A cover reveal for you today.

aim

Skye Lotus will be launching her new book, Aim, on 5th May.

It’s a book for young adults featuring Greek gods, but not as you’ve seen them before. The god of war, for example, lives in a war plane. I’ll tell you more about the book when it’s published, but for now, all you need to know is that it’s a lively adventure featuring a very modern young lady slash goddess, Zara, who needs some answers to her questions. The Greek deities have no idea what’s about to hit them…

This cover is by Maja Majetic. It’s perfect, in my opinion. The style and colours are modern and energetic, like the story. The pose of our heroine shows confidence and spirit, and yes, that’s a wolf by her side. We have to wonder what that’s all about. Already we’re intrigued to find out what this story is all about. This is beautiful artwork. You can find out more about Maja here.

Come back here on 5th May and I’ll give you a few more hints…. Meanwhile, please spread the word about this forthcoming novel by a young, talented author. I featured Skye on this website back in 2012, and she’s gone from strength to strength to strength since then! Aim is a book you’re going to love reading.

 

CRAZYTOWN_KindleHere’s the bright and eye-catching cover for Rob and Ján Bryndza’s Lost in Crazytown,. I asked Rob a few questions about it.

What does the cover for Lost in Crazytown tell us about the book?

It’s a very dark comedy. It’s based on our experiences working in Hollywood a couple of years ago. We lived in an apartment just off Hollywood Boulevard and I was always struck by the difference in the place during the day and night. By day it’s quite a sunny fun place, but at night the darkness falls and all the shops and bars that go unnoticed during the day open up with their seedy neon signs, and some very strange people prowl around. This kind of summed up Hollywood and our story. Scrape off the tinsel of tinsel town and what’s underneath is pretty scary.

What does it tell us about you and Ján?

Ooh, good question. I don’t know… Hopefully that we’ve written a fun entertaining book.

Was is it easy to design?

We have a super cover designer, Dan Bramall and he came up with the look of it based on discussions we had. One thing I sent him was the opening credits for the TV show Entourage, where the car cruises along Hollywood Boulevard in the dark. He went from there.

How many other cover designs did you discard on the way?

There were several variations on the final image, at first it was going to be a sign by a road and we saw different colours for the neon lights, but it pretty much stayed the same from the initial draft.

Having been through the process, what tips can you pass on about designing a cover?

Do your research. Both of your designer and what genre your book best fits into. Be prepared to spend money for the right cover. Also if your an indie author you’ll most likely have 99% of your sales through ebooks, so think of your cover as a thumbnail image – and make sure it stands out in black and white too. Your book cover will be a tiny image at first either on a computer screen or a black and white ereader, you need to make them want to click on your book and explore further!
Stop Press!
The book has been published as an ebook today! It’s a lively, entertaining novel with plenty of humour but it also takes a harsh, uncompromising look at the shallowness of Hollywood life. Very well worth a read.  Here’s the link to find it on Amazon.co.uk.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-In-Crazytown-ebook/dp/B00FQRF5ZM

five six finalIf you enjoy mysteries, then keep your eyes open for this book, which is coming soon. It’s the third in E J Lamprey’s whodunit series, set in Grasshopper Lawns and featuring a group of very sharp-witted amateur sleuths.

I talked to the author about her very striking cover.

 

What does the cover for Five, Six, Pick Up Sticks tell us about your book?

My brief to the artist, Lacey O’Connor, was that I wanted to include a ginger cat, the Forth Road Bridge, the moon, and a rosebud – or boutonniere – in a glass, because three of them were major factors in the story. The Forth Road Bridge turns 50 next year, there’s a chance I’ll be able to pick up a bit of promotion through that, as the book includes a car chase on the bridge.

 

What does it tell us about you?

I do like a cover to have clues to the contents, I’m quite a literal person.

 

Was is it easy to design? 

Very easy, because Lacey is so talented, I tell her what I want, and wait! She comes up with a first draft and then we fine tune. For this cover I sent her photos of the cat and the bridge as well as the brief.

 

How many other cover designs did you discard on the way?

The main elements were there in the first draft, but it took about five revamps to get the effects I had wanted – more than the previous covers, but then it is much more complex than usual.

 

Did you ask for other people’s opinions and was that helpful – or confusing?

I ran the second draft past my beta readers, who would have accepted it as it was. I put the third on my Facebook page and Twitter but didn’t get feedback as such, although people liked it. I’ve attached the very first draft, when she had (despite the photo) used the wrong bridge, the iconic rail one, because it may be interesting to see the differences.

