Tagged cover

Japanese Covers of the Finishing School Books ~ Do You Think They’re As Cute As I Do? (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

I thought it might be fun, Gentle Reader, for you to see the adorable covers of the Japanese translations of the Finishing School series.

Etiquette & Espionage

Curtsies & Conspiracies

Waistcoats & Weaponry

Manners & Mutiny

I just think they are so very cute. It’s such a pleasure to see an artist interpret a scene written in the book.

Bibliobubli YA says:

All in all, Etiquette and Espionage is a grand continuation of Carriger’s theme, a joyful romp in the world she’s created, and yet new enough to keep me guessing about what was about to happen.”

Afterglow Book Reviews says:

“I quickly fell in like with the main character of Etiquette & Espionage, Sophronia (love the name!) Temminnick, because of her intelligent fascination with how things work and her innate indifference to fashion and manners.”

Powder & Page says:

“This book was such fun- this might sound crazy, but it was like a steampunk version of Dexter’s Laboratory & the Powerpuff Girls smooshed together, stirred up, and baked into a delightful tart.”

Do you want free goodies, gossip, and behind the scenes info? New stuff goes to my Chirrup members first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.

Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for January is Angels Blood (Guild Hunter Book 1) by Nalini Singh.

OUT IN PRINT & DIGITAL & AUDIO!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Direct

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger is now available (audio will follow).

Gay reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some unexpected holiday gifts.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via tumblr les-modes- Arlette Dorgère in a dress by Levilion and corset by Weeks & Cie, Les Modes April 1906. Photo by Reutlinger

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The 36 Best Blogs on the Business of Writing

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

6 Things to Consider Before Writing a Series

Book News:

Woman Devours Books says of Soulless:

“Carriger manages to pull off such a wry humor throughout the narration that just makes me laugh (I’ll be honest, it’s more like a snort-giggle. A sniggle?). As she describes the settings and the characters, she’ll often use prose that is unexpected, catching me off guard with her quirky humor.”

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


Behind the Magic ~ The Range of Cover Art – Gail Carriger’s Soulless

Posted by Gail Carriger

Good morning, Gentle Reader.

Today I thought it might be fun for you to see the range of cover art that my first book, Soulless, got over the course of time and space and 8 years in publication.

You ready for this?

 

First off is the original mass market paperback as produced in 2009. Next to it I have the updated trade paperback size version from 2015. The mass market size is now discontinued and you can only buy Soulless new in trade paperback.

 

Here on left is the Japanese translation version, this is the smallest of my books. It’s about the size of a 3X5 card. Next to it is the Manga adaptation of Soulless.

 

Here’s the Soulless hardcover limited edition of the book, out of print but I still have some stock and give them away on the Chirrup occasionally. And the SFBC’s hardcover omnibus version which combines all three of the first Parasol Protectorate books.

 

Here are the two German versions. The first was a limited run collectible hardcover, the second is the original paperback translation. Oddly, you can also get the German editions for kindle in the USA.

Aside from Germany (and the pocket edition in France) and Japan, every other foreign publisher chose to do a take on the original cover image for their translations. This is pretty unusual and rather flattering.

The first three audiobooks were produced by Recorded Books (not Hachette Audio) so they got different covers too.

There it is. What do you think of the different covers? Anything surprise you? Any one you really love?

Praise for The Parasol Protectorate

Books and Pieces gives a lovely review of the series starting at 3:03:

“It’s really just spiffingly good, I promise you.”

The Unbookreport says of the series:

“Adventure, drama, and intrigue are rarely so much fun, and much of that is due to Alexia’s practical yet mannered outlook on events. Ms Carriger went straight onto my “favorite author” list with that first book, and every book since has just confirmed that place in my heart.”

Andie Welsh says:

“There is even a bit in the end where I sincerely believed Miss Carriger was going to deny us a happy ending after all because as an author she writes raw human emotion so vibrantly that you live it yourself.”

Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for October is Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede.}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

walzerjahrhundert-tumblr Tourists at the Frauenkirche, Nürnberg, Germany, 1904

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A village of gloomy octopuses called Octlantis has been discovered at Jervis Bay, NSW

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Hyphens, Em Dashes, En Dashes—Everything You Need to Know

Book News:

ace-artemis-fanartist Biffy Lyall Dance

Quote of the Day:

“I yield to no man in my appreciation of the Drones Club… its sparkling conversation, its camaraderie, its atmosphere redolent of all that is best and brightest in the metropolis… but there would, I knew, be a goodish bit of bread thrown hither and thither at its luncheon table, and I was in no vein to cope with flying bread.”

