Friday, July 5, 2013

Book Cover Design Principles with Guest Hallee Bridgeman

One of the most interesting things I have been involved with is the creation of book covers for my novels for both eBook editions and print editions. Many indie authors and small press authors choose to create their own book covers, particularly if they only intend to market their books electronically and not in print. I decided early on that I wanted my books printed and available in libraries, church libraries, and distant places abroad where service members or missionaries might not have ready access to an e-reader. I am very grateful to have been led to that decision

So far, I have been blessed to be able to work exclusively with book cover artist extraordinaire, Debi Warford of Debi Warford Design. I have learned a lot along the way. Each series of books must have elements of a unifying theme and the general layout should draw the reader into a visual “blurb” of the story.

To create this, book cover artists rely upon branding, unifying thematic elements, the “Z” principle, the Thumbnail principle, and the author’s vision for the story.


Branding


For an author, the book is the brand. I made some conscious decisions about fonts and placements consistent with branding all my book covers. The branding principle is one that is best explained visually.


When readers see an original Nicholas Sparks book cover (not the movie poster that follows), readers can expect that there are usually no human beings on the cover, usually there is some elemental scene involving sunlight, moonlight, sand, or water, and most significantly, that in a rectangular box about 2/3 of the way up the cover with about a 1 inch margin left-right-and-top they will find the very large author’s name in a very specific serif font above a flourish followed by that book’s two to three word title.
 


Once these novels are made into major motion pictures, the book covers transform into a couple staring soulfully into each others’ eyes. These actors sign away all rights to their appearance (photographed image) so now we can get away with legally putting people on the cover and there is that all important film tie-in. But the author name is still nearly always depicted in that particular serif font (on the paperbacks, anyway).



Here are some other obvious branding done by authors:




 Coble’s covers are nearly textbook examples of good design from elemental scenes to the Z principle (more on that later) extending even to her titles.




 


So, I made some conscious decisions about my covers. When readers see that slightly taller than usual “Hallee Bridgeman” name at the bottom and the florencsans tagline where the lowercase letter “T” looks like a cross, and the “Precious” script font somewhere in the title, with the careful placement of all of these elements in a consistent manner, my aim is to

 Sparks spark a mental brand name recognition that this is a “Bridgeman” Book.



Unifying thematic elements
 
Think of Sue Grafton with her A is for B is for and so on novels. Nora Roberts with her (fill in the blank) Death books (Naked in Death, Calculated in Death, etc.) penned under her J.D. Robb pseudonym. The “Prey” novels. The bottom line is, for the books in a series, there is typically a unifying theme that extends throughout the entire storyline. Important unifying thematic elements should somehow be depicted graphically on the cover.


In The Jewel Series, I wanted each cover to contain specific unifying thematic elements. I wanted each jewel depicted in the upper third of the cover like a dream cloud. I wanted some famous scene or cityscape of Boston in the background since that is the primary setting for the story. I wanted each male protagonist depicted in typical black and white silhouette with each of my heroine’s silhouette colored to mimic the “jewel” for which she was named.
These are all unifying thematic elements for that series.





 The “Z” Principle


People who read in English read from left to right then swoop down left and read left to right again in a visual path that resembles a big letter “Z.”





  Well executed book printed covers follow this principle as well.

 







 The THUMBNAIL View

With so many book covers compressed to thumbnail size in online and printed catalogs, a good book cover will “size” well and typically is going to have a 1:6 ratio being 1 wide and 6 tall. Too many fine elements will get lost. Low resolution imagery will always pixelate losing visual appeal. An image that is too light (white book cover) will get lost on a white page.
The book cover should not only look great for print, it should also “size down” to a thumbnail and still look fantastic with all major branded elements, unifying thematic elements, Z principle intact, and stand out against a white page.





  An example:

By the time I got around to A Melody for James, we were an old pros at drafting what I envisioned and executing that vision. You are about to have insight into the development of that book cover. This was the original draft created in power point.



 Starting a new series, I decided to keep a lot of the same branding elements while changing the style of the series:




 
You can see what elements stayed the same as The Jewel Series.
This is a good example of the look and feel for all of my future works of fiction.


Alternate Brands


In addition to writing fiction, I have a pretty wide following as Hallee the Homemaker. My cookbooks are more closely associated with that following so they follow a slightly different design principle.


