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THE IMMORTAL KING – Book two of the Utopian Saga NOW AVAILABE FOR PRE-ORDER https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0KUSAK
The first part of the prophecy fulfilled, Alastair and Lisa should be happy upon their return to Scotland. Yet too soon reality catches up with them.
While Lisa struggles with the sudden gain of power and the possibility of being pregnant. As if that wasn’t enough the man who raped and brutalized her is still out there and worse even, he knows she is back.
While helping Lisa to adjust to her new power, Alastair has to deal with the fact that they need to find and resurrect Arthur, his half-brother. Most would think a reunion like that a joyous occasion, but not for Alastair who deeply believes Arthur to be a rapist and a traitor.
Yet there is no way around it, only Arthur can bring forth Excalibur, and they need the Sword of Light to fulfill the prophecy.
Get The Immortal Druid for free, toady only….
I’m not doing this often, so don’t waste time thinking, just get your copy and add it to your reading list. Embark on an epic journey as Lisa takes her first step down the road of destiny. Don’t wait any longer to acompany the young, fated couple as they explore love, friendship and danger along the way, with only one goal, to save mankind. https://www.amazon.com/Nicole-Kiefer/e/B00MCZZ1M8/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
The cover of a book is almost as important as what is inside of it. It’s the first thing your readers will see, it’s what makes it stand out from the masses on a book shelve or presentation tables. An interesting cover is what makes a walk by reader stop, pick it up and look inside it. If you think about it, the cover is immensely important. Sadly in many cases it is also immensely expensive. If you publish with companies like CrowdSpring, they offer simple cover designs as DIY in a cover designer. To use those you need no skill, and not much imagination. It’s all pretty generic and simple.
In my opinion the designs you can create with those cover creators and what they offer you to work with, is good if you want A- not sell a thing and B- have no business sense at all. Your book isn’t generic and simple, or is it? So why represent it with a generic, simple, blah cover?
Your cover should be as unique as your story.
I have been in print design in one way or another since my teens, but designing book covers, which I only do sine last year, is a bigger challenge then I ever thought. Unlike the design of a business card or a promotional flyer, where the written info is the focus and pictures are just to make it look better, a book cover needs to speak without words. Sure it has words, the books title, the author and the synopsis on the back. But those are minor things. The picture, the design is what tells part of the story that awaits the reader.
Now, I love designing book covers. Yet I still make mistakes, which is why I don’t charge as much as those who do it for years and years already. I get better with each cover I do and slowly start to actually make money with them. However, this article is not for bragging, or to tell you to use my service, (even so you should).
This is info for you as the one wanting a cover, so you know what a cover designer needs, what you can expect and the many ways of getting a cover you like. So let’s start with pointing out the three kinds of cover designers that exist, at least in my opinion.
In general they all are artists, however, the kind of designer I am I call photoshopper because I can’t draw a straight line if my life depended on it. There is a hell of a lot a designer can do with the right software and a photo. Being a Photoshop artist is not a bad thing, but it has its limitations.
Then there are those who can really draw and paint, who create a vision by place a pencil or oil to paper or canvas, but have no clue about photo shopping. They have the great benefit that they can create something out of nothing, bring your vision to life. Especially when you invent world, objects or fantasy characters not based on anything already in existence, those talents are invulnerable.
The third kind, is the best but also most of the time those only few can afford. The artists who combine both formerly named styles. Who can draw and photo shop, creating the perfect vision of your dream book cover.
As different as the approaches, pricings and talents used of those three categories are, they all have one thing in common. The need for clear information and open communication. No designer can look into your head, no designer can know what measurements you chose, or what your story is about if you don’t tell him.
Many of us are miracle workers, some more than others, but none of us is a mind reader. Since I started competing for jobs on crowdsourcing sides, I learned how unprepared some authors are when looking for a cover design. Then when nobody comes up with anything they like, they bitch about how useless and money wasting it is to use them. I’m not saying that they aren’t or are, only that as the author you have to give the designer more than a bundle of dollar bills, in order to get a result.
So let’s talk about what the author needs to bring to the table, aside from his/her wallet.