~ P. G. Wodehouse

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


Romancing the Werewolf Cover Art Is Here & It’s Adorable! (Gail Carriger New Book)

Posted by Gail Carriger

My darling gentle reader I am delighted to announce the cover art for Romancing the Werewolf!

Cover photo © Jim Vetter Photography, assembled by the amazing Starla Huchton.

Man I didn’t make it easy on Starla this time! Although I gave her the most adorable boys to work with, (Aren’t they the cutest? Thank you Jim!) the rest of her dossier on this cover was rough. (Yes, there is a reason Lyall’s hair is long.)

I wanted this cover to say “cozy” and “holidays” as well as all the usual Gail stuff. I wanted red (which can cause some issues, as red & black are hard on the eyes) and it needed to tie to the other book in this series: Romancing the Inventor.

Didn’t she do the most wonderful job?

I just adore this cover. Looking at it makes me smile like a mad woman. I’m really hoping that reading it has the same effect.

For those who have asked, Lyall is wearing a Dark Garden corset waistcoat called the Beau Brummell.

Coming November 5, 2017!

Here’s the official blurb:

Werewolf in trouble…

Biffy, newly minted Alpha of the London Pack, is not having a good Christmas. His Beta abandoned him, his werewolves object to his curtain choices, and someone keeps leaving babies on his doorstep.

Professor Randolph Lyall returns home to London after twenty years abroad, afraid of what he might find. With his pack in chaos and his Alpha in crisis, it will take all his Beta efficiency to set everything to rights. Perhaps, in the process, he may even determine how to mend his own heart.

 

Yours in mad smiles,

Miss Gail

Meanwhile you still have a few days to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for the first of the Supernatural Society Novellas, Romancing the Inventor.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger

Romancing the Inventor

by Gail Carriger

Giveaway ends September 24, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for September is The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip.}

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 or 2019.
  • TOC ~ San Andreas Shifters #2
    Status: Writing Rough draft.
    There’s a bartender with a mysterious ability and a big scruffy werewolf with a powerful crush. The pack’s started a business called Heavy Lifting. Gail is contemplating shifter food trucks ~ Do it raw! Sometimes we wiggle, sometimes the food does.

COMING NOV 5th!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella by Gail Carriger will be available in digital form on Nov 5th (print & audio to follow).

Gay reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and some unexpected holiday gifts.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Etiquette of the Victorian Handshake: Advice on Opposite Sex Greetings

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Tempest in a Bestseller List

Book News:


noel 2011 reduita (Biffy & Lyall shifted, fan art)

Quote of the Day:

“Michel could have been a fairy, if not for the martinis sometimes required to keep the sorrow from his eyes.”

~ R. Cooper (The Firebird and Other Stories)

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


Behind the Magic ~ The Range of Cover Art – Gail Carriger’s Blameless

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Good morning, Gentle Reader!

Today I thought it might be fun for you to see the range of cover art that my book Blameless got over the course of time and space and 7 years in publication.

Here we go…

 

First off is the original mass market paperback as produced September 19, 2010. Next to it I have the Brazilian version so you can see how a foreign publisher might tweak the cover for their market.

 

Here on left is the Japanese translation version, this is the smallest of my books. It’s about the size of a 3X5 card. Next to it is the manga adaptation of Blameless, called Soulless Vol. 3.

 

Here are the two German versions. The first was a limited run collectible hardcover, the second is the original paperback translation.

Aside from Germany (and the pocket edition in France) and Japan, every other foreign publisher chose to do a take on the original cover image for their translations. This is pretty unusual and rather flattering.

The first three audiobooks were produced by Recorded Books (not Hachette Audio) so they got different covers too.

There it is. What do you think of the different covers? Anything surprise you? Any one you really love?

