Showing posts with label reader. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reader. Show all posts


There are a number of websites where you can find a bookcover for your book. I'm talking about the pre-made bookcovers, which can range in price anywhere from $150.00 to $600 at best. The biggest advantage  of this type of bookcover is you can get them quickly and do not have to wait for an illustrator to create it. So what is the disadvantage of these bookcovers? They do not reflect your story. Generally generic, they can be used for any genre. Of course, if this is what you want, then you will probably be quite satisfied with it. But if you are wanting your book to stand out from the rest, a bookcover that reflects your story will be much more satisfactory.

Stop and think about it for a moment, and you will see what I mean. The first thing a person looks at when searching for a book is the title. If the title doesn't grab them, they move on to the next book. Once they find a title that draws their interest, they pick up the book and look at the bookcover. Now you can see why it is important to the sale of your book. The title and the bookcover are the first two things that will give the reader a good idea what the book is about. Those two items will convince the reader to read the blurb on the back cover and even open the book and read the first page or two.

Now I have seen a number of well-known authors' new books on the shelf with bookscovers so plain and boring that it is a good thing they have already made a name for themselves. Otherwise they probably would not sell very many books. But when you are starting out, you are not well-known so you have to take further measures to help promote the sale of your book.

People who read are visual. We, as writers, learn to write in such a way as to draw a visual picture in their minds. That is what the bookcover picture should do for your title. It should draw a visual picture of the written title as well as the basic story, hence giving the reader a better idea of whether or not they would be interested in buying it.

What do you want in an illustrator? Well, your illustrator should be someone who is willing to work closely with you to achieve the perfect bookcover for you. If they are not willing to do this, they are probably not worth the money you are paying them. Once you find the right illustrator, you will find satisfaction on several different levels. One, you will obtain a bookcover with which you will fall in love, and you will know immediately that it is the one for you. Two, you will have a bookcover that will help sell your book. Three, you will have a good friend who will, the longer you work together on different projects, know just what you like or dislike; and you will develop a good working relationship.

At this point, I would like to give credit to my most wonderful and talented illustrator who has put up with me with the utmost patience. Her name is Heather Paye. She has amazed me with her talent. If you are interested in her work, you can find her here:  Heather Paye.

Faye M. Tollison
Author of: To Tell the Truth
Upcoming books: The Bible Murders
                            Sarah's Secret

Member of: Sisters In Crime
                  Writers On the Move
                   Books In Sync

In the Beginning

The beginning of your story, whether it is a short story or a novel, is the most important part of your book. It is where you hook your reader, and hooking your reader is a definite must. Many a book has been laid down only to never be picked up again because the reader found the first page or two to be boring.

You can have the best character ever created, but you need to get that character into some type of action that will grab and hold onto the reader's attention. He/she needs to be hungry for more and more of your story. So you need to choose an opening action that can be built upon. According to Chris Roerden in Don't Murder Your Mystery, "Caring about the main character is the ultimate hook." This is so true because you can build upon this in so many ways.

The reader needs to identify with the character's feelings, and there must be contradictions of some type. It is good to introduce the main character as quickly as you can into the story. The reader should wonder about who, what, when, where, how, and why. Curiosity will keep them reading. As the author, it is your duty to keep their curiosity going throughout the whole book until the end where you will satisfy and answer all their questions about the story and the main character.

Even though it may be necessary to include backstory and description, these can be added later in the story and must be kept to only what is needed to satisfy your reader's curiosity. Backstory can be worked into the action, adding more interest and adding fuel to the reader's interest. Adverbs and adjectives must be minimized also.

So what is the best hook? One that can be built upon? The main character, of course, and the problems with which he/she will be faced. Remember, the job of a hook is to stretch the reader's interest beyond the first sentence; and if the author does it right, the reader's interest will go well beyond the first chapter.

Which of the following would grab your interest?

It was a dark and stormy night.


Maggie's hands gripped the gun as she looked down the barrel at the fear in the eyes of the man who raped her.

Faye M. Tollison
Author of To Tell the Truth
Upcoming books: The Bible Murders and Sarah's Secret
Member of: Sisters In Crime
                   Writers on the Move

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