The obvious thing you need is the TITLE OF YOUR BOOK and the AUTHOR OR PEN NAME you want on the cover. I write those in capital so it sticks more out, not because I’m shouting. Anyway, if you have a SYNOPSIS, BLURP OR SHORT BIO you want on the back as well as a PICTURE of you, have those ready as well. As the designer we don’t know much about what your book is about, asking us to write your synopsis is simply not feasible, same with the bio or getting a picture of you. That is not part of our job to research you, or send a photograph to your place. Unless of course to take the hit moneywise, then you can have it all.
Then we need or prefer to have the measurements of your book. Like is it a 6 x 9 or a 5.5 x 8 and how many pages has it or do you know the spine measurements already. It is possible to design without those but depending on how much off we are from where you want to apply it to, it might not fit.
Tell us what your book is about, what GENRE it belongs to as well as the TARGET GROUP, and anything you think is important about your book. What makes it better, different, more lovable then others with the same topic.
If you have a KEY SCENE, and IDEA or VISION of how the cover should look like, then tell us about it in as much detail as you can. This not only enables us to make your vision real but also to determine if we can do it. For example a customer of mine wanted a certain bracelet in his cover, one from the story. It was an unusual and unique piece of jewelry and I simply couldn’t imagine how to do it. So I had to tell him I couldn’t and we found a different way, but if we hadn’t we wouldn’t have wasted time because I knew I couldn’t bring that particular vision to life, and told him so.
Which brings me to the most important part, COMMUNICATION. It’s the A and O of creating a good cover. No matter if it is by contacting a designer directly or going over crowd sourcing companies. Let the designer know what you like and what you don’t like. The changes you want to be made or the suggestions you have. Creating the right cover can mean a lot of back and forth.
Her is an example:
I designed this only recently following the brief the customer posted. I never even got a comment and since the contest was blind could hardly orient myself by what the customer liked and what he didn’t like. So I was in the dark. A simples, too busy or too bright would have already steered me in a different direction. If I had been the customer I would have for example said: “I can see you read the brief, but this cover has to many different elements for my taste, I would prefer something simpler. The woman is to old and not enough on fire, neither do I like the fog on the ground. However, I do like the font (imagine one since I removed it for privacy reasons) because it pops and stands out wonderfully. I also like the castle you used, but the dragon is not fitting those I used in my story. Mine are more Basilisk like…..
So I trashed pretty much everything except for the castle and the font, but that would have helped me to find a different direction while still sticking with the brief.
You don’t have to be nice and say you like it, when you don’t. Because that helps neither of us. If you comment, tell us honestly what you like and you don’t like it will be a lot of work for you, but the main work is on us. Creating a custom cover takes hours, day’s sometimes weeks. Email after email, back and forth until you are happy.
Now, let’s talk about the options of finding a cover designer. There are lot’s of options.
If you have Facebook, you will find many cover artists there, including yours truly. Just use the page search and enter cover artist or cover designer and you’ll find many pages you can compare and contact.
I know that on Fiver.com are many to find but have no clue how good or bad they are, only that they are cheap, which doesn’t mean they are bad. I started selling mien for under ten and twenty dollars to establish myself, I bet others do the same.
When you publish with Creatspace they link to CrowdSpring for cover designs. Which is a crowdsourcing site. You pay them I think 399 Dollar and the artists get 239 dollars for the cover. Then there is 99Design who have a similar deal. The benefit in using those sites is that you usually get a wide selection of designs to choose from. I work with both and prefer CrowdSpring because they don’t make you jump through too many hoops as designer, but 99Design is more busy with contests and designers.
Another thing you can do is check your favorite books, indie authors and traditional authors alike. Often the cover artist is named on the copyright page. You can search them on the internet and check them out. Some authors add the cover artist in the contribution when they publish, in that case the name shows up on the Amazon detail page as well. So that another way you can search.
I bet there are more ways and feel free to add them as a comment, but those are the ones I know of.
