Publisher’s Note: Book Covers as Art


Of all the many hats I wear as publisher, my favorite one is cover designer. That’s an unusual hat for a publisher to wear, in fact, but I’ve never been called “usual.”

A cover designer is different than a cover artist. I don’t create cover art. I find it. I might modify it or enhance it. But as a cover designer, I curate together the best piece of art I can find to represent the book and its genre and pair it with the fonts that pair best to the genre, and voila! Pretty cover.

But sometimes, I have a really important book that I just can’t find the right art for. Or I’m looking for something specific. This usually happens for a series of books. That makes it harder. Because series branding is very important, and it starts with the cover.

That’s when I turn to the artists. Digital illustrators these days.

For some of our major sf series (the Diving Series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and the Seeders Universe for Dean Wesley Smith), we work with the amazingly talented Philcold. He customizes all of our spaceships and space scenes for those books. He’s a delight to work with.

But those books are easy to cover compared to Kris’ Fey series, the latest books in need of new covers. The Fey books have a troubled history thanks to neglect from traditional publishers. You can read all about it in Lessons from the Writing of The Fey or watch Kris talk about it in a series of videos on the WMG Teachable site.

So, these covers had to be spectacular to make up for all of that. To make it up to Kris, who loved this series and was heartbroken by its treatment.

I worked closely with her on the project and created covers that we liked. But they weren’t good enough. I knew they needed to be more. But because I’m not a cover artist, I didn’t know how to achieve it.

Until I met Echo Chernik at the Licensing Expo in May.

Echo is the coordinating judge for the annual Illustrators of the Future contest and one of the premiere Art Nouveau artists of her generation.

I showed Echo what I’d come up with and she loved the concept. She could already visualize how to take what I’d created and enhance it to what I wanted it to be.

And oh wow, has she.

We have three covers done so far, and they are simply stunning. We’ll be using them prodigiously in the coming weeks as we promote our next Kickstarter—for the first new Fey novel in 22 years, so be sure to watch for news on that next week!

To give you a taste of what I’m talking about, here are side-by-side comparisons for the new covers for The Sacrifice and The Changeling. The ones on the left are what I did with the art I had to work with. The ones on the right are Echo’s incredible creations.



Sometimes, you’re just in the right place at the right time. And you find a partner who just makes everything better.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Back to School for All


I’ve been having a wonderful time in Savannah, and my daughter, Nola, has been learning all sorts of new things. Like how to drive a golf cart. And swing a golf club. And how to catch fish by using cat food as bait (the cat would approve if she got to eat the fish afterward).

It’s a great way to close out the summer before she starts seventh grade.

Junior high. Where did the time go?

No more having the same teachers for most subjects. No more community sports.

Now, she’ll have seven different teachers during the day. In seven different classrooms. And she’s playing volleyball this fall on the middle school team. They practice every day after school.

This is a big change for all of us.

But change can be good. It can mean we’re learning and growing.

And why would we ever stop learning and growing?

That’s why we started running our WMG Teachable sales every month. So, you know exactly when they’re coming and can take advantage of them when it works for you.

You can read all about this month’s sale on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog by clicking here.

You might want to add a class or two to your back-to-school shopping budget <grin>.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Crimes and also Space Adventures


Well, I was home for a week and now I’m traveling again. I’m making up for the lost travel time due to brain surgery, then the pandemic and the lost pet year.

This time, I’m in Savannah, Georgia, visiting my father and stepmother with my daughter, Nola. We haven’t seen my dad since he flew out for my aforementioned brain surgery in March of 2019.

I’m lucky. I can work from anywhere. Have laptop, will travel, so to speak. The freedom to do that would have seemed like science fiction when I was growing up. Heck, even when I was in grad school.

It’s weird because it has felt the past few years like we’ve been living in an alternate reality. But it also feels in some ways like we’re reliving history, too.

I grew up in the Cold War, where the threat of nuclear holocaust felt very real. The regular air raid drills I experienced in grade school guaranteed that. As did Chernobyl.

And here we are again, with my daughter asking about Russia and their nuclear arsenal and the threats to the nuclear power plants in Ukraine.

My parents couldn’t keep reality from me then and there’s no way for me to keep it from Nola in today’s interconnected world—one which would seem like sci-fi to my past self.

And there’s the paradox. Same old problems, modern high-tech world.  

Of course we need an escape!

And I’ve got two options for you there: one to the past and one to the future. I’ve talked about both of them recently (there’s that history repeating itself again) but they end soon, so here’s a reminder.

The Past Crimes Bundle, curated by Dean Wesley Smith, features three WMG books: Fiction River: Hidden in Crime, edited by Kris; Smoke-Filled Rooms: A Smokey Dalton Novel by Kris Nelscott; and Heads Up: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery by Dean.

You can read Dean’s full blog about the bundle and all the other pertinent details here. And if you want to just go straight to the bundle page itself, click here.

But hurry. This bundle ends this Thursday, Aug. 18.

If you prefer to travel to the future instead, there’s the Stars of Sci-Fi Summer book bundle, and WMG has three titles in this jam-packed offering: The Diving Series Box Set: Books 1-3 by Hugo-winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch; The High Edge: A Seeders Universe Novel by USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith; and Fiction River: Moonscapes, edited by Dean.

