Recent Entries in Books

  Creating Iconic Covers

If you're struggling with cover art for your book, you should read this article. Things have changed since Amazon and other online bookstores began selling. Now, with the majority of books are sold based on a tiny thumbnail image, it's all about how to attract the reader's attention from 100 feet.

Hugh Howey, author of Wool, talks about his own covers and the problems he's faced as an indie author. He's also got some interesting tips on how to break out of the pack with cover art innovation.

It used to be said that great cover art becomes iconic over time. I can think of a dozen or so covers that I can still pick out from a thousand paces. When I first saw the red cover for WOOL that Random House came up with, I had that sort of feeling about it. There had never been a cover quite like that. It would stand out. Be instantly recognizable. I loved it.


It's the grabbiness at a distance that works. But more importantly these days, it's the grabbiness at a tiny size. More than half of print books are now purchased online, which means what you put on the back of the jacket, or the inside flap, or how detailed your artwork is, has all become less relevant. These days, cover art needs to be not so much iconic as icon. We need to think about them as little clickable buttons. For design ideas, it's time to start looking at our desktops rather than bookstore shelves.

book_cover_here.jpg

(via amazonauthorinsights.com)

  Banned book: Wool

If you've not read Wool by Hugh Howey, you may want to get on it. Yes, a large omnibus of dystopian science-fiction may be a daunting task, but the rewards are worth it.

Remember that Howey is an example of a self- indie-published author who made it big. For that, his books are worth studying. Also, they're pretty fun to read.

The Earth is no longer capable of sustaining life. Humanity clings onto survival in a giant silo hundreds of stories deep underground. People live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sensors outside are their only means of seeing the outside world and, because of the constant clouds of filth beating down on these sensors, a selected cleaner is sent to scrub away the grime. But the suit the cleaner is sent out in is not capable of returning the user and the cleaner is left to die.

wool_silo.jpg

(via woolthebannedbook.weebly.com)

A neat review of author Caitlín R. Kiernan's new work, Agents of Dreamland.

This is a quest story. With a sensible middle-aged professor as the protagonist, through a fantastical landscape filled with strangeness. There are ghouls and gugs and tunnels, ships and dangerous forests and the courts of kings. And a consistent undercurrent of hopeful kindness, of solidarity, of doing the right thing not for hope of gain but because it is the right thing, and finding that in time it has borne fruit.

"Some people change the world. And some people change the people who change the world, and that's you," Jurat says to Vellitt, at the novella's thematic climax--a pair of lines that packĀ a powerful punch in context, for Vellitt has just realised that she herself cannot go home again--to her teaching position at Ulthar's Women's College, the place she didn't realise was home until it was barred to her forever.

vellitt-boe-cover.jpg

(via www.tor.com)

A neat guest post on the Tor/Forge Blog from V.E. Schwab about setting and A Darker Shade of Magic.

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In essence, A Darker Shade of Magic--or ADSoM for short--gave me a chance to turn my setting into not only a character, but an entire supporting cast. Through the four iterations of London, bound together by only a name, I was able to explore not only time, but also space, and the ways that different actions shape the world in which they happen. The color terms and relative absence/presence of magic are not the only things that set the Londons apart. Though each ones occupies the same geographical footprint, with the Thames (or the Isle, or the Siljt) at its heart, each city was inspired by a different part of the world, a different aesthetic, a different breed of empire. The worlds sit, layered like pages of paper in a book.

(via www.torforgeblog.com)

From acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land comes "The Rising." Read an excerpt on the Tor/Forge blog.

book_the_rising.jpg

Twenty-four hours. That's all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever.

Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career.

When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it's after him.

(via torforgeblog.com)

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Recent Entries

  • Creating Iconic Covers

    If you're struggling with cover art for your book, you should read this article. Things have changed since Amazon and other online bookstores began selling....

  • Banned book: Wool

    If you've not read Wool by Hugh Howey, you may want to get on it. Yes, a large omnibus of dystopian science-fiction may be a...

  • Sleeps With Monsters - Tor.com

    A neat review of author Caitlín R. Kiernan's new work, Agents of Dreamland. This is a quest story. With a sensible middle-aged professor as the...

  • A Spectrum of Worlds | Tor/Forge Blog

    A neat guest post on the Tor/Forge Blog from V.E. Schwab about setting and A Darker Shade of Magic. In essence, A Darker Shade of...

  • Tor/Forge Sneak Peek: The Rising by Heather Graham & Jon Land

    From acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land comes "The Rising." Read an excerpt on the Tor/Forge blog. Twenty-four hours. That's all it takes...

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