C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Two Useful Resources for Writers

I’ve used covers from several designers for my books. One of the sites I often check out these days is GoOnWrite. (Yes, I know it looks like “goon write.”) I like this service.

I have been impressed by the covers and fast service. From his website: “…you’ll find me a friendly helpful short of chap.” I have absolutely found that to be true.

Not only are the prices good, but the artist has a sale on pre-made covers right now.

Warning: The sale is ending.

There’s only a day left on the sale but with GoOnWrite is always good value for your money. Many genres, lots to choose from and it’s fun to browse. With the current sale, the price drops from $50 to $30 on the pre-mades. Always reasonable. Do pop on over for information, inspiration and to order. The designer always has bulk deals, too.

Whether you’re looking for pre-mades or custom covers, here’s how GoOnWrite.com works.

 * * *

Thanks to author Chrishaun Keller Hannah

AKA The Story Mother for the tip.

 

Machete Software for AMS Ads

We all need help with our Amazon ads, don’t we? Unlike Facebook, it is difficult to overspend on AMS ads. However, it can feel like you’re getting a lot of impressions but no clicks or not enough clickthrough to make your ads pay. We need to make the advertising process simpler and more manageable. Machete is the app for that.

Start with a free trial and upgrade as necessary. The prices are very reasonable and are scaled so you aren’t paying a high price for the software if you’re working on small ad spend.

From their website:

“Stop wasting time copying data into spreadsheets! Machete calculates your daily sales, spending, ACOS, and other metrics and puts them right at the top of your Amazon dashboard.”

Click here to learn more about Machete.

* * *

Thanks to author Armand Rosamilia for the tip.

 

~I’m Robert Chazz Chute, the suspense and thriller writer over at the next table at Starbucks. I have lots of cool things to share with you. Hop over to my author website so see what else I have going on and be sure to subscribe. Thanks!

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ebooks: What makes a great cover? What makes a bad one?

Click it to grab it. Just 99 cents!

Click it to grab it. Just 99 cents!

It’s very instructive to read the analysis of what makes covers better or worse. What makes a great ebook cover? It’s often easier to learn what makes a poor one. Art is subjective. We often don’t know what components go into making art “good”. We just know what we like. However, there are graphic designers who, with skill and experience, inject more objective analysis into art than we ordinary mortals. Joel Friedlander, at The Book Designer, is one of those magicians who can break down why a cover works, or, at the very least, he knows why it doesn’t work.

 This week, Six Seconds won February’s ebook cover design award on Joel’s website. Check it out, but have a look at all the books. Once you see the covers through Mr. Friedlander’s eyes, you’ll begin to reevaluate all the covers you see. You’ll look for what’s missing as well as what design elements hit the mark.

Kit Foster: The Dude Came Through

My graphic designer is Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com and he gets all the credit for the win. Sometimes we have long discussions about what the covers of my books should look like. For instance, our back and forth over Higher Than Jesus was exhaustive.

For Six Seconds, I was in a hurry to get the instant guide out because it’s the first book about the Vine app. All I told Kit was: “Gimme a stopwatch wrapped in vines, please. Here’s the title. Do your thing and I won’t ask for any tweaks, I swear to God.” Kit’s solid and, as usual, he delivered excellent art. (He also won for his cover of Higher Than Jesus in the hardboiled mystery category of the Venture Galleries Award recently.) 

Cool guy talk

Higher than Jesus Final NEW copyI’ve plugged Kit plenty over time because I think authors need him and skilled designers like him. If you’re still shy, then you’ll love to eavesdrop on a conversation I had with Kit recently. I just interviewed Kit on the Cool People Podcast. You’ll find him sweet, friendly and Scottish. We talk a little about a lot of things: bad drugs, bad drug laws, good drugs, Breaking Bad, what inspires us and, of course, what goes into making a book cover work or fail. 

Step 1. Have a listen to the Cool People Podcast. (Subscribe, donate, apply to be a guest @rchazzchute on Twitter, do jumping jacks etc.,…) Enjoy.Cool+People+Podcast+Final

Step 2. Go to KitFosterDesign.com and start up your conversation with Kit about your next book cover.

 ~ If you like the Cool People Podcast, you may also enjoy my other podcast, All That Chazz, wherein I monologue, do readings from my crime novels and goof around. Find those podcasts and links to all books by Robert Chazz Chute at AllThatChazz.com. For  highlights from all my various feeds and content, check out my Rebelmouse page here.

Filed under: awards, book marketing, Books, podcasts, publishing, What about you?, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On judging books by their covers

Thank you to everyone for your input on the covers for my book, Self-help for Stoners, Stuff to Read When You’re High (available on all e-readers Nov. 1, cha-cha-cha!)

The input has been put in. By a huge majority, the votes are for the bright orange cover (below). When it’s on a shelf, digital or wooden, it will stand out. It was an interesting experiment to see how people reacted to the covers. The happy thing is that, even among people who weren’t so sure about the orange cover, most of them still thought that cover could be effective. The other aspect about book cover colors is a little more inside baseball: The rule of thumb is that, unless it’s a golf or gardening book, green covers don’t sell very well.  (It’s one of those weird little details I learned from the Banff Publishing Workshop. It was reinforced by years of selling books for multiple publishers. I’m not sure about much, but that tidbit is pretty consistent except for The Celestine Prophecy.) 

Soon you’ll be hearing from my graphic designer, Kit Foster of www.kitfosterdesign.com. Kit’s a novelist, too, and very talented. Someone told me the other day how impressed he was with Kit’s covers. They do look like they’re from a large publishing house, not my tiny kingdom of Ex Parte Press. We’re all told we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we all do. Without a solid cover, no one will pick it up or click on it to discover the tasty treats inside.

The process of working with a graphic designer: When Kit and I started a dialogue about book covers, the arrangement evolved organically. I described what I had in mind and sent him a sample of the manuscript. He suggested a few things and I saw his wisdom and asked for some tweaks. He sent me a cover and we narrowed it down with another round or two or three of tweaks. His input was invaluable. I have no idea how he does what he does and I bowed to his experience with graphics. Even though I have a deep background in selling books, my focus was the words. Kit came up with the images to sell the words. With Sex, Drugs & Romeo, the final graphic is very close to his original proposal. With Sex, Death and Mind Control (for fun and profit), we went back and forth a bit more, but Kit was always patient and helpful. The only element I knew I wanted to keep was the author tag. I wanted it to be consistent across the bottom in cherry red on all the covers so my books would be instantly identifiable for cross-promotion purposes.

Kit’s great at what he does and a photographer friend of mine is also awesome. I’m going to ask them to guest post and drop some science on us about the art of book cover creation. In the meantime, rethink your green cover and ask for a poll from your network of writer friends and readers. People will often help if you dare to ask.

Filed under: Books, ebooks, self-publishing, What about Chazz?, , , , , , , , , , , ,

A question for you: Which ebook cover is better?

Kit Foster, a fabulous graphic artist, is kicking around some ideas for the cover of my ebooks (releasing very, scarily soon.)

Which cover do you think is better, orange or green? You can leave a comment or email me at expartepress@gmail.com. Thanks! I appreciate your input.

Self-Help for Stoners Self Help for Stoners

Filed under: Books, ebooks, What about Chazz?,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

See my books, blogs, links and podcasts.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,916 other followers

Brain Spasms a la Twitter

%d bloggers like this: