Saturday, September 22, 2012

Indie Book Covers

As you may have seen, from a few posts ago, we have been trying our hand at book covers for Dead Awakenings. I knew what I wanted, but it wasn't turning out quite the way I wanted, though I do graphic design myself. So my husband tried his hand at it. And even a friend of mine tried his hand at it. Turns out, it isn't as easy as I had hoped.

Though I like all the covers we have tried; and there is a new one I just finished that I haven't even shown anyone yet. I am not "Wowed" by any of them to the point of saying "YES! That's the one!"
So the book covers are still a work in progress.

I read that you should have a specific scene in your book that inspires the cover artist. That when you write you should keep your cover artist in mind and try and write something just for them. However, I have not really seen a Romance book that takes a scene from the book and puts it on the cover. Or many of the books I read, for that matter.

Look at Hunger Games, Twilight, House of Night, Black Dagger Brotherhood, Sookie Stackhouse, Night Circus, or any number of other books on my shelf, and I don't see a "scene" on the front of their books. They are dark, have the main characters on them, or some element from the book that is a great representation, but not a scene per say. So, I am not going for the scene feeling on the cover.

What I want it the face of my heroine from the book, yet I have not found the right one yet. I have an idea for one, but I am not sure how to achieve it.

I saw this article on the amazon boards and I thought it might be helpful to those trying to make their own cover. To me, it is great. It talks about tips and tricks to fine tune a cover once you have a basic idea as to what you want.,127338.0.html#.UF31fV57MNM.facebook

This was really a helpful tutorial, even for someone like me that does Photoshop almost daily!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Romance your Readers - Sex Scenes

Okay, Let me start off by saying I don't have sex scenes in my books.  I have tension building intimate scenes, but not full graphic sex scenes.  However, I found an article at:—Or-How-to-Romance-Your-Reader-by-Nina-Pierce

Perfect Sex - Or how to romance your reader, By Nina Pierce.  I thought the article was great.  Even if you aren't planning on writing a full sex scene, the notes on it are wonderful to help you remember what to do and what not to do in even just an intimate scene.

Use anatomy, not vague nonsensical pseudonyms for things that pull people out of the story.  Remember to use all of the senses.  And especially remember to use feelings.  All those elements will help pull people into the romance and believe it.  Also, there has to be vulnerability and walls broken down when scenes are played out between the main love interests.

Those items in the article, I found especially helpful!  I plan to keep this article on file so that I can refer to it often when reviewing my intimate moments between characters.  To make sure my romance is on the right track.

Thanx Nina Pierce for a great article!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mock Covers for Dead Awakenings

As my book gets ready to go to Beta Readers this week, I have had a lot of suppose fly my way!  First my Beta Readers have been amazingly patient with me and so supportive of the work that is coming their way!

Next, my Awesome Husband and Champion has put up an Indiegogo campaign for me to try and raise the last bit of money we need to get some great editing done, and a professional cover made.
Here is the link:

Next, my great friend and fellow writer Darin Calhoun, whose blog is located here:

Made these great mock up book covers for me!  He is so awesome!

My husband made this awesome one for me:
All of them have inspired me to finish up the book and get it out there.  I have two face book pages.  One for all of my writings and one for just this book and Indiegogo campaign.
And here is my Twitter

Monday, September 10, 2012

Publishing a Novel is More than Just Writing

My husband and I have been talking a lot lately about where to get the money to finish up my book and get some great cover art.  As someone who judges a book by it's cover nine times out of ten, and being married to someone with Dyslexia who always looks at the cover first, we decided that we have to put our best foot forward by making sure the outside is as great as the inside.

My husband has been working on finding someone to do the artwork, while I have been working on finding an editor.  I have been leery about even letting my work go out to my Beta Readers without it going to an editor first.  However, I finally concluded that after seven revisions on Dead Awakenings, I am going to let it go to my Beta Readers first, then to the editor.

While looking on my Twitter account tonight I stumbled across a blog post that talked about this very thing.  I thought it put the idea of writing and publishing into great perspective.

The post called: You're not ready to invest, you're not ready to publish.  By April Hamilton.  April had some great points.  I am going to mention a few here:

Anyone who wants to launch a new business like a restaurant, widget manufacturer, accounting practice or pool service expects to invest a certain amount of start-up capital, both in terms of actual cash and sweat equity. Neither is dispensable. Yet plenty of would-be indie authors seem to think it's unfair for me, and even the book-buying public, to expect them to invest anything more than the sweat equity part of the equation. They expect the public to be able to look past a cut-rate cover, ignore the typos, bad grammar and the many other substantive flaws that can be eliminated by a good editor, and see the excellent story within.

Hopeful Olympians pay for quality equipment, coaching and travel. Hopeful artists pay for quality supplies, professional framing and gallery space. Hopeful filmmakers pay for quality cameras and professional editing, or at least time in a professional editing bay to do it themselves. The fact that it's much easier for a rich hopeful to afford the necessities of his craft or sport than it is for a poor one doesn't make those things any less NECESSARY for the poor hopeful.

I loved how April put those two paragraphs.  My husband owns a Production company and he had invested in an amazing camera and lights.  Next he is going to invest in sound equipment.  As a mother of children in the entertainment industry I know first hand how important it is to have the right equipment on set.  A poor camera equals poor quality on film.  Nothing can change that.  The best screenplay in the world can be ruined if the filming and editing are done poorly.

I know that as my husband needs the best equipment to work with, so that his films are the best quality.  So too do I need to have the best product I can make.  And that doesn't end when I have finished the story.  I need to be willing to put in the time, effort and money to make sure that my cover is great and my editing is impeccable.  

To read the entire blog post, please go to April's blog:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Tale of two First Chapters

So, I finished my book, The Society, last year.  Which is a Dystopian Vampire Romance.  I have lots of love for that piece of work.  My leading male, is brooding, gorgeous and tortured.  My leading female is tough, sexy and powerful.  When I wrote it, I wanted the first chapter to be from the point of view of the leading male, Mason.  It involved Mason and a group of humans he is helping to gather supplies.  I liked the beginning.  I felt it really gave a good overview of what the world was like now.  So I decided to show it to a friend of mine.  Who, let's just say, didn't care for it.  He pointed out that Mason had to be a character that people liked and wanted to root for, and that chapter just didn't do that.

At first I was upset.  I thought the chapter did a great job of showing you who Mason is.  But as I pondered his words, I realized that I was seeing Mason through a "Creators" eyes.  I already knew Mason.  His back story, his loves, his fears, his vital stats.  Readers, don't.  I have to show readers all of those things about Mason, not just assume that they will already know them.

So I sat down and thought of ten new ways I could start the story.  One of them stuck out to me.  So I thought about it a bit, and decided to see what I could make out of the new idea.  I was pleasantly surprised by a few things.  First, I was able to show a lot more of the human world in this new first chapter, than was seen in the old one.  Second, I was able to develop something in Mason, that hadn't been seen before.  Compassion.  I was able to build into Mason's character a way for people to want to root for him.  Not just because he is the main character, but because of who he is.

As I look at the new first chapter, I am finding a new depth to Mason that wasn't there before.  Avenues of his personality and back story to be explored.  Also, I am finding new little subplots and conflicts that I will be able to use later on in the book to add those extra little dynamics needed to round out a story.

Amazing how one character can create so many endless possibilities!