Self-publishing is a brave new world, and we're here to help you navigate it with our monthly column, Self-Pub Like a Pro. This month we're tackling the ever-important cover design. Covers are such a big deal we're bringing you the insight of not one, but two, accomplished cover artists. Today with us is Frauke Spanuth, owner and creative director for Croco Designs. We hope you enjoy all Frauke has to say, and come back next week for part two!
What should a self-published author keep in mind when working with a cover artist?
As a self-published author you are also in charge of all tasks a publisher usually takes care of. You have to keep a publication schedule as well as a budget in mind, so availability and pricing may be most important for you. But please keep in mind that if a cover is poorly executed, people may also think your book is of poor quality. It’s said that one should not judge a book by its cover, but very often people still do.
With all these mega alpha heroes on the romance scene as of late, is it any wonder that heroes with chest hair have begun popping up on covers? We for one love the follicular diversity! (And we never could picture some hot, hot Navy SEAL having time to save the world, sex up the girl and wax his chest. So it just makes good sense.) We're not the only ones who've noticed, last month author Sarah M. Anderson was waxing on (or ... off?) about manscaping. So what do you think? Do you like your cover candy bare or more … natural?
Well, it's Monday again. In case you're in the doldrums about this news, we've got a cover reveal to cheer you up! Up today is Tamara Morgan, a rising contemporary star who won the RT editors' hearts with The Derby Girl. Her upcoming If I Stay, the first in Tamara's Montgomery Manor series, which hits stores May 12, is a contemporary-set, upstairs-downstairs tale. This sounds like such a fun twist for our Downton obsession that we can't wait to get our hands on it. Here's the back cover copy:
Small-town romance is a big part of the contemporary genre these days, and its ubiquitous awesomeness is thanks in part to Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series, which was so popular our family members were calling in all sorts of favors to get their hands on the titles ASAP. (We felt used.) This month, Robyn’s got a mainstream title coming out, Four Friends. But for such an awesome author who’s been writing for so long, where to begin? We asked Robyn to pick her top five favorites, and she obliged. And so we go … Into the Archives with Robyn Carr.
1. The House on Olive Street, which began my nice run in women's fiction at MIRA, is a fun and touching ensemble cast of women, but believe me they've got teeth. This was my first "girlfriend" book and I fell in love with that genre, if it is a genre. Give me a bunch of women with very individual wants and needs but a common dilemma and mountains can be moved. The joy I felt writing this book inspired me to write Four Friends.
Listen, we’re more in the camp of people who hang up a “Bless this Mess” sign over the dishes in our kitchen sink and then call it day. But the recent trendlet we’ve discovered of men taking over those pesky household chores has us reconsidering our process! Who wouldn’t want a sexy man taking out the trash? (And that’s not a euphemism. He actually cleans and takes out the trash.) Now that’s a fantasy we can get behind! Here are a few recent titles that have caught our fanciful attention:
Maid to Fit by Rebecca M. Avery
This contemporary romance sounds like Who’s the Boss, starring a sexy Sergeant! What could be better? (Sorry, Tony Danza.) As Ronnie adjusts to civilian life and helps single mom Kayla get her life on track, we’ll just be over here wishing we had a Ronnie of our own …. (coming May 2014)
The weekend is nearly here and have we got a surprise for you! Literally, a surprise. We're giving away a grab bag of up to 10 recent romance novels! We know what's good and we'll be sure to mix it up to include a nice variety. And if you don't like something or already have a copy? Give it to a friend! Sharing is caring, folks. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. All books are finished copies (no ARCs). Good luck and have a fantastic weekend!
Have you ever wished you could read a book that has the same witty dialogue, heart-stopping action and sizzling romance as your favorite TV series? If so, you’re not alone, and today we have a handy guide to help you find read alikes for your favorite screen gems. Take a look!