Wednesday, March 6, 2019

We have a Cover! - Why a Fantastic Cover is Crucial

First, I want to share my totally awesome, shiny new WINDY HOLLOW Cover!


I'm so enamored! enchanted! encouraged! I have to thank my wonderful, talented cover artist Ricky Gunawan--he's a genius! Covers are vital. Even for ebooks. Covers set the mood of your book, give a glimpse of what adventures await inside, and help readers make up their minds to buy it! So for IWSG this month, I decided to share some tips for great covers...

"Remember: Most people in book publishing believe that a cover is a book’s No. 1 marketing tool." Writers' Digest

Cover Tips I love, from Writers' Digest, KoboWrititngLife, and 99Designs

  • TITLE - Big and easy to read. Keep it simple. And pick a solid font--nothing too fancy or silly, unless your book is a joke book!
  • ART - hire a professional. Or pay for a photo. Don't chintz! Don't frame images. Don't scare readers with crazy colors.
  • AVOID CLICHES - No sunrises, no sunsets, no ocean beaches or fluffy clouds...
  • THINK LIKE A READER - and know your audience. Take a poll on social media.
  • LURE READERS IN - make them feel something, send a message without spelling it out
  • GET FEEDBACK - keep an open mind, listen, and go with your gut

Sounds easy, right? No, I know. It's immensely hard! Your vision isn't the same as your friends or readers. And these are just guidelines to help. If your book is set on a beach -- a beach on the cover works!

Yes, I have a cover, but I don't have a release date yet. Here's hoping and here's the blurb...

WINDY HOLLOW, Beast World: Book 3

Gabe just can't stay out of trouble, even when he's just trying to help.

It's summer break and the young beasts are riding dragons across the Great Sea for a week-long wedding extravaganza. But Gabe suspects Professor Hardaway is up to something more serious behind all the festivities. Sneaking around and eavesdropping, Gabe discovers news of a human village across the mountains--Windy Hollow--and they might be in trouble from the mysterious activity at the old castle above the Mist.

Despite the professor's warnings, Gabe and his friends venture over, risking more than they realize when they get caught up in the dangerous experiments of a deranged scientist who's recruited a large, vengeful beast. Gabe wonders if he's gone too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!

And lastly, more encouraging NEWS!
I was honored to be featured in, not one, but TWO high school newspapers!


  • The school where I'm currently teaching is Badin High School -- article
  • Mason High School is where my older boys graduated, and I sub frequently there -- article
Thanks for hanging out! Enjoy the rest of the month. I'm cutting back on posts until things settle down with work and getting Windy Hollow published... Hope things are well with you!

25 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's wonderful you were featured in those school newspapers. That's great promo.

I think you picked the best cover. Font is SO important, and yet I see so many self-pubbed books where the font just ruins the cover.

Erika Beebe said...

What a great blurb! I love your tips too. Happy IWSG day!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm pretty sure I would never attempt to do the art for any of my work. Unless stick figures are involved, and even then I'd probably hire someone else to draw them. :)

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Holy Hannah, I love that cover! It's so MG. I'm sure it will attract a lot of attention. You are so productive. Way to go!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And it's an awesome cover!

Carrie-Anne said...

Good covers are so important. I did two of my own covers in 2014, and while I don't regret the experience of creating those pictures, I quickly realised they didn't exactly look professional and serious. I've since replaced both.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Cute cover!

Chrys Fey said...

What an amazing cover. That will attract many readers' eyes.

Congratulations on being mentioned in two school papers!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tara - you have got a lot going on ... so well done with all you're achieving ... and excellent cover - it will attract MG eyes ... congratulations and carry on enjoying life - cheers Hilary

Rhonda Albom said...

Your cover does all that and more, it really drew me in, and I am not even your traditional reader.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Wow, congratulations on so many accomplishments all happening at once. Your cover is terrific! And thanks for the tips about covers. Really useful!

M.J. Fifield said...

Yay!! Congrats on your cover art! It looks great.

Whenever you do have a release date, let me know so I can post the details on my blog.

cleemckenzie said...

You have my vote for that cover! It is so eye-catching. Congrats on it and on your project coming together.

Diane Burton said...

That's a great cover. I approve. :)

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Congrats on being featured! And congrats on that great cover! It's pretty fantastic. Those tips are good too.

Chemist Ken said...

Getting the cover right is tricky business. I've read about professional indie authors who know all about this stuff and even they get it wrong sometimes. I think your cover does a great job giving us the genre, and it's eye-catching too. Good job!

Heather R. Holden said...

Ooh, love the new cover. So ominous and fun! Hope you get a release date soon...

Juneta Key said...

That is so cool you were featured in the school papers. Cover looks great. Happy IWSG!

Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine said...

The cover looks great.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Beautiful cover! How awesome they gave you a shout out.

dolorah said...

Congrats on the newspaper mentions. And wow, that is a beautiful cover. As a reader, I am attracted to well done covers; if its a stock profile with clouds, beach, skyline, mountain, I will bypass the book without even reading the blurb. If the cover is cookie cutter, I'm sure there is nothing unique about the story either.

The Silver Fox said...

Glad things are going so well for you!

LD Masterson said...

When you only connect with people online, it's so easy to forget we all live in geographical locations, too. I did a double take when you mentioned Mason High School. I've been there many times, mostly for marching band events. I'm up in the Dayton area. Hi, Neighbor. *waves*

And I love the new cover.

Christine Rains said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that cover! Congratulations!

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