I have some
questions for all you avid readers, I hope you’ll reply.
…And I have offered my thoughts regarding my questions.
What makes you want to buy a book – the cover or the blurb on the back of the book?
As an author (and an avid reader), I find buying books depends on what the story is about (the blurb), but the cover has to catch my eye for certain! The cover of any book should spark our imaginations, make us want to know more about what’s on the pages of the book and how involved the story will make us. I want to feel as though I’m the heroine, the strong woman who defies all around her to get what she wants. Since I’m not that person in real life, a character such as this would be one I would enjoy and cheer for as she makes her way through thick and thin.
When you get into a story, what keeps you reading? Is it the bad boy hero or the tough, strong willed woman or the cast of characters that help push the story forward?
I like to laugh, to find humor in even the darkest of moments. When my heroine is about to
go where no one should, I want it to be scary, yet challenging and ludicrous at the same time. While that can be hard to manage when working through the storyline, I can always allow the story to take a nap. Then, later, when I read the chapter, I take the opportunity to tweak and add to it. My Vinnie Esposito novels are a good example of that. In my latest Sarah McDougall novella, I gave Sarah a new power that puts her at a disadvantage as she learns how to control it. She ends up tangled in a coil of rope, flung onto a table of food, and other such experiences. If I chuckle as I write it, then I know I’m on the right track. If I don’t, then I know the scene needs reworking. (Hence the book naptime).
What makes you favor one author over another?
For me … that would be story content! I’ve read Karen Marie Moning’s Fae Fever series a few times, and I can almost recite the stories verbatim. Honest! J I was sad when she ended the
series and keep hoping she’ll bring Barrons and Mac back for another round of craziness.
Okay, this is the last question I have for you – When does a series become boring? Is
it the 5thbook, 10th book, etc?
As long as the author keeps the characters fresh, I find I don’t have a problem with the
number of books in a series. When the storyline takes the same direction over and over without changes to keep the reader wanting thenext book, then it’s time to reevaluate the series, the direction and the characters. This sounds easier than it is, but for the sake of the readers, authors must keep those things in mind. Without readers, we have no audience, without an audience, authors are out of a job. We enjoy sharing our stories and feedback (constructive, that is) keeps us going. While we like to read how much a reader has found our novels to be better than ever, we also want to know our strengths and weaknesses. That can be said to us in a private message on Facebook, or in an email. We appreciate readers more than they realize, cross my heart!
Thanks for reading,
You can visit me at:
Ocean Whispers.…When a runaway heiress books passage on a luxury cruise ship to escape her cruel ex,
will the battle worn P.I. hired to find her turn her in, or turn her on?
Whispered Magic….Could unexplained love between two
strangers in Salem, Massachusetts be destiny? Or just someone's playful magic?
Whispers is my new two-novella anthology, and my first indie non-sports romance for Amazon. I'm very excited about this duo of very different contemporary love stories. The first one, WHISPERED MAGIC, tells the story of Crystal Hammond, a jewelry maker from Salem Mass, and Nate Bishop, a computer tech geek, who meet on a cool Halloween day, and in the space of less than one day, fall deeply in love. The question here is: is it just a case of love at first sight, or, could it be they've been put under the spell of the hero's psychic aunt? Ah, you'll have to read it to find out!
The second story is called OCEAN WHISPERS. In the course of a five day cruise, John Stabler is hired to locate the runaway bride for his client, a rich, controlling New York businessman. Yet the moment John and Celeste Foxworth literally bump into each other, the sparks fly, and love soon
ensues. John tries to ignore his emotions, and Celeste doesn’t expect her attraction to the older, serious, ruggedly handsome private investigator. Will he turn her in? Or turn her on? Stay tuned!
I'm hoping to go on a cruise myself next year. Since I've never been on one I was hoping my readers could help me out by telling me about a destination or a cruise line they like.
I'm posting this here because first if you have never heard of query tracker you need to check it out. Second, it really resonated with me. The way for me to design the BEST cover for an author is to read the back cover blurb and to have the author tell me genre and tone. My job is to create a cover that people will stop to look at. A cover that will make the person LOOK at the back cover blurb. But don't go by me...take a look at the blog from Query Tracker.
assistant cover artist
20 Feb 2013 05:21 AM PST
Have you ever designed your cover in yo
mind? I used to design covers in sidewalk chalk while my preschool-age children
drew flowers and monster faces. They were about as good as you'd expect with
sidewalk chalk, which is to say about as good as I'd be able to produce even in
a professional art studio with the entire contents of Oil Paintings And More at
my disposal. I'd splash my title across the top and my name along the bottom
and then some stick figure bit in the middle.
Then the rain would come, and the
world was thankfully spared my artistic genius, assuming anyone even recognized
that as a drawing in the first place.
You can't tell a book by its cover is
the truism, but of course we judge books by their covers all the time. It's the
face your work presents to the world. Your book cover is the introduction
you're making to a potential reader.
My first novel's cover arrived in the
mail one day. I was given no opportunity for input, but I thought it was okay
(it grew on me later). Since then, working with small presses, I've had the
opportunity to design four covers, and if this happens to you, you should know
what to do. (Because at least one of those cover artists probably put a picture
of me on a dart board.)
