Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Cover, Cover... Who's got the Cover?

I thought I would do something a little different in today's blog. With the permission of my wonderful designer Graham Booth from Creation Booth, I wanted to share some of the other book cover design options he presented to me through the design phase as we prepared my first novel, Mental Pause, for launch this past March.

I'd love your feedback on whether or not you think I chose the right cover! I'm working on my next novel and choosing a cover is definitely one of the most important things you'll ever do as an indie author.

Even if you're not an author and you're working on content for a communications piece that will require a graphical element, choosing the right visual presentation of your work is just as critical as the written message.

 So... here is the cover I chose:

 Below are several of the other designs Graham proposed:

You can see I did use the window image from this one but the woman's face just didn't capture how I pictured Abbie.

And another...

I really liked this one for the shock value but thought it might be a little too risque (which turned out to be the case when I test-marketed it, which I highly recommend before making a final decision).

Yet another... (Graham never blinked when I asked him for more, or requested a combo of two or three - the font from one, photo from another and layout from yet a different one!)

This one was intriguing, however, the girls were far too young to represent the main characters in the book.


This one had a mystery feel to it but was a little too ominous for me!

There were several more, including many combinations and permutations on a theme and we kept tweaking until it felt right. As you can see, the benefit of having a talented (and patient) designer helps you create the cover graphic that really tells a story even before your reader has a chance to turn the book over to read the back. For eBooks it's even more critical.  If you have a tight budget I still feel strongly that you should always hire a professional designer to work with you on cover design (and interior layout if you're doing a print version).

So... do you think I made the right cover choice?

Sunday, 14 July 2013

When Posting on Social Media - Double Check... and then Double Check Again

When I'm working on my social media, and especially with that of clients, I always pause, re-read, and pause again before hitting 'post' or 'share'. Then I double check any shortened links just to make sure (even after testing pre-post) that it goes to the right page.

Photo from by Michal Marcol
The importance of that habit hit home HARD yesterday and I'm still thanking the good Lord that I checked a link immediately after tweeting it. You see, I had made a derogatory comment about people who use Hyperbole. It was in reaction to a blog I had just read by Seth Godin. I included a link to a little animated video I created a while back called 'Going Hyperbolic'. Imagine my horror when I tested the link and it went to one of my client's YouTube videos!  Because of the process I always follow when posting, I was able to immediately delete it before any eyes beheld my gaff.


I know, I know... we've all got sooo much on our plates that we're often thinking about the next task on the list instead of the task at hand. No time to check and double check! But, allowing yourself to be distracted will inevitably lead to mistakes. And, once they're out in the social sphere, they're hard to undo.

Here's an acronym I've created to remind myself not to get trapped in an unintentional social gaff:

T - ype
R - ead
A - bsorb
P- lan
P - ause
E - evaluate (check link)
D - eploy

... and check again! I'm sure glad I did!