Sunday, January 22, 2012

And Da Winnah Is

Karan with this entry:

It was quite a bit harder to choose this time, despite the fact that there were fewer entries. I think maybe because a lot of you know me or know my work enough to have a feel for what I like.

But in any case it finally came down to a handful of covers, and to be honest I could have gone happily with any one of them. They were all excellent.

I don't know if it was conscious on Karan's part or not, but she got me with that feel of heat and sundazzled water. I am partial to swimming pools, as some of you know. The bare and beautiful male body will sell books and I really liked the colors -- I don't have a lot of blue covers currently, other words it was partly logic and partly that instinctive, gut response that defies explanation.

Congratulations, Karan!

I want to say how really appreciative I am of each and every one of these submissions. I'm always startled and touched by how really generous you are all with your time and your creativity -- and your patience with all my goofy ideas.

As a way of saying thank you, I'll be very happy to a supply a copy of the new edition of the book to each person who submitted a cover to the contest -- I'll keep you posted on the release date.

Meantime, if Karan could drop me a line so we can get moving, I'd appreciate it!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cards on the Table Cover Contest

As most of you know I'm currently in the process of taking back many of my titles as the rights come up for renewal with various publishers. It's nothing personal, it's just that the publishing industry has changed so much in the past 18 months that it makes sense to retain control of my work. It's a financial decision, plain and simple. I don't want to kill myself trying to make a living at my writing, and I can make more money, and also in some cases keep the cost down for readers, if I eliminate the middleman.

Anyway, as the rights to these books revert to me, I'm having the stories copyedited once more, reformatted, and then converted. The titles will appear on Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, All Romance Ebooks and the Smashwords site (which offers pretty much every format you could require).

Obviously, I'm learning as I go -- I never planned on being my own publisher -- but so far so good. I love the new covers on my reverted titles. The wonderfully talented LC Chase is doing a lot of the new art (including the Dangerous Ground series), much in demand Lex Valentine at Winterheart Designs   did the well-received cover for Until We Meet Again, and the enigmatic and brilliant Kanaxa is redoing the Adrien English series. It's so good to finally have control of the cover art for my work, I can't even tell you.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to do another cover art contest for Cards on the Table, which reverts back to me this month. (The last one I did was for In a Dark Wood, and the winner was LC Chase, which according to LC started her off a whole second career as a cover artist!)

So we'll do the same deal here. I'm offering $50 in prize money to the winning artist along with cover credit and a good bit of exposure and promotion.

Here's the technical stuff:

Please provide a Jpeg with the following Dimensions:
• Image dimensions of at least 500 by 800 pixels.
• A maximum of 2000 pixels on the longest side is preferred
• Ideal height/width ratio of 1.6
• Save at 72 dots per inch (dpi) for optimal viewing on the web

Product images display on the Amazon website using RGB (red, green, blue) color mode. RGB is the color mode native to the web and many color screen displays, as these three colors displayed at varying levels of intensity create over 16 million colors.

Use color images whenever possible and relevant. The Kindle reading device has a black and white screen today but Kindle applications for other devices, such as iPhone or PC, take advantage of color fonts and images.

Borders for White Cover Art
Cover art with white or very light backgrounds can seem to disappear against the white background. Adding a very narrow (3-4 pixel) border in medium gray will define the boundaries of the cover.

If you haven't read the story, you can see an excerpt on my website. A reporter tries to solve a decades old mystery with the help of his ex-lover cop. Possible artistic elements include the murder of a 1950s starlet, tarot cards, astrology, palm trees and Old Hollywood.

The way it works is you do up a cover and submit the link in the comment section below. You can submit as many covers as you like. Just remember that the cover needs to look good thumbnail sized as well as full size.

The contest will end on the 20th so I can pick that weekend and then send it off to my faithful Virtual Assistant for conversion. Feel free to ask any questions below!

Fingers crossed that we receive even half as many wonderful entries as we did last time. Good luck!