20 April 2012 by Published in: Uncategorized 4 comments

In my ongoing quest to improve my offerings, as I learn more about the business and develop a distinctive “look,” I’ve decided to revamp some of my covers with a new look that’s more consistent with my latest releases – The Voynich Cypher, and the Assassin series (Night of the Assassin, King of Swords and Revenge of the Assassin).

To that end, I have done a makeover on the Fatal Exchange cover, eschewing the busier cover that it went out with, and going for something more simple and to the point.


NEW BOOK REVIEW: Pets Weekly just reviewed my pet biography An Angel With Fur and it’s a good one.


The story is one, at its essence, of killers, and money.

So my cover designer and I came up with the not terribly breakthrough idea of blood on money. Fatal Exchange is also one of the grittier and more violent books, and the torture scenes are fairly graphic, and I wanted to convey that.

Blood money. Bloody money. Whatever. You get it. The result can be seen below.

The book’s sold well since release, now over 4000 copies paid, and tens of thousands of free downloads, and continues to sell well in fits and starts. The title will probably finish out this year having sold closer to 10K than 5K since it released. That’s about what the average mid-list offering from a Trad Pub house will sell, so I can’t complain. And I have the rights to it forever, so it will continue to sell until either nobody wants to read police procedurals/serial killer/conspiracy novels, or everyone gets tired of my voice. You have to love that.

Back to covers. Some might say why mess with a good thing? Why try to improve?

Simple. This is a business – self-publishing, not writing, which I do because I enjoy it. Businesses need to brand a look, and spend millions on redoing their packaging periodically. The cover I developed a year ago (almost) reflected my thinking at the time, but my newer books look different, and I don’t want readers to get confused.

I’ll be doing the same for Geronimo and Zero Sum, next. Then I will be able to sleep. Or not. The point is that you have to constantly be adjusting to improve the reader experience, and never grow complacent. Covers are an important part of that. I’ll also probably go back and do some rewrite on Night of the Assassin, and maybe Fatal and Geronimo, at some point, to flesh out some areas that I think I can improve upon. After I get done writing my seven to eight books this year. Groan. But I’m three down now, and will start a fourth in May, so am pulling on the oars as hard as I can.

Let me know what you think of the cover. If anyone wants info on my artist, e-mail me through the site and I’ll give you his e-mail. He’s good, fast and inexpensive.



  1. Fri 20th Apr 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Wow! Absolutely love it and would definitely be checking out the synopsis. Off to tweet this…

  2. Mon 23rd Apr 2012 at 10:24 am

    Very cool cover. Hits you between the eyes and definitely creates curiosity (for me, anyway) about the story inside.

    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 23rd Apr 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Oh good. That’s the idea, anyway…

  3. Someone who likes the new look!
    Tue 24th Apr 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I love it! Great balance and visual impact, IMHO. But I am partial to the title above, author name at the bottom & visual in-between.


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