First, your book is a multifaceted
work filled with interlocking meanings and chained symbols overlaid over a
theme and a mood. And before you step any further, you need to know: a cover
won't capture it all. You thought a 250-word query letter was insufficient?
You're going to be longing for those 250 words.
What that means is you can't ask the
cover artist to cram every bit of meaning in the book onto the cover. I've seen
covers where the author and aritst seem to have plotted out every molecule of
space: We'll put the main character here and the love interest looking in
the opposite direction over there, and we'll superimpose that over the image of
a rose, and beneath that we'll have the images of a locked treasure chest and a
kitten, and in the background we should have an old Victorian house with birds
pulled that out of thin air, by the way. If I accidentally nailed your cover,
problem with a cover like that is while you might think your book cannot be
encapsulated without the rose and the kitten and the treasure chest, someone
else's brain can't process it all in a glance. We don't know where to look
first, and we don't know what the story is about.
So back up. The most important thing
you can keep in mind when working with your cover artist is that the cover art
is a selling tool.
an ad. It's not space graciously donated by the publisher so you can have a
pretty picture. It's an ad, and its purpose (its only purpose) is to make
someone pick up your book and read the description. While working on the cover
for The Wrong
Enemy, I told the cover artist that if she thought a
picture of a rusty can opener would sell a million copies, then a rusty can
opener was what should appear on the cover, even though one never appeared in
the cover artist chooses a scene from the book to illustrate, don't shriek with
hooror that the climactic sword battle took place in a wood shed, not a Gothic
cathedral, and the knight's sword had a silver hilt and should be just a bit
longer. Cover art is not an illustration. Repeat after me: it's a selling
Don't duplicate information on the
cover. If your novel's title is "The Dying Rose," don't ask for a dying rose on
the cover. We already know about that. Space is limited: make every pixel
count. It's not a lesson: it's a selling tool.
With that in mind, try to choose an
image that captures the book. One image. One emotion. One tone. And something
that asks a question.
keeping in mind that "selling tool" bit, when you get your artwork, make sure
the title is readable. Make sure your name is readable. Shrink it down to
thumbnail size and double-check. (And at thumbnail size, that little locket
from chapter five that you wanted in the lower left corner? No one would see it
anyhow, so leave it out.)
work with the cover artist. The
first time my publisher asked for input, I said something to the effect that
I'm not an artist. Bad author: that's not helpful. What the cover artist needs
to know is the theme and tone of the book, the genre, what audience you want to
reach, and what you think is most appealing about the book.
artist didn't tell you how to write the book, true, and you're not going to
micromanage the way the artist covers the book, but at the very least give your
opinions and thoughts. The artist will appreciate if you can explain what
you're objecting to and why (or why you like what you do.)
example, while designing the cover for The Boys Upstairs, the
cover artist saw from the description that part of it takes place in a church,
so she used an image of a cathedral. The problem? The story takes place in an
impoverished inner-city church. The cover was lovely but the wrong tone. The
artist was perfectly happy to change the image to something that better fit the
struggles of the book.
if your publisher has guidelines about how to work with the cover artist, read
and memorize them so you don't make a total pain of yourself. If you get three
tries and then the publisher picks a design without your input, don't expect a
fourth try. If there's a fee for authors who try to change the cover art after
it's finalized, pull out your checkbook if you try to change the
The cover art in conjunction with the title
is a selling tool. The purpose of the title is to get someone to pull your book
off a shelf and look at the cover. THe purpose of the cover is to get someone
to flip the book over and read the back cover copy (or to click on a thumbnail
and read the description.) The purpose of all three together is to entice
someone to give a vendor ten dollars in order to read your
keep all that in mind when you're working with an artist: focus, questions,
theme, identification. The artist and the publisher are your teammates, and
you to have a cover you're proud of, and since this is the public face of your
book, you want that too.
Jane Lebak is the author of The Wrong
Enemy. She has four kids, two cats, and one husband. She
lives in the Swamp and spends her time either writing books or ejecting stink
bugs from the house. At Seven Angels, Four
Kids, One Family, she
blogs about what happens when a distracted daydreamer and a gamer geek attempt
to raise a family. If you want to
make her rich and famous, please contact the riveting Roseanne
Wells of the Jennifer DeChiara
Congratulations to Jocelyn Modo and Sophia Knightly! When I reached into the bowl I picked up two slips of paper by accident. I didn't feel comfortable dropping one back in so I am going to give both contestants free covers. I look forward to putting their names on my covers.
Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments. I am new at cover design and your kind words of support mean a great deal to me.
I need the winners to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can get the information I need to create their covers.
Want to win a free ebook cover? All have you to do is answer one question. Which of my premade covers is your favorite?
Anyone who answers this question from Thursday November 29th to December 13th midnight will be placed in a drawing for a free ebook cover! You have two months from the time you win to claim your cover. You can only vote once so everyone who enters has the same odds of winning. I very much welcome comments but please use the contact form to enter.