Guest Post: How Loving Emily became Any Other Night by Anne Pfeffer & Giveaway!

Back in November of 2011 I had Anne Pfeffer on for an interview.  You can find that HERE.  When Anne contacted me again about the changes and doing a guest post I was all over it!  Here’s Anne talking about the changes and at the end you’ll find a giveaway!

How Loving Emily became Any Other Night

by Anne Pfeffer

I learned how much my book’s title and cover mattered when I changed them. Seven months after publication.

I called my first novel Loving Emily, mainly because I couldn’t think of anything better. Loving Emily had been a working title that fit the story really well during its early versions, when it was primarily a romance. But over time, the focus of the book changed. It became more and more just about Ryan, while Emily, although she was always his love interest, became increasingly the antagonist in the story.

I was aware of the problem, but frankly couldn’t come up with an alternative title. Just as I changed the opening paragraphs over and over again, trying to perfect them, I played with titles, pulling phrases from the book, brainstorming with people. But nothing seemed right.

So I had a cover made and published the book as Loving Emily. And it got good reviews, except for the one teensy ongoing problem that my readers didn’t always love Emily. I thought her behavior, although imperfect, was pretty realistic for a girl in her situation. But some readers thought she was selfish and didn’t support Ryan enough.

It bothered me to have a title that wasn’t quite right. I started brainstorming ideas again, with the same non-results. Nothing worked. I can’t explain how or why it suddenly came to me, but one day it just did.

Any Other Night.

It’s ironic how long it took me to think of it, given that “any other night” are the first three words of the book. Any other night, I’d be down for driving my best friend Michael to the party, but tonight is different.

It was the perfect title. It had that feeling of regret, of “if only.” If only Ryan had done this differently or that differently, his friend Michael wouldn’t have died. It evoked that weird element of chance, the idea that a tiny step, taken in one direction or the other, can alter your life forever.

I was ecstatic. I had my title. And no cover to go along with it.

I’m not an artist or a designer. I have to rely on someone else’s vision for covers, and it makes it hard. I’d been searching out stock photos for a long time, trying to find something I liked. Finally, I saw a photo of a teenage boy in profile, looking sad and moody. I might add that he was a gorgeous hunk of teenage boy and exactly what Ryan had always looked like in my mind.

I slapped down fourteen dollars for the royalty-free photo, added the title in a fetching Arial font, and published it. With a little note saying “Look what I did!” I proudly sent it off to show my talented designer friend Dalya.

She fired back a response within minutes. “This won’t do,” she said. “Send me your photo.”

She made me the cover of my dreams.

Since then, Any Other Night has been selling much faster than Loving Emily ever did. And my reviews are even better than they were before! Now, people’s expectations are more in line with what the book’s really about—Ryan and his story. Unlike the old title, which oversold Emily, the new title allows readers to make up their own minds about her and accept her the way she is.

Changing a book’s title and cover isn’t easy, but it can be done. In my case, it was well worth it.

Link to Goodreads http://twelio.com/nnphfj

Link to Amazon http://twelio.com/a0zk7z

Old Cover:

  
New Cover:

About Any Other Night:

Any other night, Ryan Mills would have driven his best friend, Michael, to Emily’s sweet sixteen party at the Breakers Club. Instead, determined to win over the birthday girl, he goes to the party early and alone, setting off a chain of events that ends with a car accident in which Michael dies.

Ryan blames himself for what happened to Michael. As far as he’s concerned, he doesn’t deserve to have love or ever be happy again. Then he learns Michael left a secret behind. Ryan feels compelled to take on his friend’s unfinished business, and in the process, changes his life forever and becomes a man.

A NOTE ABOUT CONTENT: in this book, some characters use profanity, engage in nonexplicit sexual activity, or take illegal drugs.

Personally I *really* like the new cover!  And that font is freaking awesome!

The Giveaway:
Anne is offering up 5 ebook copies in prc or epub format  (INT) AND 5 paperbacks (US only)
Must be 13 or older to enter
Open Worldwide
Ends 7/4/ 2012

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for subscribing!
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
facebooktwitterinstagram

Comments

  1. Awesome post! I’ve wanted to read this book for ages but I have to say, I much prefer the first cover. I understand the reasons for the author’s change but I like how the first cover, says that much more about the novel. Thanks for the chance! Donna xoxox

  2. I won Loving Emily and really enjoyed the story! I like the title, too. But I completely understand–finding a title that’s perfect is sooo hard! I’m terrible about titling things. Great post!

