Good covers are massively important and buyers, increasingly, rely on visuals (the cover) rather than the blurb. That was the latest advice from an independent bookseller at a Society of Authors virtual meeting in early 2021. The bookseller recommended authors aim for clear, concise, beautiful covers, with fewer words and, hence, more impact.
Professor Snape (left) may not be beautiful—and that’s not a cover, either—but he’s certainly clear and concise. And if he made you feel guilty, he’s had impact, too 😉
Criteria for Good Commercial Fiction Covers
Apart from being clear, concise and beautiful, a Good Commercial Fiction Cover Will…
make the genre clear immediately
represent aspects of the story to draw the potential buyer in
shout out the title
shout out the author’s name
work well in thumbnail
and SELL THE BOOK
That’s a pretty tall order and lots of covers fail it. Not only self-published covers, either.
This blog (based on a recent presentation I did for the Society of Authors) aims to help self-published authors work with cover designers like me to get clear, concise and beautiful covers that will sell the authors’ books. Continue reading →
I meant to use my next blog to cover a few hints on Finding Your Voice but the short list for the Shorter Romantic Novel Award elbowed it out of the way. (In case you didn’t know, the Romantic Novelists’ Association announced the short list for their suite of awards for romantic fiction last Monday.) For Libertà Books are sponsoring that award again this year.
As you may imagine, the whole hive are proud enthusiasts for the genre, both as writers and readers. So many, many congratulations to our short listers.
The Libertà Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award
A Will, a Wish and a Wedding, Kate Hardy, Mills & Boon True Love The Warrior Knight and the Widow, Ella Matthews, Mills & Boon Historical The Day That Changed Everything, Catherine Miller, Bookouture Second Chance for the Single Mum, Sophie Pembroke, Mills & Boon True Love The Return of the Disappearing Duke, Lara Temple, Mills & Boon Historical Cinderella and the Surgeon, Scarlet Wilson, Mills & Boon Medical Continue reading →
In this occasional series on costume, we’ve featured a lot of day wear, but never what ladies wore when they went riding. The image above shows the Berrington Hall stables and a green riding habit on a mannequin. The waist is around the normal place and it doesn’t have full upper sleeves, so it probably dates from the late 1820s or early 1830s though it could be Victorian.
The development of the riding habit
Judging by the Paris prints, the riding habit changed a lot in the early part of the 19th century. In the Regency period, they looked pretty much like pelisses, except with much more skirt. Here are two, dating from 1816 and 1817, courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum collection.
This week, four things have conspired to make me think again about the author’s voice. First, a friend asked me a question about some editorial revisions he had received. Then I started the second draft of a new book and found myself uncertain about my own voice. Was it too – well – romantic? There will be romance in this book (actually series) but not for a long time after Chapter One.
On top of that, a very good friend strongly recommended a novel. Excited, I bought it at once. I’m a great fan of her own books and we very often love the same authors. But I am really struggling to get into it. I admit I put it down and walk away a lot. Which pleases the cat. We will discuss it when next we zoom. AAARGH!
A while ago, I blogged about formatting ebook text. Quite a lot of people found it useful. So, as I promised then, I’m doing a follow-on blog about front matter—recommendations about what to include and how best to format it.
As with my previous post, these recommendations are based on how I format front matter for ebooks. You—or your book designer—may want to do things differently. Your choice. You have a good reason for doing it your way, don’t you?
I don’t usually make resolutions, but this New Year I have. And it’s one I need to keep if I am to enjoy the next twelve months.
The problem is I am spending far too much time worrying about the State of the World. I cannot stop looking at the news, online articles and other people’s (often ill-informed) opinions. I have even been waking up in the early hours and switching on my phone, to see if I have missed something of vital importance. Which I haven’t, of course.
Endlessly scrolling through your phone or laptop for bad news and overdosing on negativity. I have discovered plenty of information from scientists and medical experts about this phenomenon online. It’s not new, but became much more prevalent in 2020.
CHRISTMAS MYSTERY by Sophie Weston: EPISODE 12 Conclusion Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1
The nurse lived a good way out and insisted on taking them in for a drink to celebrate the New Year. As it turned out, this included a substantial ham sandwich which Patrick snarfed down like a starving wolf.
“Wonderful,” he said. “Busy day. First chance to eat.”
The nurse beamed and waved them off with a care package of goodies from the meal she was preparing to see in the New Year.
In the car on the way back, Liv relaxed, even when Patrick said, “Why didn’t you tell me to drive you to the Food Bank?”
She was surprised. “You were completely immersed in your research. I didn’t want to break your concentration.”
CHRISTMAS MYSTERY by Sophie Weston: EPISODE 12 Part 1 Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1
The nurse was instantly alert. “Does he want to hurt you?”
“I don’t know,” said Liv. “And I don’t know why he’s following me. I don’t even know who he is.”
Except that the daring, athletic cyclist was definitely not Francis. That was a relief in one way. But only a small way. She could feel the hamster wheel of panic start up again. She breathed carefully.
I can deal with this. I CAN DEAL WITH THIS.
But she felt as if her bones had turned to netting and her stomach cramped.
The nurse stayed cool and stuck to the important stuff. “He’s followed you before?” Continue reading →
CHRISTMAS MYSTERY by Sophie Weston: EPISODE 11 Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1
“No,” said Liv.
She went on saying it while Patrick Fell delivered a lecture from the podium on why this was absolutely the best—no, the only—solution. In the end, she was so cold that she said in desperation, “Can we discuss this in your car? I’m freezing.”
He harrumphed a bit, but agreed, though he made her put her mask on and opened all the car windows. “If this takes too long, I shall have to lower the top,” he warned her. “With current virus restrictions, it behoves people like us to be responsible.”
Liv swung round to look at him in disbelief. “Who the hell says behoves in the twenty-first century?”
“It’s a nice economical word and it says what I mean. Now, your place or mine?” Continue reading →