Showing posts from August, 2012

Book Cover Blues: Which is Best?

I posted about book covers last week and how to ensure your book cover is a winning one, bringing you lots and lots of sales....At the end of the post, I uploaded a cover done by a talented designer ABSV, on the basis of one of my paintings. It's a great cover but somehow doesn't fit the book's genre or content. Looks too erotic, steamy and sexy. Here it is for those of you who haven't seen it:

Some people said my name tag was too small, that the type of letters suggested a mystery thriller while the illustration, rather artsy, was still too erotic for what is basically a contemporary novel about Robert, a Baby Boomer and an attractive Frenchman who faces a collapsing marriage when he retires from a successful career in the United Nations. He tries to build a second life as an artist but his conventional paintings irritate his much younger American wife, a wealthy New York socialite who runs a chic contemporary art gallery in Chelsea.They fight over art but what is at s…

Three Tips to Ensure a Winning Book Cover

Book cover design by George Salter (Photo credit: Crossett Library Bennington College)Independent authors are often accused of unprofessional book covers...As an indie, how can you make sure your book covers look professional? That's important because the cover is a first, fast visual signal to your readers that you have produced a high quality book. 
A good cover says "trust me, this is a good read!"
Indies do not have the advantage of published authors. That's one of the strong points for going traditional and getting your book published by one of the Big Six - though many trad-pubbed authors complain that they are presented with book covers that "suck" and that there's nothing they can do to change them...
What are the options? Get a good designer to do your cover of course. If in addition to being a writer you're also a visual artist (like me, I'm a painter too), the temptation is strong to do your own cover. Until you get really good with phot…

One of Amazon's Best Marketing Tool Revealed: the Vine Program

Amazon-New-Detail-Page (Photo credit: kokogiak) Der Loyalitätskreislauf (Marketing, E-Marketing) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Amazon's Vine Program is a truly amazing marketing tool and perhaps it works so well because it is (relatively) discreet. It's simply brilliant: it takes advantage of our human compulsion to compete - we all love to come out first! - and of our distrust of traditional paid advertising. It harnesses the power of independent customer reviews and unashamedly turns it to its own advantage - but then, why shouldn't it? Amazon has thought it out and fine-tuned it, so why not reap the benefits? I can't think of any other online vendor who has constructed such a sophisticated marketing tool.

So what's it about? Amazon's own presentation of the Vine Program is not easy to find in the site and it turns up in relation to reviews made by people who participate in the program. Under their name when they review a product - and it can be anything from an ele…

Participate in an Italian Art Competition, the "Premio Celeste", Open to the Whole World!

You don't need to be Italian to participate in this art competition and you don't need to be a painter either, you can be a sculptor, a photographer, anything you like provided it's contemporary! I happen to be a figurative painter (besides being a writer of course) and I've just decided to participate with one of my oil paintings.

Here it is, it's called OVER THE EDGE:

Cool, isn't it? Especially in this hot weather...all that nice fluffy snow! I've just finished writing a novella by that title and I plan to use this painting for the book cover (when I get around to publishing it!) What do you think of it? If you're holding your breath and wondering how this guy is going to land, well, I'm wondering too! Actually, that's the whole point of the painting...

And yes, the novella OVER THE EDGE, is full of suspense too, it's set in the future, two hundred years from now, when medical advances have solved the problem of aging and you live your whole …

Are Amazon Rankings Killing Your Book Sales?

Cover of Jane Austen's Pride and PrejudiceThere are nearly one million and a half titles on Kindle: if you're beyond the 100,000th rank, could that fact alone discourage would-be readers? I think so, though I can't prove it. But one thing can be done: investigate what the concept of rankings really mean, starting on well-known books of proven quality, whether literary or genre, classic or contemporary. Took me a whole day, and I only looked at some 25 writers - a sample too small to go beyond anything but impressionistic preliminary conclusions * - and all my numbers hark back to 28 July when I did my research in the Kindle Store (rankings change on a daily basis of course). I'm sure some of you have done it too and you could contribute to my investigation, please be sure to include your observations in the comments, I'm looking forward to them!

Thus my conclusions need to be taken with a grain of salt, but they're interesting all the same and some of the result…