 Praise for Blameless

  • Cassandra Giovanni says: “Carriger once again has woven a story with non-stop action, her signature dry humor and a touch of romance, all perfectly balanced.”
  • Once Upon a Chapter says: “I really enjoyed the change in scenery since Alexia’s adventures took her all over the place this time and it added in new characters.”
  • My Thoughts… Literally says: “Another fantastic book in the Parasol Protectorate series. They are so fun and the perfect combination of action, adventure, mystery, and silliness.”
  • Delighted Readers says: “I went into this one wrongly assuming there would be a vast degree of angst when to my pleasure, the focus remained on intrigue, adventures, colorful characters, witty dialogue and fascinating steampunk gadgetry not in the usual way.”
 {Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for September is The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip.}
Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1901 President McKinley’s first stop on the Mexican border – at Del Rio, Texas., 1901 Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library (Source- notinthehistorybooks)

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Painting by Helleu, reminded me of Alexia

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Things You Should Know Podcast: Is the Uncanny Valley Real?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

PRO’s and CON’s of Fighting Book Piracy

Book News:

Rally the Readers says of Romancing the Inventor:

“I can’t emphasize enough that you can pick up this novella and enjoy it whether you’re completely new to the world or have read any number of other works set in it. If you loved the original Parasol Protectorate series like I did and always wondered what happened to Madame Lefoux, then definitely read Romancing the Inventor to find out; you won’t be disappointed!”

Quote of the Day:

 “I was born with a reading list I will never finish.”

~ Maud Casey

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


This is Why a New York Times Bestselling Author Changed Her Pen Name to G. L. Carriger: On Pseudonyms, Cover Art & Reader Betrayal (Important for Writers)

You may or may not have noticed, Gentle Reader, that my San Andreas Shifter books are written under the name…

G. L. Carriger

The Sumage Solution, is a big departure for me in content, style, and setting. OK, perhaps not that big. It’s still me, full of silliness and fun.

  • It’s urban fantasy, but it’s set in contemporary times, in America.
  • It has more sex than my other writing has in the past.
  • It’s certainly got worse language.


Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo

I dithered for a while about what to do about this. You see, I worry about reader betrayal… a lot.

Reader Betrayal

Reader betrayal can take many forms. At its root, it is that sensation one gets if the book you’re reading does something totally unexpected in a bad way. Like if a book you picked up thinking it was romance suddenly doesn’t have a happy ending.

Why does reader betrayal happen?

Well, it can be a flaw in story: you’re reading one thing when the author suddenly takes a dive and turns it into something else. That is the author’s fault. (This is what I call the “scream and hurl” scenario.) Or it can be a flaw in expectation, you thought it was one kind of book, despite the cover and blurb trying to tell you otherwise, and you read it anyway.

This book is a hilarious COMEDY fantasy gay romance. Bet-ya didn’t know that from the cover.

Far more common these days is visual marker caused betrayal. This means that you picked up the book expecting one thing because of the cover and then got something completely different from the words within.

Controlling these expectations is a serious business. It’s done many ways: visually through cover art (image & text), but also via author name, and cover copy/blurb and description. (There are also things that can’t really be controlled like algorithms offering “similar books you might like.”)

For example, if I showed you this cover:

You’d probably expect a dark gritty urban fantasy. Possibly noir tropes in use. If that’s the kind of thing you like, you might then take a look at the book description and decide to buy it.

But if I gave you this one:

You’d expect something else: upbeat, cheerful, youthful, pulp-ish.

  • Both covers are based off photos.
  • Both are single person images.
  • Both have saturated color use.
  • Both use san serif fonts

But the kind of image chosen, from dress to facial expression, and the tweaks then made to it, from color choice to the overlay of type, all tell you, the reader, something about what is inside.

You may not know exactly what you’re being told, or how to control your own response, but trust me, you’re reacting. The thing that worries a savvy author the most is NOT “does this cover depict what’s inside my book” but “does this cover accurately portray the spirit of my book?”

If you picked up Fairy Debt and did not get a fun little light hearted read about a fairy in silly times, you would be angry with me as the author. You would feel betrayed.

Print edition proofs arrive in office.

Why talk about covers when I should be discussing pen names?

Because most of the time, covers come first. Covers are the single most important thing when selling a book or establishing a brand as an author.

Initially.

After that, of course, it’s up to the author to pull the reader in and make them want more.

Which brings us to author name recognition.

After a certain point, if lucky, an author starts to accrue loyal readers.

  • These are the readers who write to say they love you. Who regularly leave book reviews.
  • Who vow to buy “anything you write.”
  • These readers follow an author’s newsletter (if really lucky) and get excited when a new book comes along.

These readers are you, eyeballs reading this blog post right now. I LOVE YOU.

You, Gentle Reader, know what to expect from me as an author because I have tried to give you something quite consistent over the last few years. Yes, it jumped around from YA to adult to novella, from espionage to romance to adventure, but the spirit of the Parasolverse has been unchanged.

