Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cover Design - Does It Really Matter?

I look at a lot of book covers. These days, that means almost exclusively e-book covers. I subscribe to eighteen different advertising services. You’ve probably seen some of them – they send you a daily e-mail, listing free and discounted e-books. This type of service is ideal for those readers who want to be specific about what they receive. For example, I receive a range of romance books plus women’s fiction, and sometimes I check the box for thrillers and action books. That means you don’t have to slog through listings of books that don't interest you. It’s a great system.

Since I get so many of them each day, I’ve become adept at scanning them. And do you know what? I’ve found that the book cover is even more important than many experts indicate. No doubt I’ve missed out on some good stories, but if the cover doesn’t appeal to me, I don’t look at it. Why should I when there are so many from which to choose?

From the point of view of a writer, this is where a good cover designer comes in. I need my covers to stand out from the rest – or at least be attractive enough that a potential reader will stop and check it out.

I had the good fortune to discover a new cover designer recently. New to me, that is. Elizabeth Mackey has designed covers for some of the most popular authors of the day, such as Melissa Foster, Russell Blake, Nick Russell, Kate Aaron, Anna J. McIntyre, Traci Tyne Hilton, George Wier, and Billy Kring. You’ll find many more authors on her website: Elizabeth Mackey.

Elizabeth has now re-done seven of my covers and is working on another as we speak. Those of you who know my books will recognize Between a Jock and a Hard Place. Since Elizabeth worked her magic on the cover, sales have gone up about four-fold.

Elizabeth has also designed the covers for a new series I’ll be releasing throughout 2015. She excels at this – putting thought, plus her talent into coming up with a look, or a theme, if you will. I’ll be excited to share them with you when the time comes, but right now I’d better get back to writing them.

So when you see an outstanding e-book cover, remember that there’s a talented designer behind it. And of course … enjoy!

Check out Elizabeth's covers HERE

Links to my author pages:

Book Review: I Must Say by Martin Short

I still do it... all the time. I think I know someone based on their public persona. A foolish notion, but in this case Martin Short's autobiograpy exceeded my expectations. His book I Must Say (My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend) is at once funny, poignant and honest. He allows us a peek into his evolution as one of the funniest and most respected comedians of today.
   You won't be disappointed. He talks about his family, his friendships, and his loves. As a fellow Canadian, I applaud him for his success. An excellent read.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love is in the air

  Valentine’s Day will be here in a couple of days. This year, February 14th also marks the release of the long-awaited movie version of 50 Shades.

   And that got me wondering if we’ll be inundated with another avalanche of “sexy” books, as we were when 50SOG was first released. The answer? I don’t know. Perhaps. There are authors and readers for every level of heat in romance books.

   But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s to write the type of romance I want to read. Readers can tell if an author isn’t into the story – if they’re just churning out sex scenes to follow the current trend. Besides, by the time an author has spent the proper amount of time writing, and having their book edited, who knows what the hot new thing might be?

   As for me, I’m excited about a new series I’ll be writing this year, once I finish Book Four in The Women of Independence series. Readers wanted to know what happens to Katie, and frankly, so did I. So that’s what I’m working on now, then I’m going on to the new series.

   All of the books in the new series will be individual stories, built around a theme. I don’t want to reveal too much right now, but I would class them as Romances, leaning toward Women’s Fiction. Anyone who has read my books knows I like realism in my stories, and I’ll continue to write in that vein. If you’re looking for billionaires on the cover revealing their six-pack, tatted chests, you’ll have to keep on looking. Hey, I like those once in a while myself, but as a reader, not as a writer.

   Don’t get me wrong, my Heroes are usually successful alpha types, but I like to write stories that make the reader say “I can relate to that.” Romance? You betcha! There’ll be romance. After all, it’s what makes the world go ‘round. But these stories will be… how can I say it... grown-up romances. Romances I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

   In the meantime, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

ps: I send out newsletters once in a while – usually to announce free offerings, or new books. I’d love to see your name on my mailing list. Right now the link is at my author facebook page. See the little envelope on the left-hand panel. That’s where you sign up. Happy Reading.