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Happy August everybody! (Please can we have some summer this month...?)

I got through July, the first month as no-longer-an-indie-publisher. (I closed that side of my business on 30 June). It's been quite hard to adjust. On Twitter for instance I'm used to jumping in with book recs... and now I can't do that quite as much... although many of the books I published are still around in audio, and of course there are second-hand copies, and some will be available in libraries. But there are no new fresh copies from me anymore. Which makes me a bit sad. I have kept some copies back for posterity and also for the top three finalists in my Page 100 comp (one of the prizes is a box of LWB books). That reminds me, please enter my comp! It's open for entries until Sunday 20 August. It costs just £5. All the details are here.

I've decided my own three novels need a new look. I experimented last year with a generic, branded cover. At that point I was looking for ways to keep my publishing business alive, and cut costs... and the covers were OK, but a bit on the nondescript side. So they are on their way out, and I'm ushering in a new era for my covers... I wanted a simple and striking image for each book. I also wanted the cover image to tell us something about the story inside, or to pick up on a character trait, or to symbolise an important scene or trope in the novel.

I'm using, who offer great prices and a huge array of images to choose from.

This cigarette image for The Hermit struck me as perfect for the protagonist Sylvia: she is rebellious and she smokes (a lot) and smoking is antisocial... and so are hermits... and I love the soft focus background. (Photographer: Ostaf)

Loved the freshness of this image for A Life Between Us. And the 1970s-style basket is perfect. The preparations for the making of plum jam is for me quite a strong image or trope in the story, and quite a big deal for the protagonist Tina, so I was drawn to this image. (Photographer: DarkBird)

And for The Road to California I chose these wonderful colours and the simple image of needles, thread, and buttons. The protagonist, Joanna, is a professional seamstress and designer. I also find the image to be calm, uplifting, and optimistic, which is the feel I was after. (Photographer: mady70)

So there we are, revamped. I will be ordering stocks for my website soon for all three books with their new packaging. And they are all available from Amazon too.

Back soon,

Louise x

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