~~Dream with wings—and you will soar to new heights~~

The Southern Blogger
Brenda Hickey's author blog

At First Glance:
How the right cover can sell your book

I read as much as I write, even more, but like many other avid readers, I’m picky about what I choose to read. Because I’m an indie author, supporting other indie authors is important to me. Still, the process of whom to read can be difficult. Of course, there are the obvious choices: award-winning indie novels, or the best-selling indie books, however, I don’t always choose the well-worn path. In particular, I like to give new authors a try. Sometimes the choice I make can end up being a bad one, but more often than not, it pays off. How do I choose? It all starts with the cover.

When searching for a new book to sink my teeth in, I choose a genre that interests me, as we all do. After the genre, it’s the cover that nearly always seals the deal for me. Why? Because we are visual beings. Have you ever been scrolling past a post on facebook, or a pin on Pinterest and have to stop and check it out? Absolutely! Why? Because “90 percent of information that’s transmitted to the brain is visual” It’s no wonder that those who choose to create the most vibrant and alluring book covers get the most traffic.

I can give you an example. It’s not a secret that vampire fantasy is one of my favorite types of books. That being said, two years ago, I passed one by because the cover was less than appealing. This year, I came upon that same book (now a series) with a new dynamic cover, and I ordered it. My decision to get the book was mostly due to its new cover, and the fact that it was now free. It was a great book, but had the cover been up to par two years ago, I’d have gotten it then.

Writers can often spend years writing their masterpiece only to choose a cover that inadequately displays their work. Not to mention, the description; it’s the next thing to pull a reader in. It’s important to be as picky with the cover as you are with the content. If you have good prose and the right cover to match the genre, and finally, it melds with a good description or back matter—then you got me hooked.

If you’re going to write a book, give it a chance to sell. Get it professionally designed. Our eyes will thank you!

Credits/quotes: Humans Process Visual Data Better, www.t-sciences.com

All opinions are my own. Brenda Hickey


Get out of the dreaded writing slump

Once upon a time…I used to think a writing slump was just a bunch of hooey. An excuse that many writers used because they didn’t want to pound the keyboards one day. Yep, I thought it was bologna. Until it happened to me. Like many other writers, one day turned into a week, then months.

Have you ever got up in the morning expecting to whip up the best thing you’ve ever written, only to find someone turned off the creativity switch in your head? I did. After telling myself it’s only a short-term thing for nearly two months, I came to realize—it was much worse. I struggled to get even a single word typed. I moved on to another project, and briefly the juices flowed once more. But soon after, completely diminished once again. Now two projects sat idle, and I’ll be honest, I thought about starting a third. Instead, I chipped away at the problem that kept me from moving forward. I’d like to share with you.

The Southern Blogger keeps you up-to-date on writing tips, new book releases, book excerpts and news. Plus, much more. Visit my other Blog at: The Novel Blogger

Get out of your routine

Every morning I get up, and after the human essential tasks, I write. Even if only a thousand words. Mornings always give me the best scenes, but one day those scenes stopped coming, and I sat staring at the last paragraph I’d written. Reading it a hundred times didn’t help push me forward. What helped? Changing my schedule. I got out of a boring routine and started off with something fun and inspirational. For me it's reading a great book or (don’t laugh) dancing around the family room with music on full blast. I still write in the mornings, but when I feel a slump coming on, I change it up.

Get out of your head

If you’re anything like me and a ton of other writers, you worry about every aspect of your work. “No one will read this. Maybe I should just scrap it and start over.” I can’t be the only one. Stop! That is what beta readers, editors, and even honest friends are for. Get out of your head and leave the critique to others. This one was hard for me; I’m my worst critic. I discovered those impulses to critique everything I wrote came with much negativity and it showed in my work. Write with a positive mind and your work will portray the passion and emotion you put into it.

A great critiquing site to try: Agent Query Connect

Get out

I write in a cubbyhole with no distractions. It keeps my mind from drifting from the scene I’m writing, to wondering what’s on the television, or why my Chihuahua is incessantly running in her sleep. But sometimes it becomes a tomb. In my case, choosing a different place to park my laptop is in order. It could be the island in the kitchen or even in a recliner with my feet up. Get out and change your environment. It may be the difference you need to keep plugging away.

Get out your mojo

Clear your desk of any clutter. Surround yourself with only the essentials you need for writing. Except one thing. What makes me feel good? I have a lot of answers, but if I want to clear my mind and stay focused, it's ambience for me. The rich scent of an aromatic candle is my mojo. There is nothing better than enlightening my sense of smell with lavender or vanilla, while a soft flame is the only light in the room. For you, it could be a signed baseball, fresh-cut flowers, or perhaps, music playing. Whatever stimulates you, use it.

I hope these tips can help you as they have me. The most important thing: don’t give up! It will get better. Before you know it, you’ll be creating new worlds that your readers will want to navigate through your words. Happy writing!

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Brenda Hickey's Author Blog

Author blog keeps you informed of new book releases, tips, and enlightening information you will need in the self-publishing industry. Including: Book ideas, writing tips, e-book help, and so much more.


THROUGH THE DOOR
Ready to release
2/1/2016

Sorry for the delay, but I'm very excited to let you all know my romantic thriller, THROUGH THE DOOR is here and ready to be preordered NOW! Check out my ABOUT page for details. Happy writing!

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