Cover art plays into this too, keeping a theme going is pretty darn important. Here is how my traditional publishers did it across three series:

Here’s how I played with my own themes for my self-published stuff?

Romancing the Inventor

I kept the san serif font and the slashes from the first series. I kept a central figure (or figures).

  • Do you see the similarities, and to which books?
  • Can you understand why I might want to make some of the changes I did between my novels and my novellas? (Perhaps that is a whole other discussion if you’re interested.)

One of the things I’d encourage you to notice is that I made my name bigger than the title for the first time when I produced my own stuff.

Why I Made My Name BIGGER

When self-pubbing I’m banking on name recognition. Because it’s more common in romance to do this for well known authors, and my novellas touch on romance more heavily. (And, because I have noticed over the years that male F/SF authors get this kind of name glorification treatment while the rest of us, erm, do not. That gets my goat because it smacks pretty darn strongly of sexism.)

So, why go through all this trouble to establish name recognition, only to change my name… slightly?

G. L. Carriger

Because we are back to the first part of this post: reader betrayal.

My new non-parasolverse m/m urban fantasy is just different enough for me to worry. Even knowing that I could give you a very different cover (which I have done) I worried that my name was now strong enough to sucker readers into expecting things: gentleness, steampunk, sweet romance, Victorian food & clothing.

I worried that if it says “by Gail Carriger” readers would expect exactly the kind of thing they had gotten from me before. The Sumage Solution is just different enough for readers to get mad at me. Not because I don’t write urban fantasy or paranormal romance well (this book is oodles of fun, it makes me so happy) but because it’s not what readers expected from Gail Carriger going in. Which isn’t really my fault.

Except that it is. It is certainly my responsibility.

I have established Gail Carriger expectations with 17 or so books now. So it’s up to me to shift those expectations.

Thus I’m publishing The Sumage Solution under G. L. Carriger. Still me. Just tweaked. This way, going in, readers pick up the book and perhaps go:

“Huh, I wonder if this is still Gail? I wonder why Gail is doing this? Perhaps it’s not quite the same thing as before.”

It wasn’t an easy decision, I’ll tell you that much.

And, I hope you like her.

Still and always yours,

Miss G

Want more?

{Gail’s monthly read along for May 2017 is Radiance by Grace Draven.}

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Longchamp, France. 1900 via Edwardian Time Machine tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Gail Carriger Sketched by Howard Tayler

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

“The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”

~ Albert Einstein

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait 2 years to know whether or not it was funny.”

~ Alain de Botton

Book News:

The Reading Chick says of Prudence:

“The style of the characters meld completely with the storyline, that it all seems completely believable, in a rather fantastic way.”

Quote of the Day:

“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”

~ Logan Pearsall Smith

Want more behind the scenes info? Join the Chirrup!


Behind the Magic ~ Sumage Solution – All About The Cover Art

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

So one of the things I knew the cover for The Sumage Solution had to be was different from everything I’ve done before.

Since The Sumage Solution is pretty darn racy I needed visual markers for telling my readers that this is something different from me…particularly my YA readers! The best way to do this is with cover art.

So in addition to a new pen name (more on that in another blog) I really focused on a spectacular cover that said “sexy and urban fantasy” but was different both from what is out there right now and what I’ve had on my covers in the past. This meant a different layout (centered), different font (serif), and a clean smooth background.

The first thing I had to do was find a gorgeous model to portray my hot mage, Max. So what did I do first? Went to Evan of course!

Evan is a killer photographer, his images are sensual, powerful, and interesting. And, let’s be honest, hot. I found out about him via the Airship Ambassador years ago. Steampunk is such a small world, we tend to all meet each other one way or another. I’ve used his photos before (Marine Biology & Curious Case) but he also has a boudoir line, so I went to check those out for Sumage Solution.

Marine Biology 

And who did I see first thing for a recent shoot on Evan’s website? Quinn Knox. And Quinn looked so close to my vision for Max it was almost uncanny. It’s like Evan read my mind! Or read my book.

As always, Evan was grace personified to work with and soon I had Quinn in hand, so to speak. Then it was merely a matter of some chatting with Starla, my cover art designer. She fooled around with silhouettes and fractured mirrors and color options. I dithered over fonts and arrangements and finally everything gelled into a truly spectacular result.

I can’t tell you how happy I am with this cover.