Since the cookbooks are always a parody of some popular cultural phenomenon, I have some latitude when it comes to license and copyright. Parody has a different status under the law which is a good thing in a country that allegedly admires freedom of expression.
I decided that the title and a catchy zinger of a tagline will always appear as the top of the “Z” and my name and “other brand” (Hallee the Homemaker) will always make up the foot of the “Z.” The look and feel of the title will be consistent with whatever pop cultural phenomenon happens to be the subject of the parody but the remainder will more closely reflect my personal tastes.
You can see the brand marks, unifying thematic elements, and other design principles depicted here:





What kind of covers do you find lure you in?  Do you recognize any of these elements in the covers you like?  How do you design your cover?  What kind of cover do you just avoid at all costs?


I look forward to hearing your thoughts on book covers!  One commenter will receive the Jewel Anthology, which is a collection of all four Jewel Series books in e-book format.  Another commenter will receive A Melody for James, Book 1 of the Song of Suspense Series, my most recent release, in paperback.



In Christ,
Hallee
————
About my brilliant cover artist:


Debi Warford graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing. Debi is quite adept with employing the most modern technology to the most fundamental artisan methods to create her visual messages. In addition to publishing industry specific designs, Debi also works with commercial arts, graphics, and signage work. She is also a disciplined calligrapher and her illuminated Scripture manuscripts hang in many homes. Her hobbies include designing jewelry and firing timeless pottery.


You can view her portfolio of book design and other graphic design work at http://www.debiwarford.com/. Browse even more book covers designed by Debi at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=debi+warford.


You can contact Debi on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DebiWarfordDesign or Twitter @debiwarford.



Hallee Bridgeman lives with her husband and their three children in small town Kentucky. When she's not writing Christian romance novels, she blogs about all things cooking and homemaking at Hallee the Homemaker (http://www.halleethehomemaker.com).

Hallee started writing when her oldest child and only daughter was a baby, but a busy professional career and being the wife of a deployed soldier had her shelve her books for another time. Two more children, a cross country move, and God's perfect timing brought the books off of the shelf to be dusted off and presented to you now.


Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit. She prays her books are a blessing to you and would love to hear back from you. You can reach Hallee at hallee@bridgemanfamily.com





Remember..leave a comment today as Hallee is giving away two great book gifts. One commenter will receive the Jewel Anthology, which is a collection of all four Jewel Series books in e-book format.  Another commenter will receive A Melody for James, Book 1 of the Song of Suspense Series, her most recent release, in paperback.
One commenter will receive the Jewel Anthology, which is a collection of all four Jewel Series books in e-book format.  Another commenter will receive A Melody for James, Book 1 of the Song of Suspense Series, her most recent release, in paperback. - See more at: http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/#sthash.7NNGvPPO.dpuf


Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.

85 comments:

  1. Good morning, Hallee..literally just finished reading Greater Than Rubies. I was so disappointed...that it ended. Would love to win and/or review your books. This one was fantastic. I'll come back for that coffee later, Helen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hallee, I enjoyed this post and hadn't thought about the thumbnail element at all. I like covers with the hero on them. I avoid at all costs covers with a strictly pastoral scene with no people in it. Covers without people on them make me nervous unless there's an object meant to intrigue and tie in with the story and title. But mostly I like the people on them, and had noticed for about the last two years, the lack of a full face. Karen Witemeyer's covers come to mind, as well as Becky Wade's My Stubborn Heart among others. I found I liked it. It made me want to get to know them before I even picked up the book.

    ReplyDelete
  3. HALLEE, welcome to Seekerville as our guest blogger.

    This really does show the importance of branding. Of brand recognition!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good morning Hallee. A very interesting post. I have noticed many authors have a running 'theme' in their book covers and it always makes it easy to notice their books on the shelves.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Hallee,

    It's great to see you here at Seekerville.

    Thanks for sharing the process of designing book covers. Very interesting. I learned a lot.

    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Hallee, Welcome to Seekerville. Thanks for sharing all those great tips for branding and covers. Great follow up of the basics Lena and I shared last month.

    This shows why publishers have their own artists. They like to brand their books as well. I especially had to deal with this when doing children's picture books. A publisher sticks to the same type of art so buyers who like earlier books will continue to look for and buy their others.

