Monday, November 07, 2005

ARC Winners & Book Covers

Happy Monday, all. First, thanks much for the ideas over the weekend. Know that I take note of all of them and appreciate your creativity.

We have rather an eclectic post today. First . . . drum roll, please. Winners of the Web of Lies ARCs are: Amber Raley, Anna Bowling, Becky Miller, Beth Bowen, Cindy Quiroga, Jill Nutter, Judith Long, Laurie Motz, Lillie Neal, Lori Archer, Lyneette Eason, Nancy Farrier, Pamela James, Sharon Encinas, Sonya Aydell, Stacey Dale, Tina Helmuth, and Tracy Bolton Jones.

I recognize a few BGs in there. That’s great! And—I have about 12 ARCs left. (Zondervan sent extra copies.) So I’m going to run the contest again, for a week or so. If you’d like to enter, click here to go to the previous post that will tell you what to do. I will also be opening up the contest to ACFW this time, but don’t let that deter you. Less people (even from a large group) enter these contests than you’d think.

Second—Lynette wanted to know if we could discuss a question about agents. Sure, Lynette, go ahead and post it. I think we’ve discussed agents before. If your question covers new ground, I’ll post an answer. Otherwise, I’ll just give you the link to the right archive date.

Third-wanna see the Violet Dawn cover? I think it’s absolutely stunning. Click here for a hidden link on my Web site to view it. I’d like your feedback on it. And I’d like to generate some discussion about covers in general.

Thoughts behind this concept: After the Hidden Faces series, the marketing folks at Zondervan thought that maybe the covers had been a little too scary and had actually frightened some people off. (Can you imagine that. Those wimps!) Actually, some of you may be among that group. At any rate, we thought for the Kanner Lake series we’d tone down the covers to show the idea of beauty (natural loveliness of Kanner Lake area) infused with a touch of evil. This goes along, too, with my titles, which aren’t so hard-hitting as in the Hidden Faces series. After Violet Dawn will come Coral Moon, then, I don’t know, Some Color Something. (Ideas always welcome.) Note in the Violet Dawn cover these interesting things: (1) how the branches weave through my name, (2) the disturbed circle of water underneath the snake, (3) the vague lights of the town awakening across the water, (4) the way cool posturing of the snake around the title letters. (And yes, the snake is there for a very specific reason.)

My daughter saw this cover and wasn’t so impressed. “Not scary enough,” she said. So I told her we were trying to tone it down on purpose. This is a cover that would make me pick up the book, even if I didn’t recognize the author’s name. What do y’all think? And along the same lines, what are some great covers you’ve seen lately? Why do you like them?

20 comments:

Tracy Ruckman said...

I love the cover! The branches through your name was the first thing I noticed and thought HOW COOL, and wondered how they did it. Then I noticed the snake and got the creepies.

Color is the first thing I notice on a cover - if a book doesn't have enough color, or is bland, I don't always pick it up.

Can't wait to read it!

Hope said...

I like the cover. It looks a little creepy. :D

Anonymous said...

i agree with tracy, i think it needs a bit more color. still, freakin' sweet.
Ley

Tina said...

I looked at the cover before I read the rest of the blog where you talk about it. My first reaction was, How pretty. Then I saw the snake. Aha! It's still got that Brandilyn Collins chill.

I really like the cover. I'd pick it up for sure if I saw it in a bookstore.

Gina Holmes said...

I like the cover. I'd pick it up even without your name on it. Absolutely. I love the way the branches go through your name too and the snake. Nice touch. I think they did a great job.

Domino said...

I love your cover. It's not too scary, just enough creepiness, and beautiful - all at the same time. Beautifully creepy.

I'd pick it up.

Other titles: Red Midnight? I like White Fear because it makes me think of white knuckles or whites of eyes surrounding tiny pinhole pupils.

Karen Wevick said...

Love the cover. I actually think it's more ominous than some of the other covers. When people tell me that your books are too scary, it's not the covers that they're thinking about, it's your reputation. Of course I'm not a cover psychologist...

Cara Putman said...

I like the cover alot,though the snake throws me. I'm sure there will be snakes in the book somewhere, but the cover is slightly eerie without the snake. I don't know why, but the snake is jarring -- which is probably exactly the effect you were looking for. Definitely a picker upper on the shelf.

