Sunday, November 11, 2012

Branding the brand or something like that

It's called "re-branding", I reckon. So here's the brand new cover for the first Hawthorne tale, "That Damned Coyote Hill". Keepin' it fresh and all that. Since Beat to a Pulp Press picked up the Hawthorne stories (after the original publisher and I went our separate ways), we've experimented with a handful of different looks for the covers. They're all unified now by the font and logo running along the top, but each cover is unique.

When I first submitted this story to the original publisher, I was staggered by how quickly he came back with a cover for it-- and an eye-catching cover it was. I was well-pleased... until a handful of friends contacted me almost immediately to inform me that the image was from the Dark Tower series by none other than Stephen fucking King.


I ignored the warning bells and contacted the publisher to let him know I'd try to find my own cover art. That's where my good friend Ron Warren came in; he whipped together a terrific image, using his own work, in a sort of matted thing that looked terrific. It served me well for a while, and I still quite like it.

When my relationship with the publisher ended, and Beat to a Pulp stepped up, we kept the original image, since it was owned by Ron and there would be no legal hassle. Again, it did well.

But when "The Long Black Train" and "The Spider Tribe" came out, David Cranmer and I knew we'd need a fresh look, and something to tie all three stories together. Hence the new logo, and the new cover art.

In future Hawthorne tales (and there are more coming!), you'll see the same logo along the top every time, but the cover images themselves will continue to be quite different from one another. As usual, your input is welcome.


  1. It's a great idea having the same logo along the top. Looks very classy and reminds me of the Hard Case Crime books.

  2. I saw the new cover on Amazon the other day. I like it well enough, but I think you'll need to go back and revisit The Long Black Train since it is more in line with the original cover #1 in style despite having the same masthead.

    I'm glad all that other business seems like a lifetime ago.

  3. Branding, particularly for an ever-growing collection involving the same character/s, is increasingly important in the digital era. And having a basic template that ties together differing visual styles, such as the one used for your Hawthorne books, is a good way to go about it.

    I hope it helps to increase sales

  4. It's a beautiful cover. I'll review all the volumes in a few weeks and I can't wait. That and City of Heretics are the two things from you I haven't read yet. Horror and Western seems like a nice, fresh mix to me.

  5. I'm glad readers are digging the new covers.