Why You Might Need Your Own Book Cover Focus Group

author decisions good-1123013__180We all know the number one goal for us authors is to write a kick-ass book. However, a kick-ass book that no one reads or ever knows about doesn’t amount to much. We may know how great it is, but a little outside validation would be nice. Enter goal number two: a kick-ass cover. Yes, it’s a secondary goal, but it’s actually primary to our book marketing and promotion. I tend to think of the cover of a book as a door. It may invite us inside, or it may bar the way. It may entice us with mystery or bore us with blandness. It may beckon with romantic tension, or spur us on our way with horrific shivers.

And part of the problem is that we, as the authors, know what the book is about. We know what happens inside, but our readers don’t. We have to create a cover that will convey a sense of the story without giving away the store. So how will we know if our cover is appealing? How will we know if the cover identifies our genre and gives an enticing idea of the story? Continue reading “Why You Might Need Your Own Book Cover Focus Group”

#IndieHero Blaze McRob (Robert Nelson)

indie heroes logo darkIt’s not often that you run into someone who makes a profound impression on you. Let alone someone who might see you as competition. But that’s not how my friend Blaze McRob operates. He’s sincere, funny, and pretty darned honest when it comes to the craft. I met him way back in 2010 when I was looking for someone to give me an honest opinion on a supernatural thriller/horror novel I was working on. After finding him on a horror author Facebook page, I messaged him and asked if he’d look my over book and see if I was even on the right track (since I’d never written horror). To my delight, he agreed, read it, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

That one novel started a long friendship which has even spanned to a working relationship. For the last six years, he’s been friend, confidant, mentor, and a fellow veteran who I can share my triumphs and failures with. When IU came up with the idea for articles on author/mentors, I was more than happy to send Blaze some questions which I hope you find interesting. He’s had a LONG history of writing and certainly a fascinating one. So without further ado, let’s get to know Blaze McRob: Continue reading “#IndieHero Blaze McRob (Robert Nelson)”

My Self-Publishing Hero: Cas Peace

indie heroes logo darkI don’t remember how Cas Peace fell into my Indie publishing career. My first evidence of her shows up in emails in 2014, but we had already Beta-read several of each others’ books by that time. Maybe she was an angel sent to someone who sorely needed the help.

In any case, she and I are very different writers; she says I write with too much control and too little emotion. I think her work is too emotional. So we have a symbiotic relationship, each trying to pull the other towards “normal.” Whatever that is.

I commented in last month’s post that an hour with a good developmental editor can make a great deal of difference to a book. A Beta read by Cas sets me up with months’ more work!

Here is our interview, where I pry into what makes a hero tick. Continue reading “My Self-Publishing Hero: Cas Peace”