Monday, April 17, 2017

Meredith's Monday Musings: Difficulty of finding the perfect cover

Hey Everyone!

Happy Monday! Did y'all have a hoppy Easter? LOL! Get it, Hoppy, instead of happy. ;-) I had a great Easter. I sadly didn't get to spend it with family, but I did a bunch of writing yesterday on a secret project, so I call it a win. :-)

Today's topic for Meredith's Monday Musing is: Finding the perfect cover!

If you ask any author, I think they'll tell you that finding the perfect cover for their story is one of the most important, yet hardest things for them to do. For starters, a cover has to have either a person/people on it who look like the characters that you've just described in your story. This can be challenging at times. For instance, if I were to write a story about a heroine who was plus-sized, it'd be difficult to find a stock image with a plus-sized woman because there just aren't that many out there. Unfortunately, cover artists can't make women on stock images look heavier. So, that's an issue.

Furthermore, finding the right background to fit the story can be really hard! Lets say a story takes place mostly at a BDSM club. There really aren't that many stock photos of an actual BDSM club for cover artists to use. As a result, they have to get created to create a background that looks like a BDSM club, while making sure that readers understand that's what the background is supposed to be. It sounds easy, but it's not.

Tagging along with the background issue, finding a cover that will sell books too is difficult. Say I wrote a book about a dental hygienist falling in love with the dentist she works for. The cover artist can create a cover with a hot couple at the dentist. It sounds perfect, there's a hot couple on the cover to represent the characters and the background accurately reflects where the story takes place. However, many people have dental phobias. So seeing that background of the dental office might actually make readers not want to buy your story. That isn't good! Therefore, cover artists and authors need to work together and compromise to create a cover that not only correctly represents the characters and setting, but will also sell copies of the book.

Additionally, one thorn that is in cover artists' sides is Amazon. The biggest retailer of e-books is Amazon. Sadly, they are a bit prudish when it comes to covers. I might have my perfect cover with the heroine and hero in a sexy pose, where it looks like the hero is about to pleasure the heroine, but Amazon will throw it in their dungeon. (If this happens, the book will tank like the Titanic). This is really unfortunate for authors and cover artists because the cover might be absolutely perfect for the story, but they can't use it because Amazon will essentially hide it from readers.

Another issue that might not make the most sense, but it happens all the time is a cover might be perfect for one person, but not to another. For instance, a cover artist designs a cover and they think it perfectly represents the author's book and when they send it to the author, the author might think it has nothing to do with the book. This is where the author and cover artist have to work together and compromise to create a cover that represents the book well, but will also sell copies of the story. Another instance of this could be if you work on a box set with multiple authors. If a cover is handed to the group, some authors might love it, while others hate it. In that situation, the authors will have to compromise to choose a cover that works for everyone.

As an author, I'm very grateful to my cover artist, Korey Mae Johnson. She creates some pretty hot covers, while also abiding by Amazon's prudish rules. As an author, I get the best of both worlds with that.

That's all I have for now. Have a happy Monday, everyone!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Meredith's Monday Musings: Beauty and the Beast

Hello Folks!

Happy Monday! Less than one week left before Easter? Is everyone ready for it? I'm not. I still have to go buy my Easter meal. I'll get to the store sometime this week. One thing I'm really happy for is lent ends in 6 days! Woot woot! Going cold turkey with something you love is hard!!

To get on point, the topic for Meredith's Monday Musing today is: Beauty and the Beast!

I have a confession to make. I LOVE the animated version of Beauty and the Beast. It is my all time favorite Disney movie. Growing up, I watched the video so many times that my parents had to buy me a new copy of it for Christmas.

There's something so magical about the movie. Obviously, there's talking furniture in it, so duh there's magic in it, but I'm talking about the story. I love the concept that a beautiful lady looks beyond the hero's physical features and at his heart. Belle didn't care that Beast's outward appearance was not as handsome as Gaston's. She fell in love with his sweet personality. There's something so romantic about that to me.

