Emergence, the second book in IMP K. L. Schwengel’s Darkness & Light fantasy series is available now. (The first book in the series can be found here: First of Her Kind)
(Click to buy on Amazon)
The battle for Ciara’s power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won’t be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin’s skin.
For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair–something that grows more unlikely by the day–there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin’s uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried.
Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.
K. L. Schwengel
I’m loathe to jump on bandwagons, but I have a hard time saying no to gadgets and things that look like gadgets. When I first started hearing about Scrivener, I passed if off as just another gimmick to get someone’s cash. After visiting the Scrivener site, however, I downloaded the trial version for Windows. I couldn’t resist. The screen shots just made it look cool.
I’m happy to say, the screen shots didn’t lie.
K. L. Schwengel
We all know the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But what’s that mean to you, a writer? If we’re talking in terms of that picture being your book cover, it could mean the difference between strong sales and weak sales. Which is especially important to the author who opts to self-publish. Competition is fierce and your little thumbnail image is going to be sitting side by side on a web site with other thumbnail images, including those done by professional in-house designers. And though everyone’s budget is tight these days, your book’s cover is not something you should overlook.
A cover does much more than show the title and author of the tome it graces. It is, quite literally, your book’s all important first impression. It should act as an attention getter and encourage people to want to pick up the book or click the Buy Now button. It should jump off the screen and make them pause to look further, not scroll on past. People do buy books based on the cover, especially one that stirs their emotions. And a professional looking cover not only lends a certain amount of credibility to your book, but also increases the perceived value.
So how do you compete with that if you’re self-publishing?
It’s not easy, especially on a limited budget. But it is necessary. And by not putting effort into your covers you’re cheating yourself. How many hours did you slave over carefully choosing each word, making sure your characters and scenes leap off the page to grab and hold your reader until the end? You struggled to make your book something the reader doesn’t want to put down. But in order for them to get to that point they need to first pick it up.
There are ways of getting covers without spending the big bucks, but you have to be creative. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Try contacting colleges specializing in art and design. Seniors looking to build their after graduation portfolio will most likely leap at the opportunity to add some real life assignments to their samples.
- Contact any local artists groups. Perhaps you could trade cover design for promotional writing. Use the barter system whenever possible. I love the barter system.
- Put the word out to friends and family, and friends of friends and family. Somebody knows someone with artistic talent and good design sense.
- Set a budget and put a listing on one of the many freelance design sites. Even there, talented newcomers are looking for a way to build their portfolio.
In all cases, bear in mind, you are the project manager of your cover. Make sure you’re happy with the final product and, most importantly, that it is relevant and appropriate to the story.
A picture is worth a thousand words — a well-designed book cover can be worth a thousand sales.
Kathi lives in southeast Wisconsin on a small farm with her husband, a handful of Australian Shepherds, Her Royal Highness Princess Fionna (the cat) and assorted livestock. Growing up as the youngest daughter of a librarian, she spent more time between stacks of books and secluded away in the dusty archives than was probably even remotely normal. With so many characters and ideas spinning in her head she had to get them out onto paper or risk what little sanity she possessed. Kathi has been spending her free time sitting in front of some type of keyboard or another since she was a kid and got her first typewriter. It wasn’t even electric. Before that it was pen and paper which she still resorts to from time to time. She has published a few poems and non-fiction articles but her real passion is fantasy and urban fantasy. When not writing she trains and trials working Australian Shepherds, paints, dabbles in photography, graphic design and anything else creative her assorted muses send her way. Her first fantasy novel, tentatively titled Between Darkness and Light will be making the rounds this year in search of a home.