    Have fun today.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very interesting. I did not realize we (editorial we, I'm not published yet) had so much input into covers.
    This has nothing to do with covers, hello Mary Connealy, I read your article in the ACFW summer edition, those are good points too, inspiring me to rework my Web site.
    I had an interesting Independence Day. My barbecue-and-fireworks plans went up in smoke after one of our cars went down in smoke, so I was "stuck" at home all day. I made myself a mini-writer's retreat, tweaking the sequel to "Trail," working on the Web site and starting the rewrite of an older piece to conform with current practice. (No more "she thought.") The Lord does work in a mysterious way his wonders to perform. Now if I can only get the car back.
    Kathy Bailey
    Rolling with the punches in New Hampshire

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is good stuff! Thanks for sharing your insights on cover design!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Welcome to Seekerville, Hallee! I found your post fascinating. As a Love Inspired Historical author, I don't have input on the actual design of my covers though LI authors give marketing info that helps the Art Department create our covers. Bottom line I knew little about them. Thanks for sharing insider's tips and the importance of cover branding when writing a series to ensure reader recognition.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm not familiar with your work, please put me in the drawing!
    Kathy Bailey

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fascinating stuff, Hallee! Working with my publisher on the covers for my upcoming historical series, I'm intrigued by the whole process of what goes into cover design. Some readers like images of the central characters on the cover; others don't.

    And trying to find that one iconic image to represent the entire story can be a real challenge. What I think it should be isn't always what the editor and/or art department decides is the true focus. I think sometimes we get too close to our own stories to be objective.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hallee, blogger so must have ate my comment last night. Ugh!!!

    Your post was helpful and I'd never thought about the thumbnail before. Makes a lot of sense. I like covers with the hero on them, and covers where the face or head is missing. I know that sounds crazy, but it's part of what I like about Karen Witemeyer's covers and I noticed this more and more with other authors too. It automatically makes me want to know them to fill in the missing pieces. The exception there is the cover to A Noble Groom. Which is my favorite right now. =)

    I stay away from covers that are pastoral or pure landscape scenes. Like sunrises, etc. And yes, I do totally judge a book by the cover if it is a new book to me. If it comes recommended by a friend, I can usually overcome a cover I don't particularly care for. But by and large find the quality of the cover is almost always indicative of the quality inside.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hallee, what a fascinating tour through the creation of memorable book covers. Thanks for the graphic depictions and tying together all the necessary elements. Theme is important to all aspects of our writing, isn't it?

    It's funny how the mind picks up on the exact elements you've described without knowing what it's doing, LOL. The way you described your branding points is how I pick out favorite authors without reading individual titles on the shelf.

    Thanks for sharing. This is definitely a keep post!

    ReplyDelete
  14. And isn't that the beauty of epublishing???? You get to have 100 percent input on your covers.

    Branding is an amazing thing.

    Look at Love Inspired books. When you reach for one you have that branded cover that says it is a LI book and with that the assurance of what the product is.

    ReplyDelete
  15. WELL NANCY KIMBALL. Love Inspired books are pastoral a lot honey bunches. Give those pastures a break!!!!



    ReplyDelete
  16. What I get really tired up is six pack ab covers with the jeans slightly unzipped. Must be my age. But it's getting OLD. Not me, the covers.

    I mean come on..let's get a little fresh with the ideas here.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am totally loving the gravy cover. My absolute favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would never have thought so much thought went into a book cover! LOL! But I admit to being drawn to a book by its cover.

    I agree with Tina -- Love Inspired covers do a really good job of branding. And I love those pastoral settings. I get giddy looking at them, likely because I know the delights that await me when I open the book. Angst may prevail for a time but love and faith will conquer all by the end. Delicious sigh.

    I just put in a Harlequin order. So thrilled to see so many authors I 'know' on the list this time round. And just because those authors have been branded doesn't mean they don't deliver unique reads. Just love the multitude of ways they find to tell a love story. :-)

    Laughing at poor Tina who is so jaded over 6 pack abs that she finds them the same ol' same ol'. Bwahahahahahaha! Remind me of where you live again Tina -- I might just need to move there!

    Seriously -- I mainly read Christian fiction with only a few exceptions so I'm used to (and appreciate) the tamer covers.

    ReplyDelete
  19. LOL. Kav. It's like a kid playing video games. Shooting the bad guy gets old. We get desensitized. I think you have to really work hard to create unique covers that set the imagination working enough so the reader says...I wonder what's inside.