  3. Love this post! It’s always fascinating to me to see what a big difference a new title and design can make in the overall marketing of a book:) As someone who works in a design/marketing field all day, it just makes me happy to hear a story about how relatively small changes like a new cover and title can make such a big difference in the success of the book:) Love the new look!

  4. I like both covers because both of them are beautiful. If I had seen both covers and not read the book description, I would have picked up the books of these covers. I feel that a cover is the identity of a book. By changing cover, readers might get confused. I feel that a cover should only be changed if the original cover was terribly ugly and doesn’t suit the story at all.

  5. I’m really enjoying all of your comments — it’s fascinating to hear the different points of view.

    I think of this as, first, a change of title, followed by a necessary change of cover. Was it a drastic change? Yes, and one I thought about for a long time before I did it.

    To me the problem was that the title and cover for Loving Emily led people to expect a certain kind of book — a straight romance– when in fact, the book wasn’t a straight romance. It was the story of a boy torn up by the loss of his friend… and it happened to have a romance in it.

    As a result, readers would comment that they were surprised when they read the book, that it wasn’t what they’d expected. And that bothered me.

    In the end, I had to do what made me feel comfortable, and I’m simply happier and more comfortable with the new title and cover. This book is Ryan’s story. And people who have read the book usually really like Ryan. So now he’s on the cover, front and center!

    I hope people will enjoy reading my book,regardless of what it’s called. (By the way, the actual content of the book was not changed at all.)

    I love all my readers and would-be readers, so thanks so much all of you for your interest and comments!!

  6. I’m a fan of the new cover and title. I’m sure it was a hard decision to make, but from what you mentioned, I can tell it was the right choice to make. And I can definitely see why the new cover has ramped up the sells. Hot guys on covers always convince me. :)

  7. I have a post on my blog tomorrow discussing covers and how they sell books and yes a bad cover may break sales while a good cover can skyrocket them. It is all about presentation. I honestly like both covers. Thanks for sharing, I am sure it is a difficult process naming and coming up with the right cover.

  8. I have been wanting to read Loving Emily/Any Other Day. I like the new cover and think that authors should be more willing to edit if the original isn’t working.

  9. One interesting outcome from the title change was that a new group of people started buying the book — namely, guys! Even when there’s a male protagonist, a lot of guys won’t go near a book called Loving Emily. But the new title worked for them!

  10. Anne, I agree with that! There’s nothing I hate more than a book that is perfectly suited for male readers but the cover is something that makes them not go near it. For that reason (and many others) I think that the cover change is good.

  11. I love the new cover and definitely think an author should have the right to change a cover after publication if the cover isn’t working. I often judge a book by its cover I’m embarrassed to say!!

  12. I’m indifferent. Both covers are okay. I like artwork on covers so plain people are just like whatever. They’re cool though, and I’m sure they fit the story line so either works for me. Thanks for the giveaway! :D

  13. I prefer the old one =P
    But yes, this one’s cute too.
    And yes, if one cover isn’t working, authors should change them, cover are the first thing that call us form a book.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Yeah, because the cover it’s the first impression of a book! Honestly, I prefer the old one, but it’s truth that one can prepare to a story just by seeing the cover. At least my expectations changes!

  15. I like the new cover. I also like the old one too. I was surprised to learn that the authors have little say so on the covers. I think they should have the final say so. Flexibility is a must in the book writing business. Who knows? Someone may have a great idea that you would have never considered.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  16. I confess that I quite like the old cover of loving emily and am not as convinced by the new one. Although I still like it I fear it may not do the book as much justice… This said never judge a book by its cover :)

    Thank you for the lovely giveaway!

  17. I confess that I quite like the old cover of loving emily and am not as convinced by the new one. Although I still like it I fear it may not do the book as much justice… This said never judge a book by its cover :)

    Thank you for the lovely giveaway!

  18. I confess that I quite like the old cover of loving emily and am not as convinced by the new one. Although I still like it I fear it may not do the book as much justice… This said never judge a book by its cover :)

    Thank you for the lovely giveaway!

  19. Sorry, I deleted post 27 above due to typos.

    First, I’m not sure why it says I’m unknown. This is Anne Pfeffer!

    Some background on the old cover…the models were two kids from Ashland, Oregon, who the photographer recruited. I thought, and still do think, that they embodied Ryan and Emily’s love story really beautifully.

    Ryan and Emily do have a passionate and troubled love relationship throughout this book, but it’s one of three or four major subplots. Someone who comes into it expecting a standard romance where the the relationship is the focus of the story– well, they won’t get what they’re expecting!

    They will get the story of a boy who loves, loses a friend, changes all his major relationships, and grows up. I love this story very much, but I am totally biased!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge