Wednesday, February 27, 2013

An Example of Branding

Several weeks ago, our wedding photographer (Derryn Semple) contacted me to say our photos (which we were going to get in digital format on a disc) were ready, she was just waiting for packaging to arrive. My highly impatient self was like, Packaging? Really? Can't she just stick the discs in an envelope and mail them?! A little while later when we finally got the photos, I understood :-)

My grandmother always says "Feast the eyes" when she's making her food (i.e. presentation is just as important as taste), and Derryn certainly feasted the eyes with the beautiful presentation of our photographs :-)

So the point of this post is to show you, an author who's been told over and over that you need to create a "brand" for yourself, how Derryn creatively incorporates her brand into everything she produces.

 First of all, here is her logo:

And here is what our photos came packaged in:

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 And when you open the box, this is what's inside:

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The coffee smells so good! (And I'm not even a coffee drinker ;-) ) I love that little bird on her logo, and I'm not likely to ever forget what it represents -- Derryn's photography. I've seen it on her website, her Facebook page, now the box, and the little keyrings that are so pretty we will HAVE to use them somewhere (and so that we'll never forget our anniversary ;-) ).

Oh, and the photos themselves are gorgeous too! I'll be sharing some here soon.

What represents you as an author? A logo? Font type? Colour?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cover Reveal for Alex J. Cavanaugh's CASSASTORM

The Ninja Captain will be releasing his third book soon, and today ALL OVER (almost) the blogosphere, you'll be seeing the brand new cover popping up :-)

Title: CassaStorm
Author: Alex J. Cavanaugh

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

Release date: September 17, 2013
Science Fiction - Space Opera/Adventure
Print ISBN 9781939844002
E-book ISBN 9781939844019

Doesn't that cover just scream ACTION?!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

IndieReCon and The A to Z Challenge

Have you heard of IndieReCon? It's this awesome online writing conference focusing on Indie publishing. There will be LOADS of informative posts, live chats, tips, prizes -- and best of all, it's FREE! It's happening online at this address from Tues Feb 19th (which is TODAY) till Thurs Feb 21st.

And ... I'm pretty sure I don't have to ask if you've heard of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! So. After telling everyone that I would NOT be taking part in the challenge this year, I developed a major case of fomo and have given in once again! *sigh* Last year I exhausted myself writing a new flash fiction every day, so I've set myself a much easier theme for this year. Book covers! I'll be featuring different covers each day that have recently caught my eye, with titles starting with the relevant letter, mainly from self-published/indie authors.

Will you be "attending" IndieReCon? 
Have you signed up for the A to Z Challenge, 
and if so, do you have a theme planned for your posts?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Kiss for Valentine's Day

The Indelibles are hosting an INDIE-Kissing blog fest!
Share a smoochable scene from your current wip or published work; provide tips on writing kissing or romance scenes; list your favorite books, movies, etc (with kissing, of course); write about kissing - your first kiss, perhaps; or suggest ideas for an affordable romantic date night.

I'm not ready to share any smoochable scenes from the book I'm currently working on (but trust me, they are good!) so here's something from a book that's already out there...

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     “I have to go anyway,” I tell Nate. I turn and scribble a spell across his wall. A doorway to the faerie paths materializes, but before I can step through, Nate grabs my arm. He spins me around and presses his mouth to mine. I melt against him, my eyes closing. The world disappears, and it’s just the two of us, my hands rising to caress his face, his fingers sliding down to the small of my back, pressing me closer to him. My head spins, sounds disappear, and I feel weightless.
      Nate pulls away from me. “Now you can go,” he says with a wink, pushing me gently backward through the doorway. 

... and several chapters later ...

     I lean into him, snaking my arm over his chest. His lips move down, brushing over my cheek bone. I raise my head, and he fits his mouth to mine. My lips open automatically. I feel his hands moving along my arms, raising goose bumps as they go. He pulls me closer until I’m lying across his chest. I feel the pounding of his heart and the pressure of his hands against my shoulder blades. The kiss becomes more urgent. His fingers knot in my hair, and my hands find their way beneath the hem of his T-shirt. All sound is lost in the dizzying rush of blood through my veins.

These smoochable moments were taken from THE FAERIE GUARDIAN, which you can find at Amazon, B&N, iBookstore, and Smashwords. You can also read the first part of the book for free!

You can read other entries here ...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Presenting ... The Animated Cover for THE FAERIE GUARDIAN!

Come on. You knew I would try it out after I found those other animated covers! Now, I know it's very simple, just the twinkling stars, but I had to create 42 different images to get that effect! (Actually, I created a whole lot more images than that, but I decided the other stuff didn't look as nice.) And I think simpler is probably better - don't want it to be too distracting :-)
Anyway, what do you think?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Playlist for THE MAGIC WAKES, by Charity Bradford

Does music inspire your writing? It does for me, and probably for many other authors too. Today I'm hosting Charity Bradford, author of THE MAGIC WAKES. She'll be sharing the some of the songs that inspired her debut novel.

