Covers and Titles and Authors, Oh My. . .

The Color of LightIf you follow this blog you’ll remember more than one post where I talked about the many things over which authors have no control. One sentence summarizes much of this: “We write the books, but quite frankly, if we sign a contract with a publisher there are many parts of the process over which we have no control. When we sign, we give them many rights to do as they see fit.”

Two weeks ago I gave you hints about my newest novel and asked your input on titles. I gave you a list of possibilities, and you let me know which ones sounded most appealing. Additionally some of you took the time to suggest new possibilities, for which I am both delighted and grateful.

I took your favorites and my own and presented them to my publisher, assuming that one of them would appeal to 1) my editor, 2) the editor in charge of all Mira books, 3) and finally the marketing team who are well known for rejecting titles they don’t think will go over well with stores and readers.

My editor was lukewarm about all our choices. Ed-in-charge was even more lukewarm. And the titles stopped there. No point in taking them to marketing when neither editor was thrilled. They wanted something more layered, something more evocative.

Not happy here.

Convinced I would never come up with anything I liked better I immediately came up with one anyway. Delighted, I passed it on. My editor wasn’t thrilled. She would send it up to the next level but she planned to wait while I thought about it some more.

As always, Nemo to the rescue.

Stomping and muttering around our development with Nemo in tow I told myself (repeatedly) that this was silly and impossible. I had given them more than half a dozen possibilities. What were they waiting for?

Then out of nowhere the title appeared.

When We Were Sisters.

Remember this is a novel about former foster sisters who are pulled together to work on a project. I loved the title immediately. It hearkens back to their past together, and the reasons they’ve remained close. In every way it suggests there is more to the story than first meets the eye.

My editor felt the same way. The head of the line did, too. And yesterday I learned that marketing agreed and When We Were Sisters is a definite go. It will be on bookshelves in June 2016.

Of course I have to write it first.

Contractually I have the right to refuse titles my publisher suggests. I do not have the right to refuse covers. I give input. Sometimes my opinion makes a difference and sometimes not.One Mountain Away mass market

Above you’ll see the cover for The Color of Light, the fourth Goddesses Anonymous novel, due at bookstores in August 2015. To the right you’ll see the new cover for the mass market (smaller sized) paperback of One Mountain Away, coming out in May.

What you can’t see is all the wrangling that got us to these two covers and my fear that one proposed cover would be used. I was successful convincing my publisher not to go with that one. It was, in my opinion, an inappropriate cover for a novel about a minister.  My publisher graciously asked other professionals for feedback and chose the two you see here. I will always be grateful that my opinion was taken into account, more research was done, and something other than the original selection was chosen.

Let’s hear your opinion on these covers and titles. Since I already know you’ll be polite, I’ll say have at it.

What do you think?



  1. DARLA FAIN on March 17, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I love The Color of Light bookcover! Can’t wait to receive my signed copy!

  2. Annette sexton on March 17, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Love it

  3. Kathryn@Book Date on March 17, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    The sound of the 2016 title is great – well done. I love the cover of The Color of Light – gorgeous. The new cover for One Mountain Away is very nice too, all some of my fav colours so not complaining although I did like first cover too. Some things are worth fighting for! Thanks for getting us covers we appreciate …. and want.

  4. Wendy nelligan on March 18, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Now I understand why there are different covers for different books! Of the same title, of course. I usually go to the library and browse the bookshelves. Often I’d see a book, same author, same title, but different cover. And wondered why. Different publisher? No, everything the same. Now I know.
    Thanks for enlightening me.

    And thanks for letting us have a peek into the process of publishing – not just the technical stuff, the emotional stuff as well. 🙂

    Love both covers. Really. I see many book covers of nature scenes which beckon me, entice me to walk right in. To follow the path, climb the mountain, sit by the seashore. Nature has a pull on us and gets my vote every time.

    The Colour of Light conveys conflict, yet compassion in the woman’s stance and bearing. It draws one in and you want to know more (about the story). And the title is also one which makes you stop in your tracks. Colour of light? Isn’t it clear – no not clear, um white? No yellow – same as the cover. But maybe it’s a beam of silver? Like a star shining though the dark sky on a winter night. Hmmm. Can’t really capture it.

    And that IMHO spells success.

  5. Wendy nelligan on March 18, 2015 at 8:30 am

    p.s. – love that you chose such a perfect title “When we were Sisters”
    But now you have to write it!

    Made me laugh out loud!

  6. Pamela Feinberg on March 18, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Love the title and the cover of your new book. Can’t wait until it comes out. That goes for the next one too!

  7. Lynn Ross on March 18, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Emilie, I love both book covers, and I like the title When we were Sisters. I’m looking forward to reading The Color of Light. Can’t wait to see the cover for When we were Sisters and reading it, too (when you get the latter written 🙂 )!!

  8. John Morris on August 14, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I drive a tractor trailer at night and listen to audio books. Endless Chain was very touching. I enjoyed listening to it CD. Is their a part two covering Sam and Elisa life? I was sad when it ended as I was deeply involved in each phase of the story. I drive out of Harrisonburg Via and go by Toms Brook off 81N. I’m going to the library to see what other books you have on audio. Thanks. A great story.

    • Emilie Richards on August 14, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      John, I bet you know the truck stop at the Toms Brook exit very well. I always stop there. I’m delighted you liked the Endless Chain audio book. The good news? The next book, Lover’s Knot, is also on CD and Elisa and Sam are characters in that, as well, although not the main ones. But they are a part of the story. After that there are two more: Touching Stars and Sister’s Choice, and I’m pretty sure you’ll find Sam and Elisa in those, as well. You started with the second of five, and the first was Wedding Ring. Sam’s mentioned there, too, but not Elisa who comes along after that one. I hope you can find all the CDs. Thank you for asking. Enjoy your listening.

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