With the production for the second set in the Newport series ramping up we have all been trying to gather what we learned from the first set so as to ensure success of the next four books. There was a lot learned in the process of the first books. For instance, while we all loved the beach/reading scenes on the covers for the first set, some readers had expected the books to be light fun-loving romance novels due to the bright colors and 'soft' scenes. Even Athena, which is the only romance of those first four books, wasn't a light fun-loving story as much as it was a woman's journey to make peace with hard changes in her life. That there was an attractive man who pushed some of those issues into the spotlight for her, wasn't the only driving force of her story. While we had great response from our readers to the stories, the cover confusion is something we want to remedy with this second set. We're not yet sure what the covers will be, but we know they will still 'match' the first set, but be more reflective of the depth of story we're telling. It is interesting to note that Victoria (Julie Wright 2013) Ruby (Heather Moore 2014) do deal with fabulous love stories. Ilana (Annette Lyon 2014) and Shannon (July 2013), however, are solid women's fiction.
The other change that was suggested, to better reflect the content was to change the titles a little bit. While the first set were just the names of the character that book was about, the second set will be two word titles that include the main character's name, but also have a descriptive word. For Shannon, the title has been changed to Shannon's Hope. I will admit that I'm not in love with the change--I really like the idea of all eight books in the series matching through the single name title thing. But, I also realize that while I like to think I know how everything should be done, my part of this process is writing a really great story. The publisher studies trends and marketing aspects and reader feedback and all the other details that go in to choosing a title. So, Shannon's Hope it is and though I don't personally love it, I do see that it might better explain the story contained inside the pages and I am hopeful that it will help the readers as they dive into the pages.
Shannon's Hope will be published in July of this year. I'll post a cover and a pre-order link as soon as they are available.