good-book-covers

Cas sitting and reading a book in the bunker’s library - not for business, but for pleasure. He’s lost in the story.

Dean coming in and walking up behind Cas quietly, meaning to surprise him. Cas doesn’t notice, his focus on the story too complete for anything to bother him.

Dean reaching out his hands, meaning to pinch Cas’ shoulders suddenly, and make a loud noise at the same time - just to give him a bit of a shock, see what happens when an angel jumps.

Dean’s hands softening at the last moment - and before he knows what’s happening, the pinch becomes a gentle squeeze. It’s careful and caring, both. He’s the one who’s shocked - at himself, at this impulse to be affectionate. And Cas is turning around to look at him with wide, happy eyes.

“Good book?” Dean says, to cover the moment. His hands haven’t moved. Cas reaches up, and presses his palm to the back of one of them.

“Very good,” he says. “You should read it some time.”

Dean awkwardly patting Cas’ shoulder and heading off on his way.

His hands tingle for the rest of the day.

How To Keep a Diary Like Virginia Woolf

“Begin by making your own diary-books. Find some old books in a second-hand shop or a car boo sale, books with good covers and bindings. Pull out some pages and fill them with your own choice of paper. Disguise your diary inside old school textbooks, the ones that used to teach grammar. Virginia Woolf was appalled by her negligent grammar. But grammar was not the point. Practice writing with and without it. Allow yourself to move. Woolf galloped through sentences in her diary, in a haphazard way. ‘It loosens the ligaments,’ she said. Her diary was somewhere she could appear ‘slovenly’ and ‘elastic’. Not everything we jot down in our diaries needs to be carefully thought out. Put on baggy clothes. Relax your mental joints. No one but you is looking. Let your brain go loose and floppy. Let your hand lead the way. Get inside your body and find a rhythm. Bring your brain into contact with your breathing. Let go.”

Sally Bayley, The Private Life of the Diary

Fifty other ways to leave your lover

In anticipation; curled up in bed with a good book; with a hug; covered in leaves; covered in ink; at the gate to a mysterious kingdom; with a bag of sherbet lemons and an ostrich feather; ecstatic; on a pogo stick; on Saturn’s foremost pleasure moon; entwined in sunflowers; just as they are accidentally chaging the rules of tennis; curious; satisfied; with the last piece of the puzzle; transformed at last into a fish; over the moon; free; bound in just their favourite way; singing a duet with a convenient bluebird; to fulfil their destiny; between the pages of an encyclopaedic tent; in a better condition than you found them; neatly brushed; with a secret shell grotto; riding a unicorn with a knowing glance; triumphant; in a protective circle; perched on a giant mushroom; for the time it takes them to waltz with their pet tyrannosaurus; asleep and dreaming; in the library; in the chicken suit; to get chocolate; with the map; as the clock dictates; sparkling; striding across the mountainside of their own legend; making peace with their demons; making lemonade with their lemons; to save the world; anticipating snuggles; with the key to the codex in the secret chamber; with a fantastic haircut; under a sky full of stars; with the best duck; with a whistle; with a wink; with a nice cup of tea; wanting more.

6

SOUNDS GOOD FEELS GOOD SONGS AS BOOK COVERS [part 1]

Permanent Vacation: Adventure Novel
Outer Space: Sci-Fi Novel
Jet Black Heart: Horror / Suspense
Carry On: How To / Self-Help
Vapor: RomCom
Waste The Night: Drama / Romance

New Series - Marketing Matters

Hi everyone.

As most of you are aware, our debut novel The Language of Flowers is about to come out. 

Because of its themes and non-conventional love story, we chose to go the Self-Publish route which means that all the marketing is on us.  There’s a fallacy that if you write a good book, have a good cover, and put it up on Amazon, that you’ll sell books. 

You won’t. 

We put our story up for pre-release on March 29, so that we’d have it up in time for our panel at @animeboston.  However, between the pre-release going up and April 6 we only sold 3 books (and we know who bought two of them.)

Yeah.

In all fairness, Rose and I have no idea what we’re doing. We’ve read a lot of articles, watched what @caitlynlynch did when she promoted Red Hots.  We also don’t have a whole lot of money.  So with that in mind, Rose and I decided to dedicate $150 to paid promotion and see where it takes us.  We’re also doing a few other things that don’t require money to be spent just some time and effort. 