    I recently bought a book with a great cover. She got me. I was bad and didn't read the blurb. I loved that cover. The blurb revealed a topic I personally don't care for.

    But I bought it. Well done marketing department.

    ReplyDelete
  20. @Marianne: I'm SO happy you enjoyed Greater Than Rubies! I hope you get a chance to read the other books.

    Hallee

    ReplyDelete
  21. @Sandra: I really enjoyed your article last month! Hallee

    ReplyDelete
  22. Kaybee: We had a RAINY Independence Day. No smoke here. Didn't stop the people from lighting the fireworks until 2AM though.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hallee, what a wonderful and visual example of branding... It made me "see" how clear the pic/title/author's relationship should be from the consumer's pov.

    Thank you for hangin' with us... I brought some FRESH red/white and blue trifle, none of yesterday's leftovers.

    I love a trifle done with layered fruit, cake and oodles of whipped cream.

    GRINNING!!!! Dig in peeps, this is one author who's looking forward to extended writing time again THIS WEEKEND!!!!

    YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Myra: My newest series is going to be a challenge, I think, because each cover will be represented by elements within the story rather than by an iconic image. I'll be really excited to see all four covers next to each other when they're all published. Hallee

    ReplyDelete
  25. Good Morning, Hallee! This is FASCINATING! I know there really is a difference, as you pointed out, in what a regular book cover might be able to get away with and what an ebook cover can since it's often a tiny thumbnail. To make it brand-identifiable TINY is critical.

    My name isn't a "brand" for Love Inspired nor do I get to decide on the cover design/layout except to provide ideas about how hero/heroine look and suggest possible scenes from my book that might be used. But now that you've brought it to my attention, I'll be looking for the "classic Z" on other covers when I'm in the bookstore aisles or on-line!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Tina: I had someone enter to win a book on Facebook yesterday who left the comment, "It's so refreshing to see a romance novel without a naked man on the cover."

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Jackie! It's great to see you, too!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Nancy: The first thing I do with a cover is reduce it to thumbnail size and see what it looks like.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Tina: I LOVE being in charge of my own editorial decisions - from covers to everything. I don't think I could stop now and go to a publisher who took that control from me.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I LOVE trifle. YUM. First time I ever made it, I had company coming for dinner and a cake that stuck to the pan. Yikes! Tore it all apart, threw it together with some pudding and fruit, and viola! Trifle! Best dessert I think I've ever served. Snort.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The 50 Shades of Gravy cover was absolutely brilliant. My husband was at the home of the cover artist helping arrange the tie with the gravy boat. If you look closely, you'll see that the tie is covered in ichthuses.

    ReplyDelete
  32. You know, I remember my fave books growing up had the jackets... and the inner cover was blue or red or green "denim" type print.

    Nothing.

    And I still love those old books today, so while I like covers, I love authors. When I fall in love with a book, it can be coverless (and around here that's the case too often!!!) but I just love the book.

    I'm laughing at Nancy's cover thoughts there, not because they're wrong but because I've heard from readers and writers about the headless covers. It's a LOVE/HATE society because some folks are totally creeped out by them... and others like that they can "fill in the blanks" as they go. And that's the beauty of those covers. They can't misrepresent the way the folks look if they're headless.

    :)

    I love the cover of A Bride For All Seasons. I was ready to hate it because the gown looks weird on line, but when I got the book, the image of that gown reminds me of old dresses in Grandma's closet in the attic.

    The soft tucks, the gathers, the non-frilled frills.

    I think it's one of the nicest covers I've seen in a long time... for a headless cover that is!!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Glynna: Your name may not be branded, but Love Inspired certainly is. At a glance, a reader is going to KNOW that book.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I really love the A Bride For All Seasons cover. I've seen it many times on my Amazon on the "people who purchased this book also purchased..." list.

    ReplyDelete
  35. With my Jewel Series, I went with silhouettes instead of headless. Still requiring the reader to fill in the blanks - but with heads. heh.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I wonder if people like the movie cover better than the original book cover. You did Sparks but say the Twilight series etc.

    I personally like the original cover always.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love seeing behind the pages to what makes a cover happen.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Heather: Building covers are so much fun. I'm glad I don't have to put the creative energy behind it - because I'm not an artist - but I do get to approve the final copy!

    ReplyDelete
  40. We Seekers all know Jimmy!! Sounds like fun, Hallee.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Tina, I know but there's usually people in them!!! Except for Ruthy's Mended Hearts but that had an object that made sense to me once I'd finished the story.

