Along my reading journey, I’ve made a conscious decision to not only read the books on the shelves at my local Barnes & Nobles store, or online at Amazon, but to also try self-published, or indie, works as often as I can.
With this in mind, I’m turning over the blog to one of my favorite indie authors (Charles E. Yallowitz), who has been nice enough to submit a guest post for everyone’s reading enjoyment.
TIPS FOR ASPIRING SERIES AUTHORS
Thank you to Wendell for letting me be a guest on his blog and helping to promote the grand finale of my series, Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. At least I hope it’s grand. Well, the cover is pretty awesome and that’s something that has been true for the entire series. I wouldn’t have made it far without Jason and his artistic talent, which always get compliments on social media. They say that the cover is the introduction for your book and I believe that. Some of my other books have had horrible first impressions and not gotten very far while these have always done very well. Now, as an author, I know more about the words than the images, but I do have a few tips for any aspiring series authors.
- Continuity and consistency is very important. Think of all the series you’ve read and think about how the covers all looked the same. At the very least, the style was similar enough that a person could look at the book and know what it was without reading the title. I ran into this problem with Family of the Tri-Rune (Book 4) because the covers got tweaked. They looked even better than before without the black border and a more stylized title. Yet, these little changes caused people to think it was a different series. Took a week to sort that out and they’ve stayed this way ever since.
- Never forget to give credit to your cover artist. This sounds like a no-brainer, but it gets overlooked more often than you think. They’re helping you bring your vision to life and readers, so naming them in your posts is the least you can do. If cover art is their business then take every opportunity to send new authors their way. Just return the favor.
- It helps to get an idea of what you want for every cover before you start. This is really if you have all of the books planned out, but you can be at least 3-4 ahead to help the artist. Now, they might have a better idea, which means you have to trust them while still voicing your opinion. As authors, we can get a little blinded by the images in our head, which could be unfeasible. I had an idea for Prodigy of Rainbow Tower that had the heroes standing back-to-back in a swamp with red eyes above them. It was cool, but overly complicated. The one that was made is easily one of my favorites.
- Jason did all of the art by hand and sent me updates when he could. These sketches can make for great teasers. Not even though whole thing, but crop a section to put up on social media. It wets the appetite and proves that progress is being made in that arena. More importantly, it can get a conversation started about what the end product might be.
- This isn’t something we did because I was only told about it recently. Heck, this might not even be a tip, but a cool trick reminiscent of the comic book covers of the 90’s. If you have a plan beforehand, you can make it that all of the covers combine to make a single picture. This is very complicated and very risky. If you have to get a new cover artist then the plan falls apart.
- When promoting a new book, set up either a slideshow, collage, or make a listing to have people see the previous volumes. This gets more and more difficult as a series gets longer, so the slideshow might be the easiest option for blogging. Only downside to this is they don’t allow for links. At least I haven’t figured it out yet, so hopefully someone proves me wrong in the comments.
- This is going to sound silly, but try not to mix your covers up. Easy to avoid if you make sure the files are set for large icons and Amazon gives you a preview before you hit publish. Yet, there are times you might be given a cover without the title and author name because they can be used for other promo materials. These are the ones that can get in a little trouble if you aren’t careful. After 15 books and 5 years, I’ve learned that accidents happen.
Again, thank you to Wendell for helping with the promotion and giving me an opportunity to write a guest post. Please check out or spread the word about Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. Enjoy the adventure.
Whether in darkness or light, every path inevitably comes to an end.
As Gabriel, the Destiny God, determined centuries ago, his chosen will face Baron Kernaghan for the fate of Windemere. Through many victories and losses, the champions have stood together and prepared for this great battle. Now that the Baron’s influence stirs those with evil hearts, they have run out of time and must travel to Shayd. Yet, there are more secrets for them to uncover before entering a battle where the only way to survive is surpassing limits and putting everything they have on the line. Through it all, Gabriel’s statement that he made them destined to fight, but winning was not set in stone rings in their minds.
Will the champions usher in an Age of Heroes or become the sacrifices for an Age of Darkness?
Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!
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Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.