Now we know we’re going to do it wrong with this book, as a rule you want to do a huge marketing blast to try to get the all important story rank up there.  Success breeds success as they say.  But because we didn’t have a strategy and we didn’t plan in advance, our marketing is going to be more spread out.  Crappy for us, great for you guys.

Why? 

Because I’m going to share the success and ROI of each marketing push, which includes things we didn’t end up paying for.  I’ll evaluate each technique/site for overall effectiveness. 

It’s going to be an interesting ride. 

anonymous asked:

Hello! I'm getting closer and closer to self publishing my book. Problem is, I want my book cover to look really good, but I don't know any professional book cover artists. Do you know of any?

Hi!

Well, it depends on how much money you’re willing to shell out for a cover. To get a truly professional-grade design, you’re going to have to pay for it. Book covers can range anywhere from $20-$2000. A good, publisher-quality book cover will probably cost $500-$1200. If you’re willing to pay that, then I’d just start researching some professional graphic design artists. That’s where you’re going to get that quality. 

If, however, you are looking in more the $20-$500 range, then you can hit up newer but quality freelancers, which exist in abundance. I don’t know any aside from myself personally. I know lots of artists, but they haven’t done book covers. You can look on Fiverr and find some good artists for good money (including me). Freelancer, I think, also has graphic designers.

I specialize in the editing and formatting for self-publications, but I have designed some covers in the past, both as a freelancer and while working with a small publishing house. Depending on the style you’re thinking of I might can help you out. 

If you want something decent and fast, I’ve heard THIS site isn’t bad.

If any followers design covers who know someone who does, please chime in!

In which I judge a bunch of books in Targets YA section by their covered...

Dear Mom and Dad,

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is bad advice. 

First off, as a metaphor for people, it’s just not possible. We do it automatically, and while we can work to be more open in general we will always make initial judgments of people based on appearances that are out of our control.

But it’s even worse advice in the literal sense because THAT IS EXACTLY WHY BOOKS HAVE COVERS! GAH!

Good books can have bad covers, but that is the result of bad marketing. The cover to a book is the closest thing it has to a trailer. And don’t go telling me it’s actually the blurb on the back/inside. To read the blurb requires active participation by the customer, which requires curiosity, which is usually gained by HAVING A GOOD COVER!

So, in that spirit, I am going to judge several books from the target YA section by their covers and after do some research to see if I would have otherwise bought the book. And they will all be books I have not read.

Why just the YA section? Cause I got kicked out of Target…

The Fever Code (Jame Dashner)

I dunno what it is about James Dashner covers that are just the worst. What is this? Why is everything piss yellow? Why would you ever you block text for anything? Who thought this was a good idea?

From Amazon:

   Once there was a world’s end.
   The forests burned, the lakes and rivers dried up, and the oceans swelled.
   Then came a plague, and fever spread across the globe. Families died, violence reigned, and man killed man.
   Next came WICKED, who were looking for an answer. And then they found the perfect boy.
   The boy’s name was Thomas, and Thomas built a maze.
   Now there are secrets.
   There are lies.
   And there are loyalties history could never have foreseen.
   This is the story of that boy, Thomas, and how he built a maze that only he could tear down.
   All will be revealed.

I didn’t edit that. That’s how it’s stylized. There are two other paragraphs but they really only tell me two things. 1) This is part of a series, and 2) Go see the Maze Runner movie.

Next!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)

There was actually two version of this book, but I just the original because it’s great! Despite the fact that I have seen the movie and did not like it, I would still pick up this book on the title alone. It’s just such a quirky but fun cover. Maybe a bit cliche, but it knows it, and unlike the movie book cover, doesn’t just look like “What if we made Harry Potter for people who like American Horror Story?”

From Amazon:

A mysterious island.
An abandoned orphanage.
A strange collection of very curious photographs.
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows. 

I’m still in, and like I said, I’ve seen the garbage movie. Whoever did this… good job.

Famous in Love (Rebecca Serle)

I feel like I’m punching down with this one based on the “Now a new Freeform original series” but… yeah this looks like trash. To be fair the title sounds like trash, so maybe this is all coming together and I’m just not the target audience.