    ReplyDelete
  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  43. It's okay, Nancy. Just pulling your chain.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Okay. I thought I was really in trouble. =) Ruthy, I love the missing heads. Like old sculptures that are just the torsos, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Enjoyed seeing this process. Thanks Hallee!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Ahhh - sunshine outside right now! The sun hasn't shown here in central Kentucky in DAYS. I just heard my garden come to life after all the rain and dreariness.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thank you, Pam! I'm happy to be able to share here!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Generally an author who goes the traditional route doesn't have this much input into her covers, at least not until she's well established.

    This varies from publisher to publisher, of course.

    Goodreads has some Best Cover lists...just people voting on the ones they like the best. Sometimes I agree. Sometimes I don't. Not that the ones I don't vote on aren't good covers, they just don't grab ME as much as the next person. lol

    But I have to admit that a beautiful cover is the very first thing that catches my attention.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Pam: I'm always surprised at just how much a cover affects my decision in even picking up a book to read the back. I remember reading through an OLD box of books of my mother's -- old Harlequins, mostly British, from the late 70's and early 80's. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the books DESPITE the covers. Which is silly, if you think about it, because it's not about the cover -- what does the cover really do with the story anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Ruthy, are you trifling with us again????

    My MIL makes all kinds of yummy trifles. Not sure how it got started, but probably something similar to Hallee's demolished cake!

    She layers cake, pudding, cool whip, cookies, whatever. It's always delicious. There's one she makes with butterfinger candy bars. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I like missing heads too.

    We are strange people.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I'm a close-up-character type of gal.
    Doesn't matter if it's headless or not.

    Without going and looking, Making Waves, Love By the Book, and other Thomas Nelson covers. Love the soft colors. Courting Trouble by Deeanne Gist w/Bethany House shows only half the heroine's smiling face as she's riding down the fancy banister.

    Hallee, you brought up several things I'd never thought off, like the Z view. Makes sense. And let me say, Hallee Bridgeman is a great author name. Just has a nice ring to it.

    Please throw my name in the hat for the paperback book.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Thank you, Connie. Hallee Bridgeman is actually my name. My maiden name is Poe, and I SERIOUSLY contemplated writing under Hallee Poe. But, in the end, I'm really glad I went with Bridgeman.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Remember when the books for "grown ups" at the libraries didn't have covers (or dust covers) with pictures? Absolutely no 'branding' to help us choose. Just the titles and author names and going by where they were cataloged. Fortunately, they sometimes pasted a back-cover blurb from a dust cover in the inside back of the book. No cover images, though, to lure us in -- but we nevertheless gobbled them up! :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. And now you shall ever and always look for that "Z" in book covers - bwa ha ha ha

    ReplyDelete
  56. Yes, Bethany House Publishing does an incredibly amazing job with covers and hey have faces that emote. The entire covers emote.


    ReplyDelete
  57. Bethany House has amazing covers. I love their suspense covers.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'll jump in on the headless women on covers. I love it. Strange, they never cut the man's head off.

    Why is that??

    ReplyDelete
  59. @Audra: My husband said, "Because men are smarter than women."

    I'll refrain from giving my response. Heh.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hallee, thanks for providing such great insight into cover creation! Oh my gosh. I'm enthralled and heading to my bookshelves to check out the Z principle. I feel so...so...so in the know. :)

    BTW, I met and married my soldier hubby at Fort Knox, KY. Love My Old Kentucky Home!

    Another BTW, it's still raining in GA!

    Your covers are fantastic! Love the jewels. Such creativity. Also the gravy boat with tie.

    Add me to the Likes Headless Covers List, especially when the headless women are wearing pretty dresses or walking on the beach.

    For the heroes? I prefer them in uniform.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Tina. Emote?

    I'll have to look that one up.

    Hallee,I like Bridgeman better than Poe. Can't help but think of Edgar Allen.

    Men smarter than women? Hmm. Sounds like something my husband would say...

    ReplyDelete
  62. As a National Guard wife I'm inclined toward the uniformed myself. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  63. Bad husband. Go straight to dog house.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi Hallee i hope I'm not too late to jump in here. I was so happy to see you on Seekerville today. I am smack in the middle of Sapphire Ice - an ecopy on my computer. I really love it that every time I open the file I see that lovely blue cover. So many of the ebooks dont have any color at all. You did a great job on the cover (as well as the book). I'm looking forward to finishing it then starting on Greater Than Rubies.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Cindy: Thank you so much! I'm so happy that you're enjoying Sapphire Ice. I love that book -- Tony is one of my favorite characters ever.