If you want to see the Pinterest inspiration board that I made for Starla to use as inspiration for this cover, you can check it out now as I have made it a public board.

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is Radiance by Grace Draven.}

Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

The Groundbreaking Silhouette Animations of Lotte Reiniger

The Groundbreaking Silhouette Animations of Lotte Reiniger: Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and More

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A Taste of the Past Podcast discusses Tea Time. (Yes the ceramic stuff is still wrong, but interesting buy in to the propaganda of the Victorian era ceramic production companies.)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

~ Toni Morrison

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life.”

~ Helen Exley

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Behind the Magic ~ The Range of Cover Art – Gail Carriger’s Changeless

Posted by Gail Carriger

Good morning, Gentle Reader.

Today I thought it might be fun for you to see the range of cover art that my book Changeless got over the course of its publication. Changeless originally released on this date 7 years ago.

Here’s a picture of Changeless (original mass market) in my office with a thistle teacup, because it takes place in Scotland.

The Cover of Changeless

Here we go…

First off, on the left is the original mass market paperback as produced April 4, 2010. Next to it I have the Polish version so you can see how a foreign publisher might tweak the cover for their market.

Here on left is the Japanese translation version, this is the smallest of my books. It’s about the size of a 3X5 card. Next to it is the manga adaptation of Changeless, called Soulless Vol. 2.

Here are the two German versions. The first was a limited run collectable hardcover, the second is the original paperback translation.

Aside from Germany (and the pocket edition in France, which re-uses the German cover art) and Japan, every other foreign publisher chose to do a take on the original cover image for their translations. This is pretty unusual and rather flattering.

The first three Parasol Protectorate audiobooks were produced by Recorded Books (not Hachette Audio) so they got different covers too.

There it is. What do you think of the different covers? Anything surprise you? Any one you really love?

Praise for Changeless

  • Talk Supe says: “Carriger’s wit is incomparable, the books have a sheen of silliness to it, but the characters deliver their crazy lines in straight faces (I’d imagine) and in such a matter-of-fact way, I have to double back several times just to make sure they’re serious. I mean Ivy’s hats and outfits alone turns haute couture on its head!”
  • Bookish Things and More says: “I think this one may be one of my favorite in the series.”
  • Keep Calm with Coffee & Books says: “It continues to impress me how integrated the supernatural and Victorian customs are. I continue to enjoy that aspect of the story. The writing is fabulous and some of the lines had me in stitches.”
  • The Infinite Curio says: “Gail Carriger has a talent for creating intriguing lore and weaving it into the plot.”
  • Ramblings on Readings says: “Gail Carriger writes some of the wittiest dialogue, and she has very clever ideas about the supernatural. I will never tire of her writing, and I so look forward to reading the rest of the series.”
  • My Thoughts…Literally says: “I love the way this series effortlessly combines steampunk and supernatural elements into a historical setting and that’s exactly how I felt here. In particular, the steampunk elements were turned way up. There was much more talk about technology and inventions here (hello, Vieve was there) which was really cool.”

Elizabeth Tyree has a book chat:

“Gail Carriger’s writing style is just amazing. I love the sass and the way sentences are put together. It’s a great deal of fun.”

{Gail’s monthly read along for April is Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman.}

Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Allen & Ginter (American, Richmond, Virginia)
Stack Arms, from the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888
American

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Office Book Nook Shelf

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

UK’s First Sci-fi and Fantasy Centre Opens in Cambridge

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

 

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Cover Art & Its Purpose in Life (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Hello, Gentle Reader!

I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about cover art recently.

It came up unexpectedly (for me) on a podcast interview over on SF & F Marketing. I’ve also been embroiled in the back-and-forth of creating the cover for The Sumage Solution by G.L. Carriger (why did I choose a new pen name?) and re-doing Marine Biology to match.

So Cover Art…

My new saying? The pretty is the enemy of the correct.

Covers are like a visual elevator pitch for a book, they don’t need to say exactly what’s in it so much as what’s it’s about. The point of the cover is not to find AN audience for that book but to find the RIGHT audience.

Here’s a good article on How To Brief A Cover Designer.

I think a lot of indie authors forget this, and get embroiled in trying to make it look too much like what’s inside and not enough like packaging that represents the book’s theme. That last statement may have made some of you angry, because it smacks of manipulation. But stick with me, okay?

Goodreads put up a ton of books on sale recently and I went to check them out. Three interesting things happened.