It also features titles by Brandon Sanderson and Alan Dean Foster, as well as writers who have graced the pages of WMG projects, including Kevin J. Anderson, Frank Herbert, Robert Jeschonek, Tao Wong, and Leah Cutter.

There are 35 total titles in this bundle ($308 total value), and you can get them all for $18.

Click here to learn more!

Both bundles donate a portion of the proceeds to charity, as well, so you can rest assured you’re helping make the world a better place, right now.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: A Humble New Bundle


I’m back in the office after two weeks of adventuring. To briefly recap: I flew to Gunnison, Colorado, for a week of teaching at Western Colorado University with Kevin J. Anderson and Mark Leslie Lefebvre, and then my family drove out to Gunnison to meet up with me.

From Gunnison, we drove to New Mexico, where we spent two days exploring Santa Fe. Then, we traveled west, stopping for a night in Sedona, Arizona, on our way to San Luis Obispo, California. From SLO, we took Route 1 up the California coast to Monterey and then headed inland to Sonoma. We took Highway 101 home from there, through the redwood forests of northern California and up the coast all the way home to Lincoln City, Oregon.

It was a lovely trip full of many adventures. We went from rocky coast to the Rocky Mountains to the high desert to the desert Southwest to the Mojave Desert to the fertile valleys of California to the coast again.

We won’t do it again, though. It was quite an ambitious road trip. In the future, we’ll make California its own trip and instead spend more time in Santa Fe and Sedona, two of my favorite places on the planet.

But after everything we’ve been through the past few years—in our case: brain surgery and devastating pet losses in addition to the pandemic that has touched us all—it was wonderful to plan and experience an ambitious adventure.

But ambitious adventures are not for vacations alone. I have a brand-new reading adventure to tell you about, and it’s a big one.

Draft2Digital has partnered with Humble for the Stars of Sci-Fi Summer book bundle, and WMG has three titles in this jam-packed offering: The Diving Series Box Set: Books 1-3 by Hugo-winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch; The High Edge: A Seeders Universe Novel by USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith; and Fiction River: Moonscapes, edited by Dean.

You can also discover tales by Hugo-winning authors Brandon Sanderson (Shadows Beneath) and Frank Herbert (High-Opp). Explore the futures imagined by Alan Dean Foster (Three Books, Countless Worlds), Kevin J. Anderson (Resurrection, Inc.), and more stars of sci-fi, and help support First Book with your purchase!

There are 35 total titles in this bundle ($308 total value), and you pay what you want.

Pay less to get fewer items, get them all for $18, or pay extra to give more to publishers, Humble, and charity.

Click here to learn more!

So, finish off your summer by traveling on your own ambitious adventures through strange worlds and to new horizons in this incredible collection of science fiction novels and stories!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: It Would be a Crime to Miss This


I’m on vacation with my family this week as we road trip back from my week of teaching in Colorado. We’re having all sorts of adventures.

One of the games my daughter likes to play in the car (during those times when I make her put down her electronics and actually look out the window) is twenty questions.

She likes mysteries, you see. Figuring out puzzles. Detective work.

Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch like mysteries, too. Especially writing about them.

And Dean likes mysteries so much that he’s curated a StoryBundle filled with books from some of his favorite crime authors.

It’s called The Past Crimes Bundle, and it features three WMG books: Fiction River: Hidden in Crime, edited by Kris; Smoke-Filled Rooms: A Smokey Dalton Novel by Kris Nelscott; and Heads Up: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery by Dean.

Here’s what Dean has to say about it:

The past often brings out the best in crime.

In fact, for a vast majority of crime fiction (mystery), the crime has already happened in the past and solving what happened, or who did it, or why the crime happened is the fun of it all.

I personally love past crimes of another category: cold cases. When the question of who done it or why in the normal crime stories doesn’t get answered in any satisfying way, the crime becomes a cold case.

And the passing of time makes it harder and harder to solve that dormant case.

You can read Dean’s full blog about the bundle and all the other pertinent details here. And if you want to just go straight to the bundle page itself, click here.

All these fantastic books are perfect for entertaining you during this busy summer of travel.

And they’re waaay more interesting than twenty questions. Trust me on that one <grin>.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Never Pass up and Opportunity to Learn


I’m traveling again this week. This time, I’m on the gorgeous mountain campus of Western Colorado University, where I’m a Lecturer in Publishing for Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing.

I’m a lifelong learner, and I love being on a college campus. The energy that courses through them is palpable. You can just feel all the brain cells firing.

I love being able to share my knowledge with graduate students. Degrees in publishing are relatively new, so it’s an exciting field to be teaching.

And it’s an extension of the teaching I’ve been doing for a decade, but to professionals rather than graduate students, through the workshops and lectures we offer at WMG.

These days, most of our educational offerings are on Teachable. Dean Wesley Smith is our Dean of Teaching (yes, yes, my blog is filled with puns this week). He’s truly a master educator.

And he’s just made a big announcement regarding how to save money on those offerings. You can read all about the sale on his blog by clicking here.

So, hurry on over. One should never stop learning.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.