    I knew without a doubt exactly what I wanted in a cover for it. Debi Warford was brilliant in creating it.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Thank you for your post today. I'm dreaming of what my covers will look like......someday! Your covers are all lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Welcome, Hallee! What great info. Some things I never would have thought of. Thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Men in uniform are just such power images... LOVE IT!!!!

    And it's dressy enough to look formal, but even in fatigues, they look good.

    I think women in uniform look good too. It's a professional appeal. And a take-charge persona that I like in female leads/characters.

    I put together a chicken coop today. Don't ask why. Don't ask why I didn't just leave the SMELLY CREATURES in my garage any longer...

    Dog kennel + zip strips + plastic baby corral fencing + Dog travel crate for "house" = NO CHICKENS IN RUTHY'S GARAGE.

    End of story.

    ReplyDelete
  69. WAIT

    Ruthy pauses for breath.

    The beautiful Nancy Kimball saw a point to the pretty still life cover of Mended Hearts?

    Seekers gently and lovingly refer to that as my "Cabbage" cover.

    I think they're having sport with me, Nancy, but I thought is was beautiful, like an Italian still life by Botticelli.

    :)

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it, LOL!

    But I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that book even with the cabbages.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Now I want to read Mended Hearts so I can figure out which object to which Nancy referred and what the meaning is.

    ReplyDelete
  71. My dog would love it if I would build a chicken coop. We already have to clean up the daily robin carnage. Poor birds. Not that I'll be complaining once my corn comes in and she's busy dealing with the ones trying to eat it.

    ReplyDelete
  72. wonderful and informative post. I say I'm going to write when I retire. So maybe I should file this info away for future reference! One can hope! Best wishes with your next books.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hi Hallee, sorry to be slow checking in today. I really like this. It's great solid advice.
    I have notions about ebooks, like maybe doing short vignettes with backstories for my characters. I've already written one--with how the heroes met in the Trouble in Texas Series with a little scene from each hero. I just haven't gotten organized (and enough free time) to deal with covers and such things.
    I'll definitely be looking at this post again when (if) I ever get to the ebooks.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Honey: What an exciting goal to have!

    Mary: That is a really good idea. I have friends who have done that to great success.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Fantastic post, Hallee! So much good info and insight. Thank you.

    Nancy C

    ReplyDelete
  76. Thanks for the info I found it really interesting. It makes sense also to this reader.
    Before I read this post I was looking at a desk calender I got from an author. she has 3 books out. The first two are very distinctive and are well recognised the third they have totally changed the cover They kept the same font but changed the colour from black to white. the backgrounds before were more paint like now its a clear photo and so much different. It got me wondering why change a style as its confusing for Readers. The same happened with Robin Jones Gunn's sisterchick books they were so recognizable but the last one was totally different.
    I dont mind headless covers I often dont refer to the cover much. With ebooks often dont see the cover.

    What I do hate is when a cover will use say a cat (I love cats) but then there is no mention of said adorable cat in the book. Its the same with a cover with a child which is then not mentioned. The cat is the worst! Or there is an object that draws your eye but it not mentioned in the book.

    Im late posting was a little tired last night then got soaked on my walk today (the radar lied! it said no rain so not sure what got me soaked).

    ReplyDelete
  77. I just looked up Robin Jones Gunn's books - NONE of hers are the same, none are branded. That is highly interesting to me.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Thank you, Nancy. I'm glad you stopped by.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Hi Hallee the original covers were but now they are so different.

    ReplyDelete
  80. oh i see the sisterchick books have had yet another make over. I still like the original they were much more distinctive.
    the one I was refering to that I have a desk calender for is an aussie called Rose Dee.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Speaking of covers, I thought this was interesting... I was listening to an ACFW workshop tonight while walking and Steve Laube said that the the main guy at Bethany House in the graphics design department (I can't remember his name) watches the NY and Paris fashion shows to see what the popular fashion for the year are. Isn't that cool???

    ReplyDelete
  82. Such a fantastic post thank you.

    I do love covers where I can easily see who wrote the books. The author's name is written in the same style each time.

    ReplyDelete