Pick Me! Pick Me!

pick-mewhitespaceThat’s basically what you want your cover to shout to your potential readers.  Let’s face it, we do judge books by their covers. If that wasn’t the case, everything, not just books, would come in plain, brown paper wrappers and PR/Marketing firms would be out of business.

The cover of your book isn’t just packaging. It’s your front line marketing.  It makes a statement to the reader about what they can expect to find inside. Different genres tend to have different elements that are important on the cover.  Shirtless males with ripped abs scream romance or erotica, guns and handcuffs imply police procedurals.  Your book’s cover needs to appeal to your target audience. The trick is to make your book stand out but still keep it anchored to reader expectations.

A quick google search will get you heaps of advice, but when it comes to your book cover, my only advice is this:  DON’T DO IT YOURSELF!

Unless you are an experienced artist/designer, hire one. After all, you don’t want your book to end up here.

If you only have a small amount to spend on getting your book published, spend it on the cover, but if you insist on trying it yourself, here’s some good advice.


For my first book, Dead and Kicking, I hired the very talented Scarlett Rugers and I couldn’t be happier with the final product. The cover conveys just the right mood, a little dark, a little mysterious and like Harry, a little quirky.

In my next post, I’ll walk you through the process we took to get to the final product.

The Last Days of Summer

It feels like I have been on radio silence for a several days. It’s been a while since my last post, but I have been busy, busy, busy. With the cover for Dead and Kicking finalized (LOVE IT!) I have been busy updating all the various platforms with the final version of the manuscript and making sure the cover files are updated. October 2nd is fast approaching and there seems to be a lot of things to get organized. Press releases, promos, blog tours, launch party…these are a few of the things on my plate.

You might have noticed a new addition or two here on the website. First, I played around this weekend and created a book trailer. You’ll find it here. I have to say, I think it turned out pretty good. What do you think?

Second, I added individual detail pages for each book in Harry’s trilogy. Just click on the book covers to take you to each page. Speaking of book covers, now that the cover for Dead and Kicking is done, my designer is hard at work on book two’s. Watch for details in the near future.

It hasn’t been all work though. I spent the weekend at the cottage. My absolute favourite place to be. It seems summer isn’t quite ready to let go and the weather was beautiful. I love the cool, crisp, starry nights out there. Sitting in front of a bonfire with the sound of the lake in your ears and the stars overhead. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

This picture is from a couple of years ago. Looking over the beach on a gorgeous evening.

This picture is from a couple of years ago. Looking over the beach on a gorgeous evening.

Dead and Kicking Cover Reveal

I’m very excited to reveal the final concept for the cover of my first book, Dead and Kicking.  Although this isn’t the finished product, the concept is finalized and I wanted to share it with you.  I will write a bit about my experience working with the designer to achieve the final product in an upcoming post.  Drop me a line and let me know what you think!


Remember, the release date for Dead and Kicking, the first novel in The Harry Russo Diaries, is October 2, 2015 and the pre-order is now up and running. Please consider buying now during the pre-order period.  You won’t be charged for your purchase until the release date and you will be helping me with my all important release day sales.

Here are a few of the places where you can find my book:
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks

Do you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain or have I just dated myself?

In a previous post, I compared the book blurb to a dating profile. I thought the comparison was pretty apt, but nothing is more like a dating profile than trying to write your author bio.

pina coladas

The author bio is yet another important, but often overlooked, element of not only your book but any of a multitude of author pages (for example on Goodreads or Amazon) as well as your own website.

Like a dating profile, you need to sell yourself to your readers. Your goal is to make a connection with them, showing who you are as a person. You want to come across as the type of person who would write a book they would want to read.

You really need three versions of your bio:
1. A version to put inside your book as part of the end matter. This can be a little bit longer, but still brevity is key.
2. A version to put on your website or author pages.  Again this could be longer.  It could even be the same as #1 above.
3. A shorter ‘blurb’ type bio for the back of your book.  Keep it short and sweet.  150 words or less.

Just like when writing the book blurb, your author bio should grab the interest of your reader. It should make it easier for your reader to relate to you. Above all else, be honest. The last thing you want to do is come across as someone you`re not – in this electronic age, it would be pretty easy to get called on fudged credentials or accomplishments.

To help you with your author bios, here are a few websites I found useful:

6 Secrets to Writing a Killer Author Bio
How to Write a Great Author Bio That Will Connect with Readers
Tips for Writing Your Author Bio

I hope I managed to accomplish some of these goals with my bio. I guess I`ll have to let you be the judge. Feel free to let me now how I did.

As an added bonus, here`s a few things you may not know about me (and probably will never end up in my bio):

  • I think a movie without popcorn is just wrong
  • I can’t ride in the car with the radio on without singing out loud
  • Spiders ick me out
  • I can drink a coke slurpee at 3 am when it’s -30 C outside
  • I can curl my tongue (it’s a genetic thing, I learned that in grade 9)
  • I think that pineapple on pizza is a waste of perfectly good pineapple (and pizza)
  • I can’t sit in front of a bonfire without poking at it with a stick
  • I’m not a big drinker, but have become a bit of a beer snob (I’ll take a good Belgian beer thanks)