"Every day starts with a blank canvas. What picture will you paint for all to see today?" ~ Dan Waltz

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Book Cover Art

I recently finished a cover design for
Gladius and the Bartlett Trial
by J.A. Paul

To see how I did a small portion of this cover
(the Dragon) from start to finish Click here.

To view more of my art demos click on the Art Demos tab above.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another Look At Marketing

There are many different aspects to book marketing.  So many that it’s so hard to choose which one you should being doing first, second or even at all. One aspect that seems to get over looked more often than not is simply making your book marketable in the first place. There is lot’s to be said here, but for now lets concentrate on two issues, two very important issues.

#1 The Outside, the Cover: The old cliché’ “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover” may hold a lot of truth, but I have to say that it can certainly make or break your book when it comes to getting people to pay it some attention and buy it. I very rarely will pick-up a book with a poorly designed cover, let a lone give up hard earned money for it. I figure if the author doesn’t spend the time or the money on the cover to make the book look good, than I doubt they spent the time on the story to make it read well.  Maybe just my philosophy, but I do buy a ton of books so I am a potential customer and I don’t think I’m alone in this thinking.

Cover Tip: Keep it clean, use art instead of photos whenever possible, art sells more and will look like more time and money was spent than a simple snap-shot or stock photo. If you use a photograph, make sure it’s professionally done, stock photos look like stock photos, there is a difference. Keep the type style big, bold and legible for the title. (If you can’t clearly read the title of your book from15 feet away it’s not big enough.) Your name should be big too! What do you want the reader to remember? The title or who wrote it? I know, “BOTH,” but it’s so hard to remember author’s names so every little bit helps. Now I’m not saying to be as big and bold as KING or PATTERSON. Their name’s sell. Until you get known your cover art will have to sell for you. By all means, if you’re not an artist or graphic designer, hire one. It will make a huge difference.

#2 The Inside, your text:  Know your audience. Keep the language suitable to the subject and the characters. Keep in mind that most people’s reading level is eight grades or less. Learn the demographics of your readers. Do not publish a book with 8pt. type if your main audience is 45 years of age and older.  Older eyes simply like larger text. Reading is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Straining to read text because it’s just too small becomes annoying, tiring and frustrating. Chances are, they won’t finish reading your book if they have to strain to read the text and they certainly won’t come back for more. Repeat customers are what writers’ strive for.  Also, use spacing to your advantage when laying the text out. Negative areas (white space) are just as important as the positive ones (text) when it comes to how your story flows. Adding pictures and/or illustrations help a great deal as well.
Making your book marketable should be your one of your first steps of your marketing plan.

Dan Waltz
author, illustrator, artist
Editor, Marketing/Resources
Author/Illustrator of Kornstalkers, Corn Maze Massacre, and Dragon • Fly, A Gnome’s Great Adventure. Dan has also illustrated many other children’s picture books. With over 30 years of graphic design experience Dan has helped many authors design and self-publish their own books.  Dan is currently working on two novels of his own and artwork for others. Visit Dan’s website for more information. www.danwaltz.com