"" Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_8339780_put-emoticons-blogger.html WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus: February 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Does your cover make the right 1st impression about your book? {Feat.: @jinxschwartz, @sljay1184, @Irina_Mknight}

Find Jinx Schwartz on
Twitter: @jinxschwartz
We've heard it many times in our lives, "You only get one chance at a first impression." That rule applies, and for most of us affects, how we dress, the car we drive, how we style our hair, even our behavior. The same mentality applies to your book.

Your book cover has a critical though brief, job. It has a fraction of a second to grab a reader's attention. If it catches a reader's eye, it only has a few more seconds to let the reader know its genre and compel them to read the description. After that, it's up to the author's words to make the sale.

Of course, many buy a book solely for the cover (like me), but even for those who think the cover inconsequential, and give it no thought whatsoever, would they have stopped to read the description if not for the cover catching their attention? It stands to reason that those readers make unconscious decisions when deciding whether to investigate further.

Knowing this, you may be wondering what one sees, either consciously or unconsciously when looking for a book. 

Find Shakuita Johnson on
Twitter: @sljay1184
The first thing your cover expresses is quality and professionalism. A good-looking cover tells readers more than what your book is about. It also tells them whether you, the author/publisher, find it valuable enough to invest in its presentation. It implies worth and value. How do we judge a parent when we see a child wearing rags & looking skinny, regardless if the child is really well fed and behaved? Does your cover hold its own against others in its genre compared to recent publications from large, traditional publishers? Do people besides you also think so? Are they just being nice?

The second thing your cover should express is genre. I know there is a trend for oblique, abstract covers, with the mentality of, "Compelling works regardless of subject matter or representing the text," but I disagree. A cover like Twilight's, which has nothing to do with vampires or anything in the story, only works with the monetary backing equivalent to what the big houses can throw at it. Paying reviewers, huge publicity campaigns, and paying bookstores to feature the book make the cover, as long as it looks good, less important as to whether it fits certain genre needs. Does your book have that kind of money, or does it fit the needs of the genre?

Find Lucretia T. Knight on
Twitter: @Irina_Mknight
The third thing one must keep in mind through the cover creation process is marketing. According to market research, 70% of all books sold have the cover to thank, in one way or another. Your book cover is an advertisement, plain and simple. It doesn't have to, nor should it, include all the characters in your book. You don't need to express everything contained, which took 50,000 words to convey. You just need one compelling image. It can represent the book as a whole, one specific scene, a theoretical scene, or be abstract and symbolic, using a design or emblem, rather than a narrative scene.

Yes, a lot of consideration needs to go into your cover, and yes, readers won't give it a lot of conscious thought outside of whether they want the book or not, but that first impression, in those critical first seconds has an immense power. 70% ... Huge! Insure your book makes the best first impression it can. If you are not a professional-level skilled artist or designer, invest in one that is. The initial investment, compared to the years you'll be using it to promote your book is a small price to pay.

Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cover art & design for 'Black Dog Short Stories' by Rachel Neumeier (@RachelNeumeier)

I am really enjoying working with author, Rachel Neumeier. This is our second project together, and we're already planning one other, Pure Magic. Rachel is a hybrid-author, publishing books through both traditional houses and indie formats, and she's not the only author I work with following this trend.

For the cover of Black Dog Short Stories, which is a soon-to-be-available companion publication to her Black Dog novel, published through Strange Chemistry, we chose a hypothetical scene from one of the four short stories contained within.


Natividad is delighted when the Master of Dimilioc gives her permission to go Christmas shopping in a real town, since she definitely needs to find gifts for her brothers. But did Grayson have to assign Keziah to go with her?

Étienne Lumondiere has annoyed Miguel once too often, throwing his weight around and belittling ordinary humans. But Miguel’s going to fix that. He just needs to work out a few more details of his clever plan.

It’s tough for a black dog raised outside Dimilioc to adjust to being a team player. But Thaddeus is determined to impress Grayson . . . until he is unexpectedly confronted by a black dog kid who reminds him a little too much of himself.

The Dimilioc executioner is the mainstay of the Master’s authority, as Ezekiel knows better than anyone. He has never questioned his role in Dimilioc . . . until now.

“Christmas Shopping,” “Library Work,” and “A Learning Experience” all take place between Black Dog and Pure Magic. “The Master of Dimilioc” is a prequel story that takes place several years before the events of Black Dog.
Be sure to visit Rachel's website and follow her on Twitter. :D

Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.