Twistmas Cover Stalls Edits

I wrote Twistmas – The Season of Love in the fall of 2012 with the intentions of releasing it for Christmas. That Christmas came and went like winter a storm, and the romance novel wasn’t published.

In the new year I promised myself I’d get it done and release it in the fall. Another failed attempt.

Here we are just ten days from Christmas 2013 and still Twistmas sits on my computer, unshared with any readers. So what is wrong? Obviously something is to have created this procrastination on my part.

I feel the story is well-written, engaging and entertaining, so that’s not the problem. I could use time as an excuse but…well, I’ve done other things and avoided editing Twistmas.

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Resources to Self-publish: Cover Design

Below are several posts I wrote about designing book covers. It includes my thoughts on the actual design, images used in the design and the inclusion of an author’s photograph and story blurb.

The post on using PowerPoint was written some time ago. After using the program for more than a year, my covers have improved and I’ve branched out to do front and back covers for paperbacks. Below is the cover I designed for my upcoming book using PowerPoint.

…I’ll list more relevant posts to self-publishing in the coming days.

Anthology FULL Cover

Help me choose the cover of my romance novel

Pockets of Wildflowers - Diane Lynn McGyverMy first romance novel is less than a month away from publication. Final edits, cover blurbs, front and back matter and other material remain incomplete, as does the cover. I’ve played around with a few ideas since I began writing the story, but haven’t settled on anything concrete.

To be honest, I often think of several covers, then have a difficult time choosing the one which bests suits the story, and one that will grab the reader’s attention and entice them to read.

Pockets of Wildflowers is about Olivia Luttlegrove. She lives alone on a farm in rural Nova Scotia. Her 300-acre spread is mostly forest with several dozen acres of hay, corn field and pasture. She raises Cotswold sheep for wool, Toggenburg goats for her personal milk consumption, chickens and a few cats. The excess milk is turned into yoghurt, cheese and butter, which she sells to neighbours.

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Confessions of a Romance Writer

Pockets of WildflowersI have a confession to make. I’ve been cheating.

I had good intentions. You can read about them in this post Juggling Summer, Kids, Sheep and Writing .

Unfortunately, the unexpected happened…I fell in love…with the new book I started. I should have seen it coming. After all, it is a romance novel.

It didn’t help that when I created the male character for the female, I created someone who I’d consider a great catch. I’m the writer, so I see through his faults and his lies, and I see what dwells in his heart. Darn it. Maybe I should have made him less likeable, but then, maybe Olivia wouldn’t have fallen for him either.

The woman slapping the man and sending him off to be never seen again doesn’t work in romance novels.

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Stock Photography: Should you use it for your book cover?

All the pictures on my blog have been captured by me unless otherwise stated. The photos of me were usually taken by my children. The obvious photos—such as those of Spiderman, Bionic Woman, John Wayne, Gerard Butler—were grabbed from the Internet.

That’s not to say I don’t have pictures of famous people in my stock pile. The one of Grandpa Jones was taken on a visit to Nashville. In my younger years, I was a concert nut, and gathered pictures of Alabama, Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Reba McIntyre…and the list goes on.

I’m a fanatic for taking pictures, and with a digital camera now in my hands, it’s easy for me to shoot a hundred pictures in 30 minutes a few times a day. And I take pictures of everything, including what others might think is a little strange…like those mushrooms above. When I visit historic places such as Signal Hill (St. John’s, NL), Fort Anne (Port Royal, NS) and Anne of Green Gables’ House (Cavendish, PEI), I take hundreds of pictures. You just never know when you can use unique one for the cover of a book…like those mushrooms above.

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And the most popular cover is…

I had a lot of feedback on the sample book covers I posted yesterday through comments and messages. I also printed off the samples and showed them to everyone I met in the past 24 hours.

One suggestion was to lose a fantasy novel and add Debut novel by a Nova Scotia author, so I applied that advice. A few people said they liked this background and it fit well with the theme, but the text needed to be more dramatic. Of all the images, this one was favoured by the majority.

Taking the suggestions and comments into consideration, I’ve created a new cover. It’s a mix of the samples plus a bit more.

Below is the almost official cover for Shadows in the Stone. I’m certain I’ll tweak it here and there, but not too much.

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Which Cover Works Best?

Things aren’t always what they seem to be in a small town in the Land of Ath-o’Lea. Magic creeps in the shadows, waiting to pounce…

Corporal Bronwyn Darrow vows he’ll never fall victim to love again after the woman he adored betrays him. He directs his energies to rising in the ranks of Aruam Castle, aspiring to one day command as captain of the guards. Although he treasures his home and family, he is blinded both by his desire to succeed and a mysterious magic lurking in the shadows of the ancient castle.

Alaura of Niamh, a half-breed enchantress with a deadly past, takes refuge in Bronwyn’s hometown. When the two meet, the spell which binds them is stronger than their fears of falling in love. As Alaura’s secrets threaten to separate them forever, outside forces attempt to shatter the security of Aruam Castle and eliminate Bronwyn. When an orphan weaves their lives together, they embark on a journey destined to either destroy or deliver them to the passion living in their hearts.

Above is the back cover blurb I’m working on for Shadows in the Stone. Below are several book covers I designed this week. Which grabs your attention the most? Do you like one image but prefer the font of another cover? Please, share your thoughts.

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Just For Fun

I just came in from feeding the animals. While I was out, I photographed the wool from yesterday’s shearing. I’m always on the look-out for images that will make great book covers, so while I snapped away, I thought, mmm…wool…perhaps.

Below is the cover I whipped up just to see what a close up shot of wool might look like. This is not an actual book, just a fun let’s see what it looks like thing.

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