 

Having been through the process, what tips can you pass on about designing a cover?

Get an artist you like, and can work with. I’m thrilled with this cover, but I like all three covers she’s done for me. I put the brief for my first cover onto Elance, with a tiny budget, and had left it a bit late, so it had to be done in a week. I got eight responses, from all over the world, and could look at all eight portfolios. Lacey wasn’t my first choice, as she was the most expensive and I didn’t like her portfolio best. By the greatest luck the American guy I picked couldn’t do it in the time! Lacey is a joy to work with. I loved her picture for One Two but accepted her lettering, even though I didn’t like it personally, because she was the expert. However, I played with the picture itself later, came up with lettering I far preferred, and she corrected the cover at the same time as she did the second cover, so my second tip would be to stick to your guns unless you actually prefer what the artist recommends.

 

Finally, tell us about Five, Six, Pick Up Sticks in 100 words.

The third whodunit in the Grasshopper Lawns series dives gleefully into the murkiest end of the senior singles dating pool, where the predators lurk, with Edge volunteering as the face of the police investigation. Dating for the over-fifties is definitely a boom industry, but for some it has been a dead end, and the police want to know why. The investigation is so covert, not even her friends can know why she is suddenly so keen to meet a series of slightly alarming men. After all, she’ll be monitored at all times, so absolutely nothing can go wrong…

 

Today, my first ever cover reveal on Books Are Cool. And I’m starting with a real bang. Here’s a fantastic cover for a book that you must read when it’s published. It’s honest, gritty, funny, startling, moving… but I’m jumping the gun. For now we focus on the cover.

 

paulygreen

I talked to Paul about his cover.

OK, so why this cover for Paulyanna: International Rent-boy?

I chose this cover firstly because out of all my attempts it really was my personal favourite. I simply liked the colours. It was also created organically and without much outside influence, meaning I didn’t blatantly copy any other book.

I allowed the layout, colour scheme and font to develop as I went along. Trial and error and this was made up of many errors. A bit like myself and therefore a very apt choice.

 

What does the cover tell us about your book?

I am not glossy or over produced, I’m simple,perhaps a touch plain, therefore so is my story. I think it truthfully reflects the content.

Symbolically I am one among many and ALMOST like every other rent-boy, only red.

 

What were you trying to achieve with this cover? 

I wanted to grab attention, draw the eye to my book. I think it is also more special if the author creates their own cover – it inserts an additional personal touch, a nice completion to the whole creative process.  I am no designer and these things are taste preference anyway. I am aware that some people simply don’t like green.

 

Was is it easy to design?

To design, yes to lay-out and implement my ideas, no. But that turned out to be a good thing. As I said this cover developed more out of the things I couldn’t do, Mistakes I thought looked OK and then played around with.

I used a basic drawing program that was very limited, sometimes insufficient. I searched online and used another program when mine fell short.

 

How many other cover designs did you discard on the way?

Nine, I got right into the designing process and could have continued on and on. My first was terrible and I got a bit better along the way. The only image I kept throughout was the royalty free clip art of the lone figure.

I’m not even entirely sure if I did get better. I enthused about all of my covers. But seemed to like the latest one more than the previous. I get bored easily so perhaps it was the new and the different I liked.

 

Did you ask for other people’s opinions and was that helpful – or confusing?

I did ask for opinions which was VERY confusing. Online you don’t know if the person you’re asking is colour blind, abstract minded or a top notch graphic designer.

Working for two hours on a design to get the response “I don’t like green” is not helpful, especially when another comes back saying, “Oh green, how lovely”.

I found it better to create a straight-forward photo poll with my shortlist. A poll with the simple option to click your favourite leaving no room for discussion.

 

Having been through the process, what tips can you pass on about designing a cover?

Scroll a book site, see what sticks out or appeals to you and start from there. Chances are your product with morph into one of your own making and not particularly like anything you initially spied. Keep it simple whenever possible and try to consider the content at all times, it is amazing how quickly you can get carried away.

 

pauly photoFinally, tell us about Paulyanna: International Rent-boy in 100 words.

A quick decision that steered me down a rather dodgy path.

Without added glamour and grit this is the tale of a 1990s British rent-boy. Risk and danger mixes with fun and thrills in my twelve-year career as a male prostitute.

A precarious existence on the streets of London and Los Angeles boulevards.

May not have been pretty but I had the audacity to succeed. This is not an erotic tale, more an intimate portrayal of day-to-day life as viewed from my quirky perspective. What goes on behind a glassy-eyed smile.

A road-book adventure in search of happiness.

 

Thanks Paul!