Wait, what? Hasn’t Carpe Diem, Illinois been out for a while? Yes, it has. Ten years, in fact! To celebrate, I’m releasing a tenth-anniversary edition with a new cover and an author’s note. I’m also writing a short (ten-page or so) prequel to the series which I’ll be happy to share with you.

Okay, so here we go . . .


The Original Cover

The cover of Carpe Diem, IllinoisThe original cover of Carpe Diem, Illinois is beautiful. It was designed by the talented Kristin Mitchell of Little Creek Press. I’ve received many compliments about it, and several people have said they bought the book based on the cover.

But over the last ten years, I’ve learned that beauty isn’t the only thing covers need. According to self-publishing giant IngramSpark, a book’s cover should:

  1. Give readers a sneak peek of what’s to come.
  2. Let the reader know the book’s genre.
  3. Introduce your protagonist.
  4. Set the right tone.
  5. Follow the rules of design in a way that makes sense for your genre.
  6. Pay attention to the details.
  7. Have a distinct style.

The original cover possibly introduces the reader to the protagonist — his jacket and name are on the cover, after all. It also sets a slightly ominous tone and has a distinct style. But, what would you say is the book’s genre? Mystery, perhaps? Maybe a cozy mystery?


The Tenth Anniversary Cover

For the new cover, I hired Patrick Knowles of Reedsy. Patrick designed the covers of my current Devil Particle Series and has a vast wealth of expertise in creating genre-specific covers. When we first talked, I told him I liked the original hanging jacket and color scheme. He told me I’d have to let go of those things to make the new one a success. But he promised he’d hang the jacket on the back.

The new design took some getting used to — it’s so different and I’d lived with the original for over ten years. But, it ticks off all seven of those necessary design elements and I love its intensity. Can you tell what genre this book is?

The cover of the 10th anniversary edition of Carpe Diem, Illinois

Release Date

I plan on releasing the tenth-anniversary edition of Carpe Diem, Illinois in the next few weeks and will let you know as soon as it goes on sale (for a discounted price). In the meantime, let me know what you think of the new cover!




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Hello! I'm award-winning thriller writer, Kristin A. Oakley. Sign up for my newsletter and I will send you the prequel to The Devil Particle Series.

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