Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

It’s All About the Book Cover…

August 18, 2014
mandyevebarnett


articles Some of you may know I’m in the midst of working with an illustrator for my upcoming children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue. Each chapter will have a drawing of the animal or event that is within the narrative. I count myself lucky to know my artist from within my writing group. Not only is he the current President but a good friend. Joe McKnight’s pencil drawings are similar in style to Bernie Brown’s wonderful pictures. This is the reason I choose him, I want realistic drawings of the animals. As most of the internal pictures are completed, my thoughts have turned to the cover. I have a specific image in mind, which will reveal the woodland sprites home, however I am not including an image of the sprites, I want the children to imagine them.

When we work with an artist it is paramount to have good communication and be able to describe the ‘vision’ we have for the illustrations. With Joe, I can have face to face discussions as well as email communication and have supplied him with sketches/images to assist him. When I worked with Matty McClatchie on Rumble’s First Scare, we only had the option of email as he was in Australia and I was in Canada. His style is wonderfully stylized and suited Rumble’s world so well. We frequently underestimate the power of technology but this is proof it can work to our advantage. No matter where our artist may be situated we can work together to create our ideal images.

With a cover we must take into account the initial response of our potential readers and ensure it has its own style. Ask yourself:

Does the cover reflect the story?

Is it eye catching?

Does it reflect the genre?  

As you can see from these revised covers for the Harry Potter saga, covers can evolved.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/harry-potter/11000405/Harry-Potter-covers-then-and-now.html

It is interesting how much more ‘action’ there is in the new covers and the style is more dramatic. Understand you can change your cover at any time – feedback from readers is important in ensuring the book cover encourages more people to purchase it. You can have a re-launch, an anniversary re-issue or upload a new cover for an e-book. Just because your book is published doesn’t mean you should forget about it. Constant promotion and revision will keep it fresh and engage new readers.

A cover is an important part of any book and time should be spent in creating it. Here are some useful tips for cover design:

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/08/judy-probus/

How did you decide on your book (s) cover?

Did you use your own photographs, commission or draw you own drawings or manipulate images some other way?

Rumble’s First Scare Rumble

The Rython Kingdom 3d3df1f7d1f382285315cbfd851c3329b33bce46

Why not share your cover?

 

 

 

Save That Bookstore and Write a Story…

February 21, 2014
mandyevebarnett


bookshop

I recently contributed to a fund to help buy a book store. Even though it was thousands of miles away from where I live, I felt it was important to be proactive. Happily, the store was saved from closure by a local person, who has taken over the lease. The lure of ‘one stop’ shopping is hard to resist in a hurried life but once you experience a ‘local’ store and become a regular, you will see the benefits are wide ranging. There is a personal connection, something that is lost in a vast warehouse style mega store. The proprietor will remember you and may put aside books they feel will be of interest to you. There is time to chat and browse without rushing through a shopping list of multiple items.

This week saw a famous author use a large sum to assist small book stores and I think that is not just excellent on his part but also hopefully the spear head for others to follow. Thank you, James Patterson.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/business/media/james-patterson-giving-cash-to-bookstores.html?ref=booksandliterature&_r=o

Quotes: 

Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions without systematic knowledge.  H. G. Wells

To understand a literary style, consider what it omits.   Mason Cooley

FunDay

And now for the fun part: Write a short story about the little bookstore above or your local one.
 
Support your local bookstore. Keep these delightful realms of adventure from closure.

Formidable Promotion…

December 29, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Formidable – definition: 1. causing fear, apprehension, or dread; 2. of great strength; forceful; powerful

megaphone

As writers and authors, we are formidable not just because we have the ability to create narratives but also how we ‘market’ those stories. We all have our comfort levels for marketing and promotion, and no matter which route you chose, that is the best option for you.

Social media can be seem like a ‘soft’ option, in that, you are not up close and personal with your readers. However, there are countless sites to chose from and then maintain. We need to research which avenues of promotion will work best not just for our genres but also for sustaining them. If you create accounts on too many, you will find you have no time for creating new narratives. It is a fine balance between promoting and writing.

Your choice is mainly genre based but that does not restrict your scope. If you are writing period historical romance, then sites dealing with this genre are good but also any sites that deal with that particular period, whether in reference to costume, historical setting or events. Linking back to your blog or website gives you a good networking base. Just remember not to hard sell in every comment you leave on other websites. Generate relationships with the hosts, give your view and pose questions.

appsFor the novice author on the verge of publishing their first novel, the options can seem mind-boggling diverse and numerous.  I have linked to some great sites with advice on this very subject:

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2010/03/27/marketing-your-first-book-graham-storrs/

http://thewritepractice.com/publish-book/

http://www.writersstore.com/15-do-it-yourself-tools-to-promote-your-book/

http://bolstablog.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/promote-your-book/

What avenues do you use?

How did you decide on which sites and options were best for your novel?

Once we feel more comfortable there are author readings, book signings and book selling events to contemplate and attend. These are more nerve racking for many of us but are much more satisfying because we get instant feedback. Yes, it may not be favorable some of the time but writers need a thick skin and we must view all feedback as an opportunity to improve.

I wrote about needing a thick skin here: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/02/13/writers-need-a-thick-skin/

How many public events have you attended?

What was your experience ?

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