I’d tried a mess of keywords for first book “One of One” and got one impression. That’s right, one. It was a very cheap ($0.22) and highly ineffective experiment. Forget keywords.
So for Shape of Secrets, I looked through Amazon’s suggested sub-genres. One was LGBT Fantasy Fiction. That was a category? Okay, the book is about a young gay man who can alter his appearance to look like anyone, so I guessed it fit. I tried it and got 87,684 impressions, 170 clicks, and sold three books. Hot damn. Yes, I’d spent $63.22 to do it, so I was losing money while Amazon was laughing all the way to the bank, but at least something was happening.
Read more at How about this ad?
I’m going through much of the same process re-birthing my second novel as I went through with the first. The first draft of the new cover was good, but my shape shifting protagonist couldn’t have facial hair, and I wanted more of a feel of the tropics.
I loved the background of this second version, but didn’t like Zane’s new head. As someone else put it, he had too much of a “Jersey Shore” look to him.
Once again, the third time was a charm.
Read more about this process at Almost my new cover and at Fun With Covers.
The newly named and highly edited new version will be out in mid-February. I can’t wait.
I had great fun working with a pro to design a new, genre appropriate cover for One of One. Here’s what the first draft looked like.
The second draft was much closer, and needed only a few more tweaks to get there.
This final version combines the best of both, I think. I’ll be proud to release it, along with the streamlined and updated story, on January 17.
Check out my original two posts about this process of making this cover at Not My New Cover and Almost My New Cover
I knew I didn’t want the image of Teddie, my hero, to be a photo. This was a book about out of body experiences, and a clear likeness seemed too stark. I wanted something vague, more like a sketch. She had to be young, dark-haired, and there had to be green involved. I didn’t expect a lot of results when I combined all these search parameters, and I didn’t get them. However, the one image I got had potential.
Read more at Designing your own book cover, part 4.
(For more on this topic see Designing your own book cover, part 1, part 2 and part 3.)
To the right is one of the many iterations of the d4 cover that was not used. This one featured a wave inspired by the excerpt below, but although the wave lasted in my memory, the cover didn’t make the final cut.
It was the most likely and the least messy alternative. As she realized that, it became a near certainty, and then the wave of time washed over the moment and the soon-to-happen became the now and it then it became the past.
I like the lightening bolts and clouds, but the eye in the sky was a bit much. Jen at Mother Spider and I struggled with this cover almost as much as we did with the cover for z2.
Read more at When the future becomes the past.
I was sort of like someone who wants to fire a few BB’s at a squirrel to scare it off the lawn and gets handed an AK-47. Before I knew it, I had dozens if not hundreds of relevant images and so many cover ideas that my head hurt. Take a look at a couple of the wild combinations…
I had to make a decision. I picked something that I thought would please everyone a little and my novel first appeared with the cover below.
It took me no more than a few days to accept that I did not particularly like it.
Read more at Designing your own book cover, part 3.
(For more on this topic see Designing your own book cover, part 1 and Designing your own book cover, part 2.)
It was time to contact the graphics people at Mother Spider, and see if the same magic could be performed on this cover that had happened with my first book, xo. I explained to Jennifer, the owner of Mother Spider, that the novel was about the grown-up adventures of a boy who had once taught himself to shift his appearance while watching his pet chameleon. I had to have the boat, the sunset, the fire-dancing imagery, at least one chameleon and an orange cover.
“We’ll see,” was all she said.
Read more at Designing your own book cover, part 2
(For more on this topic see Designing your own book cover, part 1 and Designing your own book cover, part 3.)
But wanting to do something and knowing how to do it well are two different things, as you can tell by looking at my first version of the cover to the right. I knew my book needed to be red …
Read more at Designing your own book cover, part 1.
(For more on this topic see Designing your own book cover, part 2 and Designing your own book cover, part 3)
I’ve just returned from one of my furthest journeys ever, a trip to Kenya which got me thinking. What do people do here in the US when you smile at them?
1. They smile back
2. They say hi and maybe try to talk to you.
3. They try to sell you some thing or some idea. Depending on circumstances, that might include the idea of hooking up with them.
4. They take it as an invitation to do harm, attempting to scam or rob you.
This is a post about Aretha Franklin and wearing a hijab and my mother’s funeral, and it comes to you from a cafe in Marrakesh Morocco.
I’m staring out the window at the crowds of tourists and locals crossing a busy street in front of the Koutoubia Mosque as I write. I’m alone in this city, far out of my comfort zone, and I’ve just ordered my first couscous. I settle into the ornate red pillows, ready for a genuine Moroccan experience, when I recognize the unmistakable voice of Aretha Franklin in the background.
Now I like Aretha as much as anyone and maybe more than most, but she is kind of getting in my way here, and it’s not even one of her better songs. I listen more closely and I feel the ghost of my mother snuggle into the pillows beside me.
Read the entire post on my c3 blog at “My Way.”
The world, our world, is filled with magic when we are willing to use a broad brush to define enchantment. And why not? We touch upon telepathy and magic charms, natural shape shifters and mysterious potions, if you open your eyes wide enough in the aquarium or the pharmacy to see the correlations.
Read the entire post on my z2 blog at The time machines all around you.
We do like beautiful women. As a society, we buy products from them, watch movies staring them, and we lavish attention upon them. But I’m a glass half-full kind of lady, and I see some positive trends in all the various recently released lists of top women from 2015.
Read the full post on my c3 blog at The Women of 2015: Beauty matters but so does so much more.
Recent world events have caused certain entities to ask the question “What exactly constitutes ‘your own kind’?”
You have been selected to take the following very short quiz. Please tend to this matter soon. Quite a bit may depend on your answers.
Take the quiz (and read the full post) at Taking care of your own kind (a science fiction quiz).
Certain things of course could not be altered. Clothes, obviously. So Zane often carried a second shirt in his backpack in case he wanted to disappear. Hair of any kind was a problem, made up as it was of dead cells with no ability to respond. So Zane kept his medium brown misbehaved mop cut short and wore hats a lot. Sometimes he took alternate headgear with him as well.
His size could be altered a little, but not as much as he would have liked. Zane guessed maybe plus or minus ten percent. He’d learned to modify his shape mildly. For instance he could make his chin recede more or his shoulders appear broader. But he couldn’t make himself have a third arm coming out of his back. At best, he’d managed to produce a short lump that looked like a tumor between his shoulder blades. He kept working on it on though.
Read the entire post at Shape Shifting Without Magic.
At some point many years ago I decided that I was in the summer of my life. Natural enough. Life was full and I was as physically fit and attractive as I was ever going to be. Those are summer kinds of things to me.
Read the rest of this post at Spurning spring?
How many ways could you make your life easier, or even just more interesting, if you could look like anyone? I spent a good bit of time trying to devise the possibilities that might occur to a real life shape shifter.
Read the entire post at It’s all about who you are