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Music has always played a huge part in my writing process. A good song can put me in the right emotional mindset to write a scene or give me an idea for a short story. The Magic Wakes was no different. Certain songs spoke to me. Saying they belonged to certain characters or the situations I wanted to put them in. Talia embodies “Stand My Ground” by Within Temptation. Especially these words: “I won’t give in. No more denying I’ve gotta face it. Won’t close my eyes and hid the truth inside…It’s all around, getting stronger, coming closer into my world. I can feel that it’s time for me to face it. Can I take it? Though this might just be the ending of the life I held so dear, but I won’t run. There’s no turning back from here.”

Cry” by Kelly Clarkson also made me think of Talia. Not the verses, but the chorus. The chorus has layers of meaning to match the story line. “Is it over yet? Can I open my eyes? Is this as hard as it gets? Is this what it feels like to really cry?” 1. She dreams in nightmares. 2. Most of her life she’s managed to shut her emotions off as a survival technique. Certain events (or lips) put an end to that. ;) 3. Even when it’s over, it isn’t really over.

Now Landry has been really hard to find “the” song. I don’t know if it’s because he’s so complex, or because we only get a hint at his full person in book one. When I think of him I think more of his entire character arc. So a lot of his songs cover parts of the story that are still in the making. “I Will Not Bow” by Breaking Benjamin has the right feel to it. A lot of their songs could be attached to Landry in different aspects of his life and along the story line. He’s a tough (although well educated and refined royalty, so not crass in any way) military man who has done things to keep the kingdom safe that aren’t even hinted at until book two.

Save You” by Kelly Clarkson is a softer side reserved just for Talia. All the words, every one.

There’s one character that is trapped by some choices from his past. It’s not who he is, but what he carries with him. Jaron’s song is “Falling Inside the Black” by Skillet.

And a few more songs I listened to a lot while writing. “Arms” by Christina Perri “I tried my best to never let you in to see the truth, and I’ve never opened up. I’ve never truly loved ‘till you put your arms around me, and I believe that’s it’s easier for you to let me go.”

If No One Will Listen” by Kelly Clarkson. There are so many great phrases in here that I imagined Talia’s mother and then Landry saying to her. It’s about love, trust and loyalty to me. It lends itself to Talia's entire story arc as well. “No one can tell you, where you alone must go. There’s no telling, what you’ll find there. And god I know the fear that eats away at your bones. Screaming every step ‘Just stay here’.”

Save Me” by Shinedown

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CoverTalia has a secret, one that will save her world and yet rip it apart. Only she can decide if the price is worth it.

Scientist Talia Zaryn has always had visions of an alien invasion and of her own death. She has kept it a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when her face in the mirror matches that of her dreams, she fears the dreams are prophetic. Talia must prove that life exists beyond their planet, Sendek; perhaps then people will prepare to fight.

Talia's work at the Space Exploration Foundation leaves no time for personal relationships, but Major Landry Sutton is not looking for a friend. He is looking for a traitor. His ability to sense emotions convinces him Talia is that traitor until a touch sizzles between them. In an instant their minds are connected. Just as the two begin to trust each other, the invading force arrives.

Talia and Landry must uncover the secrets of Sendek’s past if they hope to defeat these terrifying creatures. And Talia is the key—if only she can learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins.

Author photoCharity Bradford has been a voracious reader ever since her 5th grade teacher introduced her to the world of books with Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys. She’s the mother of four kids that keep her on her toes, constantly reminding her that imagination still makes the world go round. She lives in Arkansas with her hubby and children, and firmly believes that a smile can solve most problems. The Magic Wakes is her first novel.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Animated eBook Covers

I feel like I must have missed something, because I have never seen an animated book cover before! And they are completely awesome! I discovered them today when I came across a recent post on Adazing Design, Animated or Moving Digital eBook Covers, that showed these covers, among others.

Okay, so after a while it gets a little annoying, but it certainly grabs your attention, right? If you see that on the side bar of someone's blog, you'll take notice (unless they have tons of other flashing things!) And not only do you get animated covers now, but some of the animations are interactive! I couldn't figure out how to copy it onto my own blog post, so you'll have to go to the post on Adazing Design and scroll down till you see the book DAYLIGHT SAVING. Move your mouse over it. Seriously, it's SO COOL!

So then I did some Googling, and I found these on Also cool.

Obviously you can't see these animated covers on ereaders like the Kindle, and I don't even know if they work on tablets like the iPad. Do you know? Can you produce a book for the iPad that has an animated cover, or are these digital covers only for the web?

Anyway, as a self-published author who's designed her own covers, my number one thought here is: I want to do that too!

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Edit 08/17/2013
Found some more awesome animated covers!
15 Beautifully Animated YA Book covers

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cover Reveal for Juliana Haygert's DESTINY GIFT

Are you ready to meet the cover for Juliana Haygert's DESTINY GIFT, the first book in the EVERLAST series? Here it is! Isn't it pretty? You know I love purple ;-)

Thirty years in the future, a sinister New York City exists in permanent darkness.

A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn’t know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use … and instructions.

To discover if she’s losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions—with the real, rude and reluctant Victor—leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that’s only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don’t stop her first.

And just in case you want to see the whole thing...

You can find Juliana on her website, Facebook or Twitter.

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This cover reveal was organised by Xpresso Book Tours.