the current print form. See below for all the details.
Prophecy, an ARKANE thriller by Joanna Penn
“I looked, and there before me was a pale horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:8
The prophecy in Revelation declares that a quarter of the world must die and now a shadowy organization has the ability to fulfill these words. Can one woman stop the abomination before it’s too late?
When the medieval Devil's Bible is rediscovered, the malevolent Thanatos organization finally holds the power to fulfill the prophecy through demonic curses that lie within. All they need is the vehicle to take the curse to the masses and the pale horse of the apocalypse will ride forth.
When mysterious suicides in Israel draw Oxford University psychologist Morgan Sierra into the fray, she joins ARKANE, a secret British agency investigating paranormal and religious experience, for their investigation. Partnered with Jake Timber, the two must stop the Devil's Bible from reaching Thanatos before destruction is unleashed.
From the catacombs of Paris to the ossuaries of Sicily and the Czech Republic, Morgan and Jake must find the Devil's Bible and stop the curse being released into the world before one in four are destroyed in the coming holocaust. Because in just seven days, the final curse will be spoken and the prophecy will be fulfilled.
What do you think?
Update 7 Dec: Based on your marvellous comments, I have removed this paragraph entirely: Ground-breaking neuro-theology brain research has enabled manipulation of belief so fundamentalists will enact violence in the name of God. As Abraham obeyed the command to sacrifice, so now the faithful are ready to obey what they believe is the ultimate authority. Paired with the curse of the Devil’s Bible, Thanatos intend to use it to kickstart an escalation of extremist violence and it seems a religious war will soon overtake the earth.
I also understand that this type of action-adventure/religious thriller is not everyone's cup of tea but if you are interested in hearing more about Prophecy then you can sign up for the pre-release notification (and potential review copies) here.
The Prophecy cover has been designed by Derek Murphy from Creativindie Book Cover Design. Derek has done a great job for me and also for others I have recently recommended him for. He's a writer and artist as well as a designer and was able to incorporate the themes I wanted in a fantastic way. With a series, it's important to incorporate a similar design theme so the Prophecy cover uses elements of the Pentecost cover but changes the focus of the images. Derek helped me work through a number of iterations before we reached the final cover design.
I start very generally and soft pitch a handful of cover ideas, basically focusing on the image(s) we want to use. I try to find something that evokes the main genre or idea of the book; hopefully something with a clever twist, with a strong, clean combination of images. It's helpful if the client shows me some book covers they like. After a client picks a direction, I'll tighten that design up into several mock-ups with different text and color arrangements. When the pick the best out of that, I'll fine tune placement, font, until everything looks just right.
The challenge for me is that there are so many choices. I think sometimes it'd be easier to just pick the best design and focus on it, instead of playing around with so many options. However, my method lets authors be really involved in the process and so they walk away feeling empowered and involved; I think it also helps me to know that they are really happy with the cover, which is important to me.
The other challenge is I compare myself to mainstream book cover designers, who often commission custom 3D graphics, paintings or do a photoshoot for unique cover images. I provide a budget book cover design solution so I'm limited to working with royalty free images and photoshop; I'd definitely like to have the freedom to go further and do more custom stuff, but I'm happy where I am in the price range because I really think I'm filling a void and helping people.
Giveaway of print copies of the first novel, Pentecost
Pentecost sales are almost at 16,000 copies now and unsurprisingly, 98% of those have been ebook sales. It's still ranking in the Bestseller lists for Religious Fiction in the US & UK and sporadically ranks for Action-Adventure. It currently has 57 reviews averaging 4 star in the US Amazon store & 16 reviews averaging 4 star in the UK Amazon store.
This means that a print book is basically a vanity project for me so I have something to give to my Mum & Dad 🙂 I still want to do print books but because of the extra design & pro-typesetting I want to use, it takes more money than ebooks. I am also unpublishing the current print version of Pentecost soon in order to republish at a smaller size, 5×8 instead of 6×9 as for my shorter books, this just looks like “more value” to the customer. Weird, yes, but true! I also want to correct a few mistakes and also add a chapter of Prophecy at the end. So the current print version of Pentecost will soon disappear and I'm giving away 2 copies on Goodreads – click here for the giveaway (currently pending approval by Goodreads by shouldn't be long!). Check out the video below as I talk about the reasons why I am un-publishing this version and come join the giveaway!
Please leave your comments and valuable feedback below!