Should you get New Cover Art?

Posted by on Mar 18, 2018 in advice, Cover Art, e-publishing, new writers, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Should you get New Cover Art?

SPAbookShould you or shouldn’t you purchase a new cover? That is the question. A good cover isn’t cheap.

Here’s how to determine the answer:

  1. Does it portray your genre?
  2. Is it working? Is it bringing readers to your book?
  3. Do your reviews reflect that?

A hard-edged thriller cover should be a stark as the content. A fantasy cover should let the reader know whether it’s epic/mythic (landscapes, castles, swords), urban (edgy, usually dark, street views), heroic/tolkienesque/arthurian (pastoral, swords, magicians), historical, or a combination thereof. (Two of my favorite authors write a mix of heroic and urban fantasy, quite successfully). Mysteries should convey whether they’re ‘cozy’ (small town, armchair, teapot) or hard-boiled, noir, or police procedural (dark and edgy).

Many books convey some or many of these elements, but they aren’t the main focus.

For example, one of my books is a mystery with thriller elements and an edge. There is a romance in it but as part of the story, not the primary plot. Unfortunately, while the cover was dark-edged, at the center was a couple. To many readers, it came off as a romance with a touch of mystery, rather than a hard-boiled mystery with a little romance.

And it showed in the reviews. The comments weren’t direct – unless you viewed them from the viewpoint of romance readers expecting something lighter.

So here’s my suggestion…covers aren’t cheap, so shop around. Look at what the cover artist has to offer. If 99% of their samples are fantasy or romance, they may not be a good fit for your book. A cozy mystery about a chef won’t work well with a cover that features a couple in a torrid embrace. Try a good pre-made cover. Most pre-mades are the cover artist trying out different things or promotion for their work. Some are really good. They’re not free but they are cheaper than custom made. That will allow you to publish your book while you search for another, better one, and save the money to purchase it.

Or, you may find that pre-made cover works perfectly.

 

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Parkour is suddenly everywhere

Posted by on Jun 16, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Parkour is suddenly everywhere

When I first heard of Parkour it was probably 2009, and I no longer remember how it came to  my attention but it was probably the opening scenes to Quantum of Solace, the new James Bond movie. It wasn’t that I hadn’t seen such a thing before, but that was when it struck me, and somehow I learned that what I was seeing was called Parkour. I had already had the first glimmerings of the book that would become Nike’s Wings in my mind – a female assassin, trained by the US government. Beside how she came to be made an assassin, I wanted something that would make Nike unique, and utterly believable. Watching that, suddenly I had the one element that set Nike apart from all others.
I devoured videos of parkour, learned more about it and the sport they call free-running. I envisioned the techniques used, remembering my days of gymnastics as a teen, as well as what I’d learned in jiujitsu, and so Nike was born.
You have to see those videos to know what traceurs and traceuses are truly capable of. Here’s a sample of David Belle, who developed Parkour into an art.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY1pbc16ud4
Of course, now they’re all over the place. Parkour practitioners are showing up on American Ninja and in plenty of movie and TV shows. It still amuses me that some people think Nike’s skills are a little exaggerated. I don’t use half the techniques in Nike that real traceurs use, although I do use the videos to help me visualize the action.
So much of Nike is unique. One of my editors says I write action/thrillers with heart. That works for me.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005GHE94K

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