Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Post: Amy Lignor


What’s the Real Selling Point of Your Book?
The Cover!

We are a completely visual society. From computers to phones to iPods to all the vibrant colors coming at us from almost every direction, we usually make our decisions based on how the ‘scene’ effects us. Colors, pictures - these are used in many different ways: From scaring us on the news with graphic images to making us fall in love with a product because a cute, white, fuzzy puppy was on the commercial, and we can’t forget about it. This is how heavily we rely on images to find out what we really love or hate.

When it comes to the literary world, cover art is one of - if not THE most important - part of selling your book. Millions will buy a book written by Stephen King, JK Rowling, Tom Clancy, Dean Koontz, J.D. Robb - and it’s because they already know the ‘name.’ They are already a fan because these writers have been doing this a good, long time and have built a fan base that is completely loyal. In fact, they don’t much care what’s on the cover of the latest Stephen King book; just as long as his name appears on the cover that’s good enough to make the sale.

But for smaller, unknown, or debut authors, cover art is sometimes more important than plot. Now, don’t get me wrong, the story has to be great in order to get the wonderful reviews you need to build a reading list of loyal fans, but the very first thing a reader will judge about your book is the cover. It has to be outstanding. It has to grab the attention of the reader and make them want to research the title further. They need to be lured into the story, and once the book is purchased, THEN it’s up to you to thrill them and excite them with your characters, storylines, etcetera.

Finding a cover artist who can take a book and literally create the image that YOU know you want because, as the author, you’ve been thinking and dreaming about it for years, is difficult. A lot of cover artists don’t even read the manuscript, which I find hard to understand seeing as that they have to have some background about the book and what you’re trying to say in order to even begin to work up a design. But, what can I say? There are some designers out there who work as if they’re on an ‘assembly line’ and just cannot put in the time it takes to understand or even like your story.

I say all this because I was one of the lucky ones. When The Angel Chronicles found a home with Tribute Books, I was introduced to their cover designer - a woman by the name of Emma Michaels. (http://emmamichaels.blogspot.com)

Emma is not just an artist who draws what the author wants. She is one of those rare people who read the book cover to cover, comes up with ideas about various scenes, and discusses options and paths to take in order to create the perfect cover. She takes suggestions, ideas and really works with the author to make the book a unique masterpiece that fans really take a shine to.

Emily and Matthew have been in my mind since I was thirteen years old. Seeing as that I was born when Jesus was just a boy, that’s a long time to have these imaginary people in your brain. Emma Michaels had the amazing skill and unwavering talent to take my ideas and my story and draw the characters as if she was looking at them face to face in my own head.

So, remember, whether you go the self-publishing route, sign on with an independent, a small press - whatever it may be - make sure to remember that the cover of your book is the very first thing readers will see. And if the cover doesn’t ‘speak’ to them, the book is automatically dead in the water - even if the next Gone with the Wind or Harry Potter awaits the reader inside.

Until Next Time, Everybody,
Amy

Here's the synopsis for Gilded Wings:
When Matt and Emily are sent on their second mission they have no idea how truly dark human nature can become...

Emily never wanted to face humans again. With the heartache that went on down below, she’s still trying to figure out how to save souls that don’t deserve saving. The only one she wants to see again is Jason - the young man she fell in love with who became the soulmate she simply can’t forget...

Matt was trained to protect and defend the souls down below. Longing to feel the heartfelt emotions that come from being human, Matt wants nothing more than to have just one life - one chance - to live and love the girl of his dreams...

The powerful team find themselves in a brand new century, living in the Gilded Age of New York City. Emily takes over the body of Anya, a young Russian girl who arrives on Ellis Island after a hideous tragedy. There she meets up with a strangely familiar young man by the name of Drew Parrish, who helps Anya survive in an unknown world of luxury, snobbery and…obsession.

What Anya’s inner angel doesn’t know is that the soul she loves is also back. This time around Jason goes by the name of Max Carrow. Once a quiet and kind boy, he’s now part of the ‘Four Hundred Club,’ and wants nothing more than to be among the most admired as he climbs the shaky ladder of society’s elite. 

As two worlds merge, Emily and Matt struggle under the weight of their “Gilded Wings.” Not only will they have to figure out who they should fight to save, but they must also face a romantic choice that could destroy them both. 

And here's an excerpt for you:
Emily rocked quietly, staring at Gabriel sitting stoic on his tall stool. His elbow rested on his knee, his fist supported the weight of his chin, and the old spectacles set crookedly on his angular nose. Gabriel was an avid reader, always studying. He worked hard to understand the paths that were being chosen by the humans below.

Emily tried not to laugh as she studied the face that was pulled into a deep frown. His eyebrows looked stuck together, glowering as he concentrated on the real life story of
yet another partnership that had been below and brought back their report on what they had seen.

“Something wrong?” Jerking his head up, Gabriel’s book went flying off his lap, and his glasses hit the floor.

Out of the corner of her eye, Emily noticed that the long, dark hair of the sleeping Russian girl, Anya, had transformed back into her own trademark auburn curls. She smiled at Gabriel’s annoyed expression. “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.”

“You’re getting quieter as you get older,” he grunted. 