  1. I wasn’t interested in a single one of them. (I’d either read it already, or it’s not to my current reading taste.)
  2. The range of art as meets genre was fascinating, and many of the covers did catch my eye.
  3. I really wanted to blog about it.

Let’s play a little game?

Here are 10 covers that stood out for me:

So without knowing anything else but having those small images. And without reading anything about the books, I’m gonna tell you what I thought when I saw its thumbnail, let’s see if you agree with me?

 Whisper
What I like: Clear indication of romance given the swirly font and large female author name. Horses indicate old west or plantation setting. Red and cream is a tasteful color match.
Issues: Can’t read whole title, cover is generic.
What do I think this book is about? Heterosexual romance in a historical setting. Demure pose and the fact that she is alone in the picture with a horse in the background suggests sweet romance (little sex).
Was I right given the blurb? Yes

 Smoke & Bone
What I like: The color pallet, the starkness of the lighting, the slash nature of the mask and the title.
Issues: Didn’t realize the title was Daughter of Smoke & Bone until I really squinted, can’t read author name at all. Not sure how I feel about three different fonts on the same cover.
What do I think the book is about? I’m going with suspense of some kind, in the Gone Girl oeuvre maybe? Because of the mask, perhaps it’s either historical or set in a theater, makes me think Phantom of the Opera.
Was I right given the blurb? Sort of. Suspense but also urban fantasy?

 The Curse Keepers
What I like:
KILLER title! The shadow box to make the title pop while still over the figures is a neat trick, centered text.
Issues: Author name is not legible, bit generic, weird tattoo stuff on left necessary?
What do I think this book is about? Without a doubt this is in the Cassandra Clare, Beautiful Creatures, etc. YA angst show knock off. This one will be witches and warlocks and stuff like that, no vampires (because of the sunlight and lack of blood red color).
Was I right given the blurb? Yes.

 A Taste of Magic
What I like: Very easy to read title and author name, bold color choices.
Issues: Not a lot, actually, while this might not be my kind of book, I think it reads as a near perfect cover for the kind of book it is. Let’s see if I’m right.
What do I think this book is about? Romance, chick lit version of Practical Magic. Contemporary set urban fantasy but with a very light touch and gentle upbeat text, probably involves food. Beach read.
Was I right given the blurb? Yes.

 Skewed
What I like: Fantastically striking cover, retro feel, very basic but impactful, color choices. Title and author are clear and easy to read.
Issues: Absolutely no idea what it is about. Could be anything from a quirky adult version of Awkward (that MTV show) or a non-fiction tell all about the music/photo/modeling industry.
What do I think this book is about? Really, no clue. If I HAD to guess I’m going with quirky mock-tell-all of a photojournalist’s crazy hi-jinx. Possibly set in the 1960s.
Was I right given the blurb? Turns out it is about photography, but also celebrity, and crime in a modern setting.

 The Last Girl
What I like: As with the romance one above, I think I know exactly what I am in for with this book. Title and author name are clearly visible.
Issues: I really strain to see the figure, I wish it were just big enough for me to make out something about her clothes as that would give me a bit more to go on for setting.
What do I think this book is about? Gone Girl type thing again, maybe post apocalyptic, but could also be country western setting.
Was I right given the blurb? Not really. Turns out to be an epidemic crisis book. Looks like that movie Children of Men.

 Under Different Stars
What I like: Striking image for the main photo, stark and atmospheric feel. This gives a slightly uncomfortable and weird feeling.
Issues: The title and author name are kinda hard to make out.
What do I think this book is about? Lit fic, just because of the contrast between the watery image but “Stars” in the title. I’m very wary because it could be a “Cancer Mom” type story. Read: depressing as hell.
Was I right given the blurb? Not at all. Turns out to be a sci fi YA romance. So I would call this one of the cases where the cover is striking, but doing the book no favors.

 Dragon Bound
What I like: Again this is one of those that tells me exactly what I’m in for. I like a cover that uses blues and pinks for contrast, and I tend to gravitate towards centered lettering.
Issues: No idea what she is holding, hard to make out author name. Quite generic.
What do I think this book is about? Straight up no frills female main character urban fantasy. Probably heterosexual and featuring dragons as the hook. Modern setting.
Was I right given the blurb? Not really. It’s fantasy not UF, and historical-ish. (I did wonder since she’s in a dress and not leather pants, but the white t-shirt underneath threw me off).