On top of the beautiful love story, the movie has some awesome music in it. When I do the dishes, I love blasting the song, "Be Our Guest". It has a great beat and makes washing the dishes fun! Don't get me started on the actual "Beauty and the Beast" song. It's so romantic and makes me want to tear up each time I hear it.

I have to admit to you all there are two things that really make this movie fantastic. One is Belle's dress. As some of you might know, yellow is my favorite color. So growing up, I ALWAYS wanted to have a dress like Belle's. I was convinced if I did, I would be transformed into a princess. I went so far to tell my parents that for my wedding, my wedding dress would be Belle's dress. I've since changed my mind on that, but that goes to show you how much I love that dress! The second thing that made me fall in love with this movie was Beast's library that he gifted to Belle. Even as a little kid, I thought that was the most romantic thing a man could ever give to a woman. I would fantasize how it would feel to just sit and read in there. Oh my gosh, even know I wish that I could have a library like it.

Needless to say, I was in love with the animated version of this movie growing up. So when I heard that they were making a live action version of it, I got super excited, but also a little nervous. This movie was my favorite Disney movie, I was afraid that the life action version wouldn't live up to the animated version. I am very happy to say that it does!! The live action movie followed the animated version perfectly! The few changes they made to it, didn't harm the essence of the story either. It was super well done, which I am grateful for.

Do y'all have a favorite Disney movie? (It's okay if you don't).

That's all for now, folks! I hope that everyone has a great Monday!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Meredith's Monday Musing: Author Newsletters

Greetings, Everyone!

Happy Monday! Can you all believe that it's April? I feel like it should still be February! Life is moving so fast, I can't believe it! Besides time flying by, I've been super-de-duper busy! I just got my comments back from my beta reader on my current WIP. I have to fix some issues, then my WIP will get sent to my editor. I'm excited! I think y'all will like this story.

Getting to the point of this post, today's topic for Meredith's Monday Musing is: Author Newsletters!

It seems like 2017 is going to be the year that every author creates their own newsletter. I think newsletters are great because it's a way for authors to directly connect with anyone who wants to sign up for their newsletters. Authors no longer have to worry about if their posts on Facebook or Twitter will be seen by all their fans. All they have to do is send out their newsletter and boom, they can guarantee that their fans get the information they want to share.

Additionally, authors can track via their newsletter homepage what readers click on in the newsletter, how many people opened it up, etc. I think that's really cool because this lets authors know precisely what parts of their newsletter are the biggest hit with their fans and which parts aren't as successful. Therefore, authors will know what to promote more and what to maybe revamp to get readers to like it more.
I'm a part of a newsletter with two amazing authors, Maddie Taylor and Morganna Williams. It has been amazing working with them to fill our newsletter with steamy content for our readers. Plus, we all get to share the load on producing a newsletter each month, so it's nice not to have the entire burden on just one of our shoulders.

Obviously, I'm a fan of newsletters from the authors perspective. However, as a reader, I'm not as in love with them. For the newsletters that I sign up for, I do enjoy receiving them to see what some of my favorite authors are up to. One of the biggest things that annoys me though is there have been a couple of newsletters that I haven't signed up for, yet my email address was added to that person's newsletter. My email is fairly well known, so I get a bit angry when a newsletter I know for 100% I didn't sign up for, shows up in my inbox. The few times it has happened, I've messaged the individual and they've taken me off their list. It just baffles me why someone would put another person on their list if they haven't signed up for it. That isn't right.

The only other thing that frustrates me about newsletters as a reader is I wish that authors would add more content to their newsletters. I'm on Facebook enough to know when someone has a new release. So, when I get that author's email and see that their newsletter only has an announcement that they're having a new release, it makes me sad. I enjoy snippets of the story or even announcements of what the author is planning to work on next, etc. I know that's more of a personal opinion, so I don't let it get in the way of my love for newsletter too much.

What do y'all think about newsletters? Do you love 'em or hate 'em?

While I have you all, don't forget to sign up for mine. It comes out every month and has a bunch of steamy content!!

Have a great Monday, everyone!