From Amazon:

When Paige Townsen gets plucked from high school obscurity to star in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a bustling film set on the shores of Maui, and she is spending quality time with her costar Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life begins to resemble her character’s.
In this exciting tale of romance and drama, both on-and offscreen, Paige must adjust to a crazy new life without the daily support of her friends and family, while figuring out who she is–and who she wants–as the whole world watches.

I’m gonna be honest, this sounds like it could be kinda self-aware? But we are talking about something picked up by Freeform, so probably best to stay away.

Children of Eden (Joey Graceffa)

I love this cover. Like, I really love it. I probably should have saved it to the end, but whatever, it’s simple and stroking.

From Amazon:

Rowan is a second child in a world where population control measures make her an outlaw, marked for death. She can never go to school, make friends, or get the eye implants that will mark her as a true member of Eden. Indeed, her kaleidoscopic eyes may very well give her away to the ruthless Center government.


Outside of Eden, Earth is poisoned and dead. All animals and most plants have been destroyed by a man-made catastrophe. Long ago, the brilliant scientist Aaron Al-Baz saved a pocket of civilization by designing the EcoPanopticon, a massive computer program that hijacked all global technology and put it to use preserving the last vestiges of mankind. Humans will wait for thousands of years in Eden until the EcoPan heals the world.

As an illegal second child, Rowan has been hidden away in her family’s compound for sixteen years. Now, desperate to see the world, she recklessly escapes for what she swears will be only one night of adventure. Though she finds an exotic world, and even a friend, the night leads to tragedy. Soon Rowan becomes a renegade on the run.

This all sounds a bit… cliched, but not enough to deter me with that sick cover. So marketing works I guess. I am a mindless consumer.

A Court of Wings and Ruin (Sarah J. Maas)

Is this an A Song of Ice and Fire ripoff? The title has basically the same structure. Also, this cover was so glittery, and I don’t trust anything with glitter so thumbs down.

From Amazon:

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

Short sweet, and kinda shit. Honestly, this looks like a post GoT knock off, and probably not a good one. Skip!

this is where it ends (Marieke Nijkamp)

This is another awsome cover and title. Again, simple. I think I like simple. And a good dash of color. 

From Amazon:

Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun.

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Okay, if we are being honest, there is a dangerous line you walk with these kinds of stories, and I was never a fan of stories about tradjedies told over short spans of time. It’s my biggest problem with the movie Deepwater Horizon. When you focus in so closly to the disater itslef, you don’t actually have answer hard questions in the aftermath.

But good cover and an interesting enough premis that I’s spend $12.

Fireworks (Katie Cotugno)

This just looks like a Taylor Swift album. I can’t decide if I dig it or it makes me wanna vomit, so lets just go to the description.

From Amazon:

It was always meant to be Olivia. She’s the talented one, the one who’s been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, is the levelheaded one, always on the sidelines, cheering Olivia on.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift … and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.

Ewwwwwwwwww…

Personal Effects

Does your character have any items or symbols specific to them? A character’s possessions can serve as symbolic value in your story that carries emotional weight and helps define who they are. Not every character has to have an item or weapon special to them, and they don’t all have to carry the same amount of importance. But it’s still something you should consider.

Take, for example, Captain America’s shield. It’s a shield, but symbolically it’s more than that. It’s symbolic of how Captain America protects the US. He is a shield for his country against evil. Similarly, Thor’s hammer isn’t just any hammer. It’s Mjölnir, and in the first Thor movie, it’s used to symbolize Thor’s character development over the course of the movie. By the end, he is worthy of the power. He’s grown as a character and is no longer the rash, arrogant man from the beginning.

Common examples:

  • A weapon
  • A favorite book
  • Jewelry from a (deceased) loved one
  • A favorite pair of shoes (or shirt, jeans, other clothing)
  • A tattoo
  • A scar

It can be anything! Once you establish that item’s importance, every time your character interacts with that object, you start to create that emotional connection. There will be emotions and memories associated with that item that draws up feelings of determination, sadness, forgotten dreams, etc, in your character.

Just keep in mind not every character will have some special item that means the world to them. They can be determined or sad about something without an item to draw up those feelings. But symbols like these can add something when used in moderation! Plus, if they’re strong enough, they make good book covers.

You can read a bit more about it here or here.

–E