 Heirs of Empire
What I like: Strong female central figure, power pose, can read both title and author name. Interesting choice on both serif and sans serif fonts.
Issues: Generic title, cover comes off as old fashioned. Makes me think author and text may be old guard and out of touch. Male author with female protagonist is a red flag for me, personally.
What do I think this book is about? At first I thought epic fantasy because of her armor and the title and serif font, but then I noticed the spaceship in the background and the author name is sans serif, so I’m going with space opera.
Was I right given the blurb? You know what, I still don’t know if this is fantasy or space opera. I think maybe something like Dune? But the blurb doesn’t make this clear.

 Imitation
What I like: This cover is everything. I really adore it. I think it is stunning and beautiful and stark and so much more.
Issues: None. I like it a lot.
What do I think this book is about? Future, possibly far future, something to do with genetic manipulation or cloning. It reminds me of Orphan Black. This is the only one on this list I’m tempted to investigate further, read the blurb and possibly pick up.
Was I right given the blurb? Yes. Only thing I missed was that this is YA. Which actually turns me off (I love YA but struggle with YA scifi like Cinder). Blurb reminds me of the movie Never Let Me Go.

Added later for the sake of interest:

The Lightning Struck Heart
What I like: I like the color choices and the central image, the legibility of title and author name despite font choices.
Issues: I find the horizontal gradation on the background distracting, it makes me think this is a small image that has been manipulated larger but wasn’t high rez enough; Looks like an old TV.
What do I think this book is about? Future, urban fantasy or superhero, or maybe something epidemic or zombie like The Strain. Definitely dark.
Was I right given the blurb? Not even slightly. I chose to add this book specifically because I resisted buying it for years, despite recommendations from practically everyone because of the cover. I don’t like super dark stuff. This is the opposite of dark. Turns out this book is a super funny comedy about a gay wizard and his BBF the swishy hornless and horny unicorn, Gary. It’s so flipping funny I cried laughing. Does this cover indicate this key selling point? No. Does this cover indicate fantasy? No. I’m calling this one of the worst covers in a long time. I like it, just NOT FOR THIS BOOK.

 

More on Cover Art?

A Quick Look at the Fine Art of Book Spine Design

{Gail’s monthly read along for March 2017 is Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.}

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1887 Albert Aublet (French artist, 1851-1938) Sur La Plage, Le Treport

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My office sitting area

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A Historical Look at Why Science Fiction Always Gets Screwed at the Oscars

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Writers Should Read

Book News:

Pinterest inspiration board for Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series. Characters Spoo & Virgil. Spoo is head deckling, Virgil is a valet and sometime helmsman.

Quote of the Day:

“A bookstore is a good place to go to be brave.”

~ Kate DiCamillo

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


Romancing the Inventor Cover Reveal!

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I’m delighted to show you the cover art and blurb for Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella!

Romancing the Inventor

This cover was designed by the indomitable Starla Huchton, the photo was taken by Pixie Vision Photography, and is used with permission from Donna Ricci. Recognize that name? Yeah, that’s because Donna was the cover model for the Parasol Protectorate series! I love working with Donna and hope to do so for future covers. She is now the proprietress of Geeky Teas. (No that isn’t her in the photo, she rarely models anymore.)

About the Book

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

Imogene Hale is a lowly parlourmaid with a soul-crushing secret. Seeking solace, she takes work at a local hive, only to fall desperately in love with the amazing lady inventor the vampires are keeping in the potting shed. Genevieve Lefoux is heartsick, lonely, and French. With culture, class, and the lady herself set against the match, can Imogene and her duster overcome all odds and win Genevieve’s heart, or will the vampires suck both of them dry?

Delicate Sensibilities? This story contains women pleasing women and ladies who know what they want and pursue it, sometimes in exquisite detail.

This is a stand-alone LBGTQ sweet romance set in Gail Carriger’s Parasolverse, full of class prejudice, elusive equations, and paranormal creatures taking tea. Supernatural Society novellas can be read in any order.

Releases November 1, 2016.

Presskit for Romancing the Inventor here.

Currently it is available for ebook pre-order on…

Amazon

Apple iBooks

Kobo

Nook

Or directly from me as .mobi, .epub, and .pdf.

(Nook’s description will update in, oh, like three weeks or something ridiculous like that.)

Print?

It should also be in print around the same time as the ebook (although I make no promises) from Amazon and Ingram (AKA your local bookstore, just ask the bookstore)!

