Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Fun Facts: Let's Talk About Cover Designers

Most of you know that I have a boxed set coming out in the near future (hooray!!) so I've been working on getting a cover designed for it. First off, let me say I totally admire cover artists and/or anyone who can create their own book covers. I have zero talent in that area.

Over the last year of indie publishing, I've worked with 3 different cover artists. All talented, all charging somewhere around the same price for either custom (my Hometown Heroes covers) or pre-made designs (my Cocktail Cruise individual novellas). When it came time to work on my boxed set cover, I went back to one of my designers from the past.

Unfortunately, this time we didn't gel. Specifically, the turn-around time was MUCH longer than the first time we'd worked together, and also, she was communicating with me almost exclusively through an assistant. Now, I myself have a virtual assistant, so I know how helpful they can be when it comes to answering questions/communicating via email. But when you're trying to design something as personal as an author's cover, I'd like a direct contact to the designer. Is that a lot to ask?

Anyway, I switched gears and got a little frustrated when I found myself back at square one. Happily, though, after a few hours of searching websites and getting some author recommendations, I found a new cover designer that I LOVE. I cannot say enough about her; she is designing 3 custom covers for me (3D, 2D, and print), for a very reasonable price, and she's done it in about 4 days. Best of all, I've been emailing back and forth with HER, and she is totally open to thoughts and suggestions. Plus she has terrific talent.

Want to know who it is? Check out Dar Albert at Wicked Smart Designs. Just a look at her work and you'll know why I chose her. And......cover reveal next Monday for Cocktail Cruises: The Collection. I can't wait to show you!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Writers' Wednesday: Writing a Killer Book Description

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Here's the latest email from Let's Write Books, a great discussion of how to write a book description that will get attention and SELL BOOKS! I'm definitely going to take these tips into consideration when I'm putting together my blurb for the Cocktail Cruises Collection!

Dear Fellow Writer,

Next to your tile and cover design, the next most important element in selling your book online is your book description. Your selling page must “convert” viewers to buyers.

In this week’s newsletter I will discuss the key elements of creating a killer book description for both fiction and non-fiction books.

For all books:


• Make it motivational – get people interested in book
• Easy to read
• Ask them to take action – buy it now!
• Know your audience and what motivates them/ what is important to them
• Remember to use your key words: If your book is on Amazon, then make sure you are using your keywords in your description, as it is searchable.


• List your website or any other website. This will only drive people off your sales page and away from purchasing.
• Use long paragraphs without breaks. This makes it hard to read easily. Remember people want to scan quickly on the internet.
• Talk about yourself too much - what is in it for the reader? People buy because of what is in it for them, not to hear about you. Your bio is the place for that.

The are some special considerations for fiction versus non-fiction.

For fiction:

• Have drama in opening line. The first line is most important – it has to have impact to “hook the reader.”
• Describe a compelling description of plot/conflict and main character(s).
• Share a well-written passage. This is an opportunity to showcase your best writing and impress the potential reader.
• Refer to famous writers or books that are similar to yours. For example, “if you like James Patterson mysteries, you’ll love this book.” Or, “this book has been written in the spirit of ____.” This a great way to define your book and associate it with well-known writers.
• Add any high level review or award.
• Have a call to action. Ask them to buy now. “Order a copy of _______ today and be mesmerized by this science fiction story.”

For non-fiction:

• State/highlight the problem /ask a question. Asking a question forces the reader to engage, because their minds want to answer the question. Want to see how? (See, I just did it).
• Ok, here are a couple examples: Would you like to lose 1lb this week or 5lbs?
• Describe how your book solves the problem. What will your book do for the reader? How will it transform their life?
• Use bulleted points. Identify key benefits with 4-6 bullet points.
• Sum up benefits.
• Call to action: Ask them to buy now. “Order a copy of Weight Loss the Right Way, and start losing weight today.”
• Personal note from author: Consider writing a note that explains why you wrote the book.
• List any awards or high level reviews.

Additional tips:

Look at top selling books in your category or niche and review those book descriptions.

Go the bookstore, pick up the top selling books in your niche, and read the back covers.

Read reviews of top books in your niche on Amazon. What do people like, what are they criticizing? Use this info in your book description.

Action step:

Review your current book description using the information above, and see how you can improve it. If you haven’t written the book description yet, use the hot tip section to do a little research first.

Keep writing!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Mentionables: Cocktail Cruises: The Collection Officially Releases December 1st!

Happy Monday, everyone! I'm excited to announce that the boxed set of my Cocktail Cruise novellas will officially release on December 1st - with a new cover soon to come! It will be available in both ebook and paperback - perfect for holiday gift-giving! I have a whole bunch of "Coming Soon" events and giveaways coming up, so please keep on dropping this blog by to find out what they are!

Besides featuring the 3 original novellas (Tequila Sunrise, Sex on the Beach and Between the Sheets), there will be a special section EXCLUSIVE to this collection: cocktail recipes and sneak peeks at books from some of your favorite romance authors. Who's participating? Take a look:

Stay tuned for a cover release!!