“Well, you always said we should be seen and not heard,” Emily grinned. 

Gabriel’s eyebrow climbed up his forehead. “Exactly when have you ever listened to anything I say?” 

“I’m like a sponge. I remember everything.” 

Gabriel snorted his agreement and crossed his arms over his broad chest. “Why back so soon?” 

“I’m confused.”

“Already?”



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44 comments:

  1. It is a fabulous cover. Creepy but intriguing. The perfect combination!

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  2. I agree with her comments about cover art. It is so important - at some point we all do judge a book by its cover. And this cover is awesome!

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  3. I like the cover. I read the first book in the series, and LOVED it. I look forward to reading the sequel :) Congrats, Amy!

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    1. I really enjoyed the first book, too. I'm looking forward to this one.

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  4. I have to agree here too. I know when I browse books, I only read the synopsis of the ones which draw me in based on the cover. However, when I see a guy on the cover, I won't read the synopsis unless he looks a little rugged rather than whispy and lost.

    I'm an alpha male kind of gal. LOL

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    1. Cover are so important. They have to draw you in.

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  5. Love the cover. What could be more mysterious than a cute guy, who's literally cracking up! It makes you really want to know how he got that way.

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  6. That is a brilliant cover. I agree with her about cover art. The type of books I read all have a similar style to their covers. If the book doesn't have that style then I assume I won't like it.

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    1. I totally get what you mean, Auden. You are drawn to a certain kind of cover and look for that in new books.

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  7. You're so right about the cover. It takes a reader a few seconds to decide to look further at the book based on the cover.

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    1. Yup. Most readers will only give you a few seconds before moving on.

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  8. Kelly, thanks for your continued support of Amy and 'The Angel Chronicles.' Your generosity is unmatched, and certainly appreciated.

    Your blog is such a great place for sharing and discussion. The comments are fantastic!

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    1. You're very welcome. Happy to support Amy and Tribute Books. :)

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  9. Totally agree about the cover. Best of luck to Amy on her mammouth blog tour!

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  10. Hey Kelly!! I wanted to stop by and thank you SO much for having Emily & Matthew on your site. And I LOVE the comments from all of you. I want to thank you for everything - you have no idea - and I hope you love their second adventure. And, yes, I am absolutely blessed with Emma Michaels doing the covers for this series - she truly hit the nail on the head!!! Have a great holiday!!!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Amy. We all really enjoyed your cover, guest post, and snippet. :)

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  11. For several months, I've been copying and pasting book covers that appeal to me and are similar to the theme of my book. I hope I have a cover artist as talented as Ms. Michaels. I agree the cover is extremely important. Congrats on your book, Amy. Sounds very intriguing.

    To Kelly, thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on my back cover copy. It means the world to me. Isn't this fun? :)

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    1. You're welcome, Grace. Best of luck to you with your memoir. :)

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  12. Covers are what make me pick up a book, so I totally agree with how important they are. One lured in by the artist, the writer has to keep me reading, but I tip my hat to people who can design covers that grab my attention,

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    1. Me too. I wish I could create something that eye catching.

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  13. I totally agree with you on the importance of a book cover. Not only the subject, but the background and the overall style are really important. Some book covers are great; some, not so much. An author's really lucky to be able to choose (or have input in) what they want.
    Great post!

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    1. Yes. Not all authors get a say in their covers. Getting one is amazing!

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  14. This cover is strong (as in, the hero's face is strong) and melancholy. Cover art is one of the first selling points, and incredibly important for fresh authors. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Amy.

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    1. I agree, Claudine. Great covers can really help a new author get noticed.

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  15. As a cover designer, and especially a book lover, I couldn't agree more that a great cover sells books. And you ended up with a fantastic cover!

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    1. It is awesome. I admit that it was the cover of the first book in this series that made me read the book. :)

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  16. With less spectacular covers I'll peruse descriptions before I buy, but great book covers grab me right away.

    That's a fantastic cover. Congrats to Amy.

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  17. Hey Kelly! Thanks for following my blog :) I'm following back! Your books sound amazing! I have them all in my TBR list!

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    1. Thanks, Rhomy. That's really sweet of you. :)

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  18. Awesome giveaway! Thanks for the chance to enter. I'm looking forward to checking out your books! I found you through Book Blogs and I am now your newest follower via GFC! I would love for you to stop by for a visit sometime. I hope you're having a wonderful week. :)

    Leigh Ann
    MaMa's Book Corner

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  19. Great post about covers and so true. I enjoyed the first story in the series and hope to read Gilded Wings soon. Congratulations, Amy, and good luck to you.

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    1. I'm looking forward to Gilded Wings, too.

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  20. Good points, Amy! And a good choice for an excerpt!

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  21. I just had a heated discussion about covers. What they mean, what they convey, what it does to an author's career when they're terrible. :) I'm glad you got the cover you wanted and had a great collaboration. I'm looking forward to reading Gilded Wings!

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  22. Amazing cover! How great it would be to find someone who really wants to make the cover the best.

    And Kelly, thank you for following my blog! :)

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    1. Yes, finding someone who will make your cover amazing is truly the best.

      And you're very welcome. :)

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