Celebrate the Small Things!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

I actually had some time to wind down this week, which was really nice for a change. I’m celebrating:

  1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug extended edition! It arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago and I finally had a chance to watch it.
  2. The cover design for my upcoming fantasy novel is almost done!
  3. Thanksgiving vacation from school! My brother and his family are coming up again from PA, so we’ll be spending a few days with them.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

What other celebrations are going on out there?





© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2014. All rights reserved.

IWSG / Font-tastic Dilemma

Today’s the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) where, on the first Wednesday of every month, writers get together to share their insecurities and offer encouragement. The IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can learn all about it and sign up for it here.

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Click here to see this post with the various fonts.

Click to see this post with the various fonts.

I’ve been playing with various fonts, trying to decide which one to use for my book cover title. But it seems like there are a zillion fonts out there. How on earth does one choose?

My novel is romantic fantasy adventure. The romance element inspires thoughts of flowery and curvy script like Vivaldi from my computer’s font files or like this free file I found online called A Yummy Apology. Fantasy should be more exotic like Endor or Half-elven or Immortal, while the adventure element needs something strong and bold — Bodoni MT Black, Stencil, and Impact are all possibilities.

Swordplay is essential to the plot as well, which draws me toward a serif font that is clean and sharp like a blade. I really like Castellar and Imprint MT Shadow because of the added depth of the lettering. There is so much more to the main character than even she knows and in my mind, the shadowed depth of the letters symbolizes this.

So many choices. And once I figure out the title font, I need to decide if I’m going to use the same font for both title and author or choose another for the author.

Lori L. MacLaughlin (Cardinal), Lori L. MacLaughlin (Slender Gold), Lori L. MacLaughlin (Celtic) …

Which will it be? Sigh …

Judging A Book By Its Cover

I’ve been researching book cover design to learn more about what sells and what doesn’t. In that all-important first moment when potential buyers see your book either online or on a brick-and-mortar store shelf, does the cover grab them and shout “Buy me!” or does it say “Meh” and let them get away?Book_I_WhiteCover

I read that analyzing covers of recently published books is a great way to get ideas that will make your book an eye-catcher. Sometimes I found it difficult, though, to figure out why some covers worked better than others. For example, on The Book Designer Web site, Joel Friedlander critiques book covers submitted by writers/designers, awarding gold stars to the best ones and useful comments to others. I went through and studied the covers, then read his comments to see if we had similar thoughts. Sometimes we agreed and sometimes not. The crux of the matter is that it’s all subjective. One person’s beauty is another’s bleh.

The site did have some good basic design tips which I found helpful.
• Decide what your principal focus will be and work around that. Use only a few images and don’t clutter.
• Don’t use a white background. Use texture, color, or illustration instead.
• Make sure the text stands out and is easy to read.
• The title needs to be large enough to be read when shrunk to Amazon thumbnail size.
• Use images, colors, and fonts that convey the tone/mood of the book.

A few seconds’ glance is all you get when someone picks up your book. In those few moments, your cover should communicate the genre, the theme or basic subject of the book, and the tone. It should lead the person into your story and make them not want to leave. I know that sounds like common sense, but it’s a lot harder than it seems.

I had some general ideas of what I thought should be on the cover of my book, one of which was to focus on my main character, a swordswoman with silver-blonde hair. Both the book I’m currently reading and the one I’m going to read next have swordswomen prominently on the covers. But then I read where one person didn’t like putting characters on book covers because she preferred to leave the characters’ faces to the readers’ imaginations.

What do you think? Does it bother you to have an image of the main character on the book cover? I’d love to hear your opinions!