Book Cover · Design · Fallen Hearts · Writing

Animated Book Covers – Friend or Foe?

fallenhearts_med If animated book covers was something I thought of before, I promise it’s not an idea I considered in depth until recently. Why? I’m gonna be frank; animating shit is hard. Even if you have some graphic prog that’s specifically designed to make animation easy, it’s still hard.

This doesn’t stop some people from having the most awesome looking covers, though! Even Fallen Hearts over there looks pretty spiff, though I may have gone overboard with the floating particles. Anywho, the point is that, despite the difficulty animating or how much a graphic designer might charge to animate your cover, this is a pretty unique marketing strategy. Not every book has a cover with “moving parts”, and this can definitely be eye catching regardless of whether the animation is done right or wrong.

And that right there might be the biggest problem–going overboard. If these types of covers became a huge trend, it would mean the more popular they got, the higher the bar would be set to actually grab someone’s attention from “all those other books”, and the more eye sores we’d get.

As a general principle, book cover animations should be subtle in most cases, basically so the user can see the title without straining their eyes. But “subtle” can sometimes be the enemy of “attention grabbing”, particularly if you have a lot of competition with those nifty moving parts.

Still, it doesn’t seem entirely likely that we’ll get many of these covers often, at least, not from a ton of indie authors who might lack resources. The reason is that the only books which could really benefit from an animated cover (unless you count holographic prints) are ebooks, and to my knowledge, the most popular ereaders don’t support these images. This might change in the future, but for now, these covers are best left to marketing and promo, so even if they were done in full force, we’d probably only see them on author websites and blogs yadda yadda.

I may just go ahead and animate the rest of my covers (I have this weird OCD thing where if I do one, I have to do them all lol) but I’m definitely not looking to make a huge case out of it. So what do you guys think? Animated books covers; great idea, or destined to become the most messy train wreck of all time?

Cheers! :D

Book Cover · Design · Light of Dawn · Romance · The Crucible

Out with the Old Cont…

It’s so weird that I got a new (and wonderful, let’s not forget that part :D) review on Light of Dawn just when I was about to share the new paperback cover image =| It must be a sign! Of what, I don’t know, but I guess we’ll find out in time! :P

pdfcover_5.5x8

Call me arrogant, but I’m reeeeeeally happy with this one! But I’ve always been a sucker for glowy sparkles and that kind of thing. AND LIGHTNING. Lightning is awesome. <3

Cheers!

Book Cover · Design

Out with the Old, in with the New

So, I’d been up to something sneaky lately. Well, it’s not sneaky, I just hadn’t mentioned it to anyone cause it makes me feel like a secret agent. “I’M UP TO THINGS YOU’LL NEVER KNOW ABOUT … UNTIL I DECIDE TO TELL YOU.”

wtferm

What?

Anyway, I’m sure many of you recall my book cover updates. Or maybe you don’t. Regardless, last July or thereabouts, I updated my book covers to shiny, new, and what I can only hope is overwhelmingly eye-catching images (more on those “upgrades” later). At the time, I’d decided to revamp my ebooks only (Blue Moon, Light of Dawn, and Strange Brew all have paperback options) and leave my paperback covers with the old images to kind of differentiate them.

Well, I’ve started working to incorporate my new covers with the paperbacks as well! Createspace is currently reviewing my cover for Blue Moon, and in the meantime, I thought I’d share it here.

bluemoonpbcover

Light of Dawn’s cover is currently “under construction”, and I’ll get to Strange Brew’s as soon as I’m done with it. But while I’m at it, I thought I would share images of the “conversions”, which isn’t something I usually talk about because I know not all writers out there are graphically inclined and I always felt I wouldn’t be able to offer much advice on the task of getting book covers done because I always just make my own.

Still, sharing tips and tricks of any type seems like it might be helpful to at least a handful of people, and besides, I might end up going into the book cover making business myself. Who knows? I’m definitely no artist, but photo manipulation? Sign me up! :D

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Credits: for Blue Moon and Strange Brew, I found suitable stock images from The Killion Group, Inc., and for Light of Dawn and Fallen Hearts, I purchased images from RNC.

oldnewsb oldnewfh

So if you’re a writer who also designs your own covers/banners/websites/whatnot, but maybe you’re not quite a photographer, or you just don’t know a lot of people willing to have their pictures taken to be used on the cover of your book, this info would be helpful. Both of the websites linked above have a multitude of stock photos that can be used across a wide variety of genres, and the basic license isn’t too expensive.

But that might be considered a kicker. Some of you might be hesitant to purchase stock covers because you’re uncertain about the licenses and the proper way to use the images, and I have to stress that it’s important to check the terms on each website so you know what you’re doing, and even contact the stock providers to ask. There might be a limited number of print copies you can sell using the images in your designs before you have to purchase a new basic license, and exclusive licenses are much more expensive.

But don’t let that scare you away! It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and if you’re only publishing in the ebook format, chances are you won’t have a set number of copies to sell before you’re required to purchase a new license.

You may also want to keep in mind that one of the cons with using stock images is that there might be several other books out there featuring the same image as the one you’ve purchased. This is why I try to be as selective as possible. Okay, it’s not actually the only reason (I’m just extremely picky with images depicting my characters; it took me forever to find a suitable photo to use for The Final Calling, and I’m so glad I checked out Period Images because those guys are AWESOME! :D) but it’s one of the major ones.