Providing print for pre-order on Amazon’s Createspace is outstandingly complicated (read the comments too, it’s INSANE). From my perspective? There is too much that can go wrong. So I’m going to have to simply post RTI for sale around the same time as the actual publication date. It may take a while to distribute through the system and to Amazon UK (for example). Also physically printing and shipping delays matters. Look I’m sorry, but they don’t make it easy for us self-publishing authors to time things perfectly. In this instance digital is so much more of a pleasure to work with that digital readers may reap the benefit of a prompt release. I swear I’m not trying to punish anyone from their reading preferences, it’s a matter of backend propinquity. (And if Backend Propinquity isn’t the name of a band, it should be.)

What exactly does this mean if I want a print copy of Romancing the Inventor?

  1. You will not be able to pre-order print from Amazon.
  2. The print will appear for sale on Amazon as close to Nov. 1 as I can manage. Could be 48 hours after, could be 2 weeks.
  3. The two versions of the book may not be immediately appear together on the Amazon book page.
  4. Oddly, you may be able to preorder print from Barnes & Noble and your local Indie bookstore.
  5. Shipping may add an additional 2 weeks regardless of venue.
  6. If at all possible I will offer signed editions, likely via Borderlands. You’ll need to call to place your order, don’t do it now. I’ll make the announcment when it becomes possible.

Audio

It’s so expensive and time consuming. I’m still trying to do audio of Poison or Protect. The decision to do Romancing the Inventor one will ride entirely on the success and bother of that one. Audio is not something I am willing or able to do myself and so I have to find someone who can produce to my very exacting standards both in sound quality, voice acting, and working relationship. I’m not gonna line, it’s proving darn near impossible.

Extra tid bit?

Look for a surprise appearance from some very popular characters and the strategic application of cognac.

I loved writing this story. It was a delight to give Genevieve her happy ending at long last. My poor Madame Lefoux, I put her through so much heartbreak. Imogene is strong and courageous a willing to do anything for her beloved inventor, which is exactly what Genevieve always needed. I hope you enjoy reading their adorable love story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 

{Gail’s monthly read along for September is Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Outline.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novella? Novel? Who knows.
    Status: Rough draft.
    Something new and different for Gail, contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

NEXT UP

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Ascot, 1926 via thecostumeblog.blogspot.com

Ascot, 1926 via thecostumeblog.blogspot.com

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Mystery of the Phantom Page Turner

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

It’s Official – Ebooks Really are Books

Book News:

Fan Art of Madame Lefoux

Fan Art of Madame Lefoux

Quote of the Day:

“In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”
~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!


My Sister’s Song New Cover!

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

My dear Gentle Readers, I am delighted to announce that my very first professional sale, the short story, My Sister’s Song, finally has it’s new cover art!

MySistersSong_ebook

Designed by the amazing Starla Hutchton. This one is done with all stock art, pretty nifty.

This is the first story that I ever sold to a professional market (Sword & Sorceress). In addition to the new cover it has updated formatting inside, but otherwise the story is unchanged for those who have already purchased it.

The warrior Mithra must repel a Roman legion alone and armed only with one very tasty weapon.

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger presents a short story about a woman warrior set in ancient times. To protect her lands and her tribe, Mithra comes up with a sticky solution to an impossible problem.

BUY IT FOR $0.99

Directly from me here in .mobi ,epub or .pdf

On Amazon for Kindle

On Barnes & Noble for Nook

On Apple for iBooks

Or on Kobo for…uh… Kobo

 

IMG_2564

This story is most closely based on my Archaeological past. It’s also a bit funny but you can totally see how my writing as matured and changed.

{Gail’s monthly read along for September is Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Working proof. Releases Nov. 1 2016.
    LBGT romance featuring a parlormaid bent on seducing a certain cross-dressing inventor who is too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?
  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Outline.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novella? Novel? Who knows.
    Status: Rough draft.
    Something new and different for Gail, contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

SPECIAL RE-RELEASE

MySistersSong_ebook

My Sister’s Song

The warrior Mithra must repel a Roman legion alone and armed only with one very tasty weapon.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine Wednesday, July 1, 1863 v. 43, plate 57

Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine Wednesday, July 1, 1863 v. 43, plate 57

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The 1880’s in Fashionable Gowns: A Visual Guide to the Decade

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Airplane Passengers as Explained by their Pants

Book News:

Book Bin Display

Book Bin Display

Quote of the Day:

WorldConTypo

Hilarious typo in WorldCon programming.

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!

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