Book covers are works of art. They’re also marketing tools. Being in complete control of your book cover can be a huge advantage of self-publishing. It’s also harder than you’d think.
We authors (and by “we” I mostly mean “me” 😅) aren’t always savvy marketers, and designing a book cover that sells in a particular genre is a completely different skill from writing said book. And the cover of an author’s dreams isn’t always within one’s budget. With that in mind, I love it when authors overcome these challenges and get that perfect eye-catching cover that makes me drool over their book.
Here are 10 covers by self-published authors and author-run small presses that knock my socks off. Some I’ve read, and some I haven’t yet, but you can bet the covers played a big role in putting them on my to-read list.
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No Man Can Tame by Miranda Honfleur
This is one of the books on this list that I’ve read, and I’m happy to report that the story lives up to that gorgeous cover. I like so many things about it from the clothing to the flowers and moon in the background. It sort of depicts the first meeting of these two characters but also seems pretty symbolic. Overall, it’s just a beautiful cover for a beautiful story. Continue reading 11 Indie Book Covers that are Knocking it out of the Park
It’s no secret around here that I love superhero romance novels, so I was happy when author Karen Janowsky reached out to me about her series, The Persistence of Memory. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m definitely intrigued by the description. It gives me a Captain America vibe, which I am 100% here for.
I know, right? It’s incredibly exciting yet stressful. I’m super ready to marry this man, but wedding planning is such an ordeal, you guys. It’s given me a deep and unyielding sympathy for every character in a superhero franchise whose wedding ceremony was crashed by marauding supervillains.
That poor couple spent months searching for a venue, finding an officiant and a caterer, choosing colors, arranging centerpieces, ordering favors–and I’ll stop now, otherwise this post will become a 500-word checklist of all the things you need to do to plan a wedding.
And then some costumed jerk comes and ruins everything. You’re never going to get those months of your life back!
Free ebooks are the best. They’re a great way for readers to try new series risk-free, and they help authors reach new audiences. But there’s just so many of them that it can be hard to find one you like.
Free ebook Friday spotlights a free ebook I’ve personally read and enjoyed, and hopefully, it’ll help you find a good read. The posts come out on random Fridays, not weekly, and the books featured will probably be speculative fiction.
This week’s pick is:
Come for the coffee, stay for the supernatural adventure. There’s more than one way to catch a ghost, and it’s never been this fun!
Katy and her grandmother have always used coffee to catch ghosts. It pays the bills and keeps them in high-end beans. But after her grandmother dies and a rival ghost hunter moves to town, Katy fears things will never be the same.
Steampunk is a weird, niche little genre, when you think about it. Merriam-Webster defines it as “science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology.”
That’s pretty darn specific. It’s not like the post-apocalyptic subgenre restricts its stories to the 23rd century, or space opera specifies the power source that spaceships have to use.
The boundaries of steampunk seem pretty restrictive at first glance, so it’s not surprising many authors bend and break the rules. Steampunk has branched out and evolved as creators and fans innovate, which brings me to the strength of the genre:
Dave set their suitcases on the dresser and stretched, still stiff from the flight. He surveyed the cozy bedroom, taking a moment to appreciate the view of the mountains out the window.
“This is nice,” he said to Val.
“I need to have it redecorated,” she called back from the bathroom, where she was touching up her make-up before their dinner reservation. “Everything’s horribly out of date—which I guess I should’ve expected. I haven’t used this place in years.”
Dave was just happy to visit one of her properties on a vacation and not as a safehouse to hide in while someone was trying to kill them. He pulled off his watch, wanting to wear a nicer one for dinner, and opened the top draw of the nightstand to put it in.
Fashion is part of the appeal of steampunk for me. I love seeing cosplayers at conventions and am fascinated by the styles of the Victorian Era. Not gonna lie–the main reason I set The Ghost Machine in the 1880s is because I like the style of the dresses in that era with the bustle in the back.
I don’t watch reality TV. It’s just not my cup of tea, but I’m starting to think I’ll be interested in anything if you throw superheroes into the mix.
Case in point: The S Factor.
It’s essentially The Bachelor but for superheroes, which I think is the coolest concept ever. Superheroes have a notoriously tough time dating with that whole secret identity thing. They’re always having to run off with a weak excuse to stop a giant monster attack, abandoning their date at the restaurant table and generally ruining the evening. Continue reading The Superhero Dating Reality Show You Need to Follow
If you have a Spotify account, check out this superhero-themed playlist made by Damien Benoit-Ledoux for his novel Guardians. Listen to it while reading—or if you ever find yourself actually saving the world and need a soundtrack. 😉
I’ve been seeing a lot of great buzz for Lee Blauersouth’s debut YA novel, Secondhand Origin Stories. You can read a review of it at Spines in a Line, which includes links to excerpts and other reviews on the book’s blog tour.
Nicholas Ahlhelm has the details on The Good Fight 4: Homefront, the latest anthology of superhero short stories from the authors of The Pen & Cape Society. I read the first volume of The Good Fight (which is FREE on Amazon) and enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to seeing what these authors do next.
Ah, superhero romance. Back in the old days, it meant a man in a cape rescuing a distressed damsel and going to great lengths to hide his secret identity from the woman he supposedly loves. And you’ll still see that sometimes, but for the most part, romance in the genre has gotten a bit more complex over the years.
Pretty much every superhero movie and TV show has a romantic subplot and love interest these day. Some of them are great. Some of them are… let’s just say they’re not very well developed.
But for those of you who want a little more love with your crime-fighting exploits, there’s a whole subgenre of superhero romance novels. Granted, there’s not a lot of them. You won’t find a shelf dedicated to it at your local library, and most online retailers don’t have a category for it, but if you’re willing to search a bit, you can find some good ones.