A NOTE ON COVERS, PLEASE READ.
I don’t have a terrible lot of room to throw stones. I know that covers are difficult and that it’s almost impossible when you can’t draw or render scenes and are dependent upon what you find. Or rather, no, it’s not impossible. Between Pixabay and paying stock sites (I think well of dreamstime) most people can manage a not cringe-worthy cover. If you look above that is obviously a photoshop, and no, I wasn’t that good yet. But I could now, and probably will at some point make it a not-cringe worthy cover. Look at covers of your genre and please, please, please try something like. I did a cover series here.
Why this matters: COVERS ARE YOUR BIGGEST MARKETING TOOL. I’m not the only one who has passed up on a book because the cover didn’t fit the genre. Look, if you don’t take elementary care to have your cover be 1) genre signaling 2) reasonably attractive I don’t trust you to have written a book worth the first ten minutes of reading without throwing it against the wall metaphorically speaking.
You don’t have to pay 1k for covers. In fact, particularly if you’re doing e-only and you go above $500 for covers you should have your head examined. Again, go look at stock sites. Understand the cover is not “a scene from the book” (how would the reader who hasn’t read the book yet know?) but mostly signaling correct genre. And stock photo sites are FULL of attractive images you can use for maybe as low as $15. Look for a font somewhat like the ones in your genre, and GO. There’s more it. I did a series on it here. If you’re totally at sea, go read it.
I will NOT include in the promo books with covers so bad that I would not even consider clicking on them to see the contents. Look, we have limited real estate and a cover that’s text only on a blank background for a time-travel story will bring all the other books down (not to mention in that particular case, I’d want to read or skim the book because of the theme) Seriously, a translucent clock-gear-and-face on a blank background with the title would be better in that case, even if signaling “literary.” At least it doesn’t signal “I have no clue.”
No, you can’t make money on the book to have enough to pay for a cover. People don’t buy books that signal wrong.
And yeah, I know it’s a strange standard to most of you, but I’m willing to tolerate less than wonderful covers. I’ve been known to make less than wonderful covers for myself or family, and fixed it later. We’re not always perfect. However in the year of our Lord 2019 there are minimal criteria that don’t scream “I’m phoning it in.” Learn them. Apply them.
LOOK, IF YOU’RE NOT IN THIS TODAY, GO LOOK AT YOUR COVER. YOU KNOW THE “YOU ONLY HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE THE FIRST IMPRESSION? CONSIDER IT. REALLY CONSIDER IT. (AN NO, NOT ALL ARE HORRIBLE, BUT SOME I’M FAIRLY SURE ARE SIGNALING WRONG, LIKE NON-FICTION, OR LITERARY)- SAH
*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog. Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so. As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste. If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months. One book per author per week. Amazon links only.
AS AN ADDITIONAL NOTE, BECAUSE I DIDN’T DO THIS THIS WEEK, WE HAVE A TON OF BOOKS. SO I’M DOING HALF TODAY AND PROBABLY HALF FRIDAY NEXT. I DON’T WANT YOU TO GLAZE OVER OR FEEL A WALLET SPRAIN. – SAH*
I AM IN THIS, EDITED BY JAMES YOUNG: To Slip the Surly Bonds (The Phases of Mars Book 2.
Throughout the human experience, historians have wondered, “What if?” What if Americans had fought on the side of Germany in World War I? What if Germany had invested in naval aviation in World War II? What if Russia had started World War III?
Wonder no more, for these questions, along with many others, are answered within the pages of this book. Told by a variety of award-winning authors, like Sarah Hoyt, the 2018 Dragon Award Winner for Alternate History, Richard Fox, the 2017 Dragon Award Winner for Best Military Science Fiction, and Kacey Ezell, the winner of the 2018 Baen Reader’s Choice Award, “To Slip the Surly Bonds,” deals with aviation warfare that never happened in our world…but easily could have.
The second book in the exciting new “Phases of Mars” anthology series, there is something for everyone inside! From fighting alongside the Red Baron, to flying a P-38 Lightning, to present day air warfare, “To Slip the Surly Bonds” traces a century of aviation warfare…that wasn’t. From learning how the PBY got to the new world in Taylor Anderson’s “The Destroyermen” series…to fighting the French in a very different Vietnam, this book has it, so come aboard and find out “what if” all of these things had changed history…just a little. You’ll be glad you did!
FROM BLAKE SMITH: A Capital Whip: A Pride and Prejudice Sequel.
An invalid for much of her life, Miss Anne de Bourgh has precisely one accomplishment: carriage driving. She is proud of her skill with reins and whip, and justifiably so.
But when another young lady moves into the neighborhood, and challenges Anne’s place as the most accomplished driver in Hunsford, Anne must prove to herself, to her beloved horses, and to her family that she is worthy of the name de Bourgh, and she does not shrink away from a challenge.
FROM MARGARET BALL: Dragon Scales (Dragon Speech Book 2).
It’s one thing to meet a dragon in the snowbound mountains of the High Pamirs, but quite another to entertain him when he shows up at your Austin home, together with his sulky and all-too-human teenage girlfriend! Linguist Sienna Brown battles a shapeshifting dragon who helps himself to her clothes and demands enormous quantities of pizza, a teenager whose ignorance of American customs doesn’t prevent her from picking up every man she meets, a nosy neighbor and a group of Russian thugs who are tasked with acquiring the dragon for their own country. In addition, her boyfriend is terrified that the dragon’s presence will tempt her to use its magical but brain-injuring native language. And he’s not entirely wrong about that.
FROM PAM UPHOFF: Kaat (Wine of the Gods Book 45).
A Novella in the Wine of the Gods Universe
Oner Agent Kaat Withione Sideris Kriti successfully infiltrated the enemy’s home world. But circumstances and time, friends and then family . . . where will her conflicted loyalties fall?
LAURA MONTGOMERY: Simple Service (Martha’s Sons Book 1).
A lost starship. A lost colony.
Two factions. One expendable son.
When the colony’s governor requisitions the colonists’ personal weapons, Peter Dawe’s father sets him a simple task. Get their weapon back.
But the Marss have all the technology, and Peter, a second generation colonist, the youngest of ten, the expendable son, must contend with the guard, palace politics, and his biggest problem of all, Simon, his brother.
Sunday Writing Challenge
And for your writing challenge: We know that when we go to space Earth’s biosphere will go with us. Sure, we might try to keep them here. But you know as well as I do that (particularly if there’s ever such a thing as one-man-interplanetary, let alone interstellar, ships, cats, dogs and inevitably mice will travel with us [and chickens with the Portuguese.]
So, have fun, and write me a few paragraphs about that delightful scamp napping above, or his counterparts of paw hoof, claw or tentacle in other ships.
It’s Companion Animals To The Stars. 😛 (And if you feel like giving us a blurb for what the story would be, we won’t complain either.)