No matter how you find your artist, or how much you are paying for your design, it’s important to remember that in the end it’s a combined effort. No artist can create your vision if you are not engaged in the process. Before you even start looking for an artist, think about what you want, what you imagine and write it down, make a sketch or even make a tape if that’s the way for you to express yourself the best way.
You wrote and published a book, spend weeks, months, maybe even years on it, so you get it right and it’s the best book you can create. But you have a hard time selling it. Sure once in a while you sell one, you get many downloaded when you offer it for free, but the moment your reader has to pay, it stagnates. It’s frustrating, annoying and sadly part of being an independent author.
One strong point in selling are reviews, and not just because they let other readers know what to think of your book. Amazon won’t promote you until you have some reviews, and it takes at least 50 reviews before they will help you promote.
The thing is, nobody leaves one. You have a few hundred books out, most of them during a free download campaign, but still, why is nobody saying anything? It makes you wonder.
Am I that bad? Does my writing suck that much? Do I do bad marketing? Can’t they even find my book? Did I put it in the wrong category, or maybe the whole thing isn’t working right?
I know, it’s not different for me. However, back in the day when I with a publisher back in Germany, my publisher hired people to write so called ice breaker reviews. Ice breaker reviews are not always good or bad, often they are neutral just pointing out some pro and cons for a book. Quite frankly I don’t think the people my publisher hire, ever read the books. Still, once there was one review, others followed.
I know that big publishing houses do the same, or at least I know they hire reviewers, so their books quickly have a few reviews, making it easier and more comfortable for the reader to say their own piece.
The thing is, big publishing houses have big budgets to buy those reviews, or at least the time of a reviewer. We as indie authors often don’t have that budget. We try to ask friends, other authors, and family even. However, most people either don’t feel like what they write sounds fair, or right and others don’t have the time to actually read your book. I had it more than once, that I handed a free copy over with the promise that they would write a review, and never heard of them again. I did swaps with other authors, finished mine within a few days and never got the review I was promised while I had posted mine already on Amazon.
So, yeah… been there, done that and it’s frustrating like hell. (To all of you who still owe me a review, hurry the hell up. I didn’t write War and Peace, my books aren’t that long, it does not take half a year or more to read them.)
Now, the thing with new indie authors is, and I belong it that category more than others, our books are rarely perfect. It’s called a learning curve, yet without reviews and response to what we wrote, we can’t get better. We need the response in order to grow and evolve, to make us better authors.
So, that brings me to what I am offering.
If you need an ice breaker review, I will help you by writing one.
How it works.
You send me a copy of your book in pdf (certain genres only) and I will read it. Why pdf? Two reasons, I can attach sticky notes, and unless I want to be mean, evil and destroy any reputation I have, can’t meddle with your text. While I read your book I will attach sticky notes, but not only for myself to help me write the review, if I find spelling mistakes, or typos I will point those out as well. When I’m done, I will write my review, even when I think your book sucked, I will find something that is good about it. My review will concentrate on those good points. Then I send you back your file, with the sticky notes and what I intend on writing in the review. It’s your call if I post it on Amazon and Goodreads or not, however I will post it on my own review blog.
If your book makes it in the three star and more category I will also add it to my own online bookstore.
Now, we all know thing are rarely free in these times. However, I am cheap (pun intended). When I send you back your file, I will attach a donation link to PayPal, you decide what my help is worth to you. In addition I will send you a collection of links to my website, blogs and bookstore to choose from. Please place one link to any of those sides on your website, blog or storefront.
I think that is a fair offer, and as I said if you think my help isn’t worth anything, you just don’t donate anything. I will still post the review on Amazon and Goodreads, unless you don’t want me to.
If you are interested feel free to contact me either by email at email@example.com or via Facebook messenger.
Genres I take on are:
Romance, erotica, fantasy, history, paranormal in any combination of those and their subgenres. Young adult is fine too, as long as it is within those combinations.
I was in the newspaper today and that’s reason enough for me to put my paperback on sale for you. This weekend only, 20% off the paperback. Hurry up and order now, before the price goes up again. Use coupon Code 3UMNSRKP to save 20% https://www.createspace.com/5966979
Get it this weekend because I don’t know when or if I run another giveaway