Yet I’m of the opinion that using stock images can greatly improve the quality of your covers (if you’re a designer or pseudo designer as I tend to be anyway). I’m not saying my old book covers are bad (I’d revert to using them again if the situation called for it in a heartbeat! They’re my babies ;_; ) but the newer ones have more life, so to speak.

So should you use stock images? Or even hire a designer to make a book cover for you? (And yes, to those writers who are graphically challenged, these stock image websites also offer design services! :D) I suppose it depends on your current needs, your audience, and whether you truly think it would “advance your career” for lack of a better way to put it. In any event, if you have questions, feel free to ask away! I’m a chatter box and it’s hard to shut me up once I’ve gotten started. Well, sorta.

Cheers! :D

Book Cover · Design · The Crucible

Book Covers

And here’s a line up of book covers:

bookcovers

…But wait, what’s on the end? Hmm! Work in progress is coming along pretty well! :D

Blue Moon · Book Cover · Design · Romance · The Crucible

Blue Moon Cover Update

This may have come out of the blue–no pun intended?–but Blue Moon’s gone and had a cover update!

bluemooncover_half

For those who’ve already purchased the book, the changes should be available on Amazon as soon as they finish reviewing it! Light of Dawn and Strange Brew will also be seeing such updates somewhere down the road, though I’m not in a hurry at present! :)

Lastly, for all those who may be wondering, photo credit (which is included on the book’s copyright page with the update) goes to The Killion Group, Inc. and their wonderful website www.HOTDAMNstock.com! It’s a handy service for authors on a budget! :D

Cheers! :D

Book Cover · Romance · Strange Brew · The Crucible · Writing

Strange Brew Excerpt & Book Cover

Just wanted to check in to say that because Strange Brew’s cover is so close to completion, I’m going to be posting it soon and with it, an excerpt from the story. I’m still not entirely certain when I’ll be able to give it the finishing touches, but I can say that it won’t be too much longer! :D

As a side note, the terminology page is coming along, I’m just trying to go through it with a fine tooth comb and make sure it’s up to spec. The hardest thing to do is make sure I’m not forgetting anything, but if I do, I can always edit it later to add whatever definition I’ve forgotten.

In either case, that’s all I really have to say at the moment. So much for content, right? But here’s to checking in and I hope everyone’s having a great day!

Cheers! :D

Book Cover · Design · Light of Dawn · The Crucible

Light of Dawn Book Cover

So, I’ve finally gotten a chance to put the book cover up for Light of Dawn!

Continue reading “Light of Dawn Book Cover”

Book Cover · Design · Light of Dawn · Romance · The Crucible · Writing

New Pages and Light of Dawn Book Cover

I’ve been on and off of wordpress for a while now, making adjustments to my pages. I’m not quite done yet, but I’m getting there, and I’ve added a new one–the Books page! Not that it’s anything you guys haven’t seen before, just a place for me to list my stories as they come up, but hey, it needed to be done, and now I’ve done it!

The other thing I’ve been doing all day long is working on Light of Dawn–not just the story, mind you, but the book cover as well (which might I say is coming along swimmingly, though with too many options for me to easily make up my mind about it). So while I was on that topic, I thought I’d mention something for authors (specifically of romance–sorry everyone else!) who have trouble making book covers for their stories. Continue reading “New Pages and Light of Dawn Book Cover”

Design · Light of Dawn · Romance · The Crucible · Writing

Writing, Websites, and Titles

I want to apologize for my recent lack of activity, though it does seem like I do that pretty often here recently with everything going on not long after the new year started. But in any case, here I am with another update on writing, websites, and the actual title for the second book of The Crucible series! Continue reading “Writing, Websites, and Titles”

Design · Personal · Romance · The Crucible · Writing

Migration

Before I start posting on anything I’ve been planning recently, I wanted to comment on something else I’ve been noticing lately, which is an increase in followers and hits to my blog. I don’t know who you guys are, but thanks so much! Maybe we’ll get a chance to chat sometime! I promise I don’t bite!

Unless that’s your thing and you want me to. Even then, I may shy away. :|

So! Moving on along to other things of varying levels of import doo tee do. You may have realized that the name of this post is migration, which means I’m in the process of making a layout for a website of my very own! In turn, that means I’m going to have to migrate some information because I plan on integrating my blog here into the website there.

Which, even though I do have a good bit of coding experience, I’ve never particularly attempted in specific before. So on that front, it’s going to take me some time, and I’ll likely be blogging here for a while longer. But aside from that, I’ve been trying to get the content for my website all organized anyway, which can take a while in itself, so there’s no huge hurry at the moment. But as a consolation to everyone else, I’ll try to get a screenshot of the layout up soon now!

In the meantime, the second story of The Crucible Series is coming along, and finally, I have a working name, which is very subject to change at the moment considering the story is no where near completion, but it may give those of you who are curious an idea about what the next story involves: Dragon’s Chase. (Watch the name change to something drastically different now that I’ve brought this up!)

Hmm, Dragon’s and Chase? It’s about ghosts, right!? :D

Anyway, cheers all!