Top Five Ways to Have an Awful Book Cover

BAD BOOK LARGEI’m constantly looking at book covers as part of my “job” here at Indies Unlimited. On top of that, I run into authors posting their covers in groups all the time, asking for input. So I see a LOT of covers. And most of them all have the same issues.

What I find most ironic is that the same people keep posting book covers with the same problems. I don’t get that. Please allow me to make something perfectly clear. And I’m not just making this up to be difficult or bossy or right. I’m speaking from experience. I used to provide my own cover art to my small Indie publisher – and because of that, I’ve taken some lumps. But I’ve also learned some important things about book covers. I share this knowledge freely, to help my fellow Indie authors. Book covers are important. We all want to make a good first impression. Book sales count on it. Continue reading “Top Five Ways to Have an Awful Book Cover”

The “Writing the Last Chapter” Two-Step

last chapter 2 step feet-flesh4I’m working on the last chapter or two of my current WIP (I sometimes wait until the book is done to break it up into chapters). The ending is, of course, the culmination of everything that has gone before; it’s the climax, the resolution, the payoff. And if I’ve done my job well enough, it’s delicious.

This one feels delicious. What I’ve noticed is that I am torn between wanting to hurry up and finish the blinkin’ thing so I know how it’s all going to hang together, and taking my time, working it out slowly so every word is perfectly placed. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had this dilemma before. Continue reading “The “Writing the Last Chapter” Two-Step”

Be Ready for that Media Opportunity

One thing I’ve learned about this industry is that opportunities come up in a flash, and usually the first people to respond get them. The difference between being prepared and NOT being prepared can cost you. And it’s literally as simple as being organized.

KS Brooks Book Cover Folder
Go ahead, mouse over, see what happens.
Click once to enlarge.

I have a folder in Dropbox with all my book cover jpgs, my two author photos and a couple of other folders with high resolution versions and thumbnail size versions. (I keep it on Dropbox so I can access it from virtually anywhere. You never know when you will be asked for something!) I’ve made sure they’re all named clearly, so it’s easy for the recipient to identify. It also helps, if they don’t rename the file, with search engine optimization. It never hurts to take advantage of every opportunity to get your title in front of someone. Plus, it looks far more professional to have the book cover for Night Undone labeled as “NightUndone.jpg” instead of “niteundonecoverartsmall.jpg”. My author photo is labeled as “AuthorKSBrooks.jpg” instead of  “DSC00013”. Now, you might be thinking, I’ll just put “Author Photo” as the file name. Well, you and about a billion other authors thought that. It’s not going to make your photo easy to find. Continue reading “Be Ready for that Media Opportunity”

Writing for Robots?

reading robotAs writers and authors one of our main goals is to attract readers, preferably ones who will actually buy our books and not expect to get them for nothing. To that end we try to figure out how to reach those readers and, once we do that, entice them to buy.

One of the most common questions asked among writers is, “How do we find our audience?” The advice on how to network, and which media sites will help us best, keeps shifting as new ones emerge and existing ones change for the better – or not. It’s almost impossible to keep up with all the information, let alone make the best choices that will work for our particular offerings. Opinions about what works and what doesn’t are almost as plentiful as authors. Continue reading “Writing for Robots?”