Welcome to my worlds!

I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Calvacade of Covers!

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was going to release Dawn of Dragons, the novel set 1000 years before Bitterwood, as it's own title. Today, I'm giving you a sneak peak at the cover:

Of course, this is also going to be part of the Complete Bitterwood Collection, which will include 4 novels, a short story, and an essay. For that, I've purchased the rights to use the original Bitterwood cover artwork. Currently, that cover looks like this:

Alas, I can't afford the rights to the cover for other editions of the book. My wife hates my current Bitterwood ebook covers, so I've been trying out some new designs and this is one she approves of:

Thoughts? Comments?


Darkond said...

Looking forward to some insight on the advanced humanity that developed the dragon races.

James Maxey said...

Thanks, Darkond. Sorry I missed that you'd made a comment before now!

heresolong said...

Sell your children into slavery and use the proceeds to buy the artwork. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you certainly decide whether to read it based on the cover. The original cover grabs the attention and says "this is a cool book that has archers and dragons". The alternative covers that I've seen so far say nothing. No idea what the book is about. Dragons? Don't know. Archers? Don't know. Fantasy? No idea. Science fiction? Not a clue.

Sorry to be so brutal but I love your books and I want you to sell more of them so that you can keep writing more for me to read.

James Maxey said...

Never apologize for saying what you feel, Heresolong! Alas, I have no children.

One nice thing about managing my own ebooks is that, if I put up these covers and they bomb, I can always swap them back. I'll also be able to judge results for the omnibus edition with the original cover against my homemade covers to see if sales justify the expense of more covers. And, of course, there never was an original cover for Dawn of Dragons. Soliciting a brand new cover from the original artist would be pretty expensive.

Unknown said...

Hi James,
I have just started book 3 of the Bitterwood series and cannot put my device down :-) Well done on the books so far and I will be on the look out for other works by you on Kindle.
As far as the art work goes, I always have a look at the front covers of ebooks but depending on whether I am using my tablet or my phone to read on depends on how clear the picture acompanying a book is. For this reason I have gotten in to the habbit of reading the book description befor purchase. To imagine that someone should buy a book on the strength of the illustration is unrealistic. The cover does add to the decision making process to a degree but only in drawing some ones eye to a book that has something on the front that interests them.
I wouldn't worry that you don't have children to sell. The books sell themselves due to being well written and through word of mouth on the www.

Congratulations on the trillogy and all the best for the future. :-)

James Maxey said...


Glad you're enjoying the books. I uploaded the long missing fourth Bitterwood novel, Dawn of Dragons to Amazon this weekend. I'll make an announcement here when it goes live, maybe as early as tomorrow.

As for covers, I confess that covers have almost no influence on my interest in a book at all. I would say that 90% of books I've purchased were books I knew a great deal about before I picked them up. I honestly can't think of any book I've ever picked up just because of the cover art. Obviously, I think a cover should be well designed and look professional... it is possible, I think, for a bad cover to scare off readers. But, for the most part, books live or die on what's between the covers. (Assuming that the phrase "between the covers" has any meaning at all in the ebook era!)