Cover Story

Do you ever get the feeling that something is cursed and the universe is telling you that going ahead with it will lead to your ultimate destruction? But you continue anyway in the vain hope when the day comes, the universe gets distracted by something shiny on the ground? In our case, that ‘something’ is The Malignant Dead. We get the feeling Fate doesn’t want us to release it. We don’t know why – we agreed not to release the stories of that time we caught her- anyhoo, we had the cover, it looked stunning and we sent off a press release with it and bought promo material. Createspace sent us a proof copy. It was too dark. Most of the plague doctor can’t be seen. Lizzie lightened him and we adjusted the photo on the back cover. We sent off for another proof copy, this time paying extra for the fastest delivery.

It looked no different.

Bandit holding Cat's hand through the Photoshop ordeal

Bandit holding Cat’s hand through the Photoshop ordeal

There was only one thing for it: change the black background. We found a misty one on and thought it would be a simple case of swapping the black for the new background. It took us two friggin’ hours! For a start, we couldn’t just swap it – no, we had to resize it to match the covers and spine. Then it didn’t fit on the print template – it was too small. For the other one, we cheated and filled the background in black. We tried this, continuously having to delete and resize the misty background to fit, and you could clearly see the cover on top of the background. We obviously weren’t going to be able to cheat this time. So we had to resize the cover. Several times. We probably should’ve asked someone who doesn’t hate Photoshop to do this, but we are so pushed for time, we can’t ask someone to drop everything they’re doing for us. We finally beat Photoshop into submission and sent the cover off for review.

They rejected it.

So this morning, we adjusted it to make sure it’s in the damn bleed area and sent it for another review.

We know most writers when they have a book coming out/ newly released, are gushing over their new baby. We now hate this book with the passion of a thousand burning witches. Which is a shame because it’s been one of our favourites to work on and we’re sad that we can’t work on it anymore.

We have a problem – we don’t think we have time for another proof copy. We have to have the books for our launch on Halloween and if we get another proof, we risk the books not coming in time unless we pay for the fastest shipping, in which case we’ll have zero profits. They come from America, so take a while. And customs once seized Deadly Reflections so they took months to get to us after we had to beg them to release it and pay a fine. If customs seize The Malignant Dead, we have no book launch. If we don’t get another proof, we risk the book looking terrible. We need more time. But we’re going to America next week and time is something we don’t have. We’ve had book launches without books before – Bad Romance and Romance Is Dead didn’t go live until the evening – but they were virtual launches and it’s never mattered if we haven’t had the print books. But this is a book signing. We need the books. And we need them before we fly to Scotland on October 29th.

We’re not changing the ebook cover – that one is staying black. We like the black and if we change it, it means our promo material was a waste of money. And we hate wasting money almost as much as we hate wasting time. We are so stressed, we can feel the frustration knotting in our chests. And we had our last therapy session on Monday. This is a bad time to be cut off from the people who keep us sane. We’re supposed to be excited about our first trip outside the UK but we can’t even concentrate on that at the moment. We are almost ready to throw away our atheism, adopt an ancient god and sacrifice someone to him in the hope that this will end well.

But this is our book. And our books never have happy endings.

Here is the new version. You can pre-order the Kindle version here – Amazon UK  Amazon US  Smashwords Read chapter one here.TMD mist


  1. ” But we’re going to America next week and time is something we don’t have. ”

    Could you not ship it to wherever you’ll be in the States? It’d only take a few days even on the cheap option then.

    Or approve it and then order a copy from Amazon UK before anyone else can?

    • the trouble is then, getting it back home. Doubtful we’ll have room in our suitcases for 80 books! We’re only staying each place for three or four nights, so can’t guarantee they’ll find us. Ordering it from Amazon will probably take longer than ordering the proof because they’ll still have to print it.

      • I’ve only just seen your reply so this is a bit late now, but I meant the proof. You could have had the proof delivered to you in the USA – it would have been waiting for you by the time your flight arrived, and then you could have approved it while away so most of the shipping time from the USA to the UK overlapped with the your trip so it would have been pretty quick after you got home (if it wasn’t already waiting at a courier depot).

        Amazon UK print in Milton Keynes. If you had approved then ordered from them a next day proof via a free Prime trial would have cost the price of one book (with royalties coming back as normal as it would count as a retail sale). That also would have been quick; I did this for TGM. Approval, appearance on Amazon, my order and prime delivery took 36 hours end to end. If you can turn around a proof that quickly then the actual bulk order timeframes aren’t as problematic.

      • thanks, we’ll have to remember this for next time. How do you get them to print in the UK? Ours always come from America, which takes forever.

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