Covers do play a role in whether I pick a book up from the shelf. Generally, I pick books based on author (do I know them or have i heard good things about their books?), title (is it catchy, intriguing, etc.), and then cover design. Occassionaly, I'll pick up a book solely because of the cover picture, but not often.

I can't think of the last book from a new author I picked up that was based on cover alone. Maybe Death Watch, by Jack Cavanaugh, but what got me to buy the book was the idea of the story. Just a couple thoughts :-)

Stuart said...

OH that's a water ripple....

My first thought was, "what's up with that angelic will'o'wisp....

Titles....hmmm

Emerald Night, Silver Sky, Cobalt Star, Mauve Star, Puce Water (ok now i'm just getting silly)

I'm sure it will be stunning :)

Becky said...

Impressive cover. First thing I noticed was the branches entwining with your name. That made is seem ... unique and a little creepy at the same time. The snake had me taking a closer look to be sure it WAS a snake (couldn't spot the head right off). Colors are great--dramatic, appropriate with title.

Two things I wasn't crazy about: different font for your name and the title. Is that supposed to set one off from the other? I don't care for it.

Which leads to the second thing. The size of title sort of overwhelms the picture, I think. Your name appears in pretty big print. I thought the title would be smaller in contrast rather than bigger.

Becky

C.J. Darlington said...

I agree with Becky. My first thought was, "Why is the title and author name so large?" It kinda detracted from the illustration of the cover, I thought. But either way, I'd read the book!

Some covers I've liked:

Dark to Mortal Eyes by Eric Wilson (it's what first drew me to this book)

Plague Maker by Tim Downs (soon to be released)

Deep Blue by Tom Morrisey (You have to see this one in person for the full effect. The bubbles are upraised. Very cool.)

Ron Estrada said...

The cover's cool. I love the town in the backdrop. Since you went from Dawn to the Moon, which implies night, shouldn't the third be at sunset? Crimson Gloaming? Nobody knows what the glaoming is anymore, though. I need my Home Depot color wheel. This is too much for me.

Anonymous said...

Make that name large -- you've earned it, Brandilyn!! : ) The cover's exactly like you: very nicely creepy, colorful, and cool.

Oh, and speaking of covers being too creepy, have ya checked out the front of Melanie Wells's new book (When the Day of Evil Comes)? Yikes!! Haven't read it yet -- I'm definitely too chicken -- almost too chicken to even pick the book up! And I even have a signed copy on my shelf!

I'll stick with my boring "relational drama" genre. : )

later!
donna fleisher

Lynette Sowell said...

I think it looks great. I like the way they intertwined graphics with the fonts. Plus the stark whiteness of the title with its sharp angles standing out against the fogginess of the scenery. Very cool.

How about CRIMSON MIDNIGHT? :)
ALIZARIN SUNSET? :) or... BURNISHED SUNSET?
(Okay, the last adjective I got from the Behr pain web site)
~~Lynette

C.J. Darlington said...

I hope my post didn't sound too critical. The snake was what caught my eye first, and I knew it was implying things to come in the story, which I'm looking forward to discovering.

C.J. Darlington said...

And as far as title suggestions ... Azure Sea. Crimson Lake. Amber Road. Silver Treeline.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I think the cover is way cool! I'd like to see the spine though, because unless your the feature of the month, that's all you see. I liked the covers from Hidden Faces because those eyes stare out at you from the spine....cool...My favorite cover of yours is Eyes of Elisha, cause I like the way that knife is hidden in the picture.

Oh, is that snake a boa constrictor?

ron estrada gave me the idea for a title, how about Crimson Sunset?

Lynette Eason said...

WOW! Cool cover! Gimme Gimme! I want it now! I'm all for instant gratification. Ah well, guess I'll just have to be content to wait like the rest. That's why I NEVER read first chapters online! I want the whole thing, the entire thing and nothing but the real thing...NOW.

Anyway, moving on...question about agents...one in particular. I got an email from one apologizing for taking so long to get back to me and that I probably already had representation, but if I didn't, was I still interested. I emailed her back saying I was still interested and she requested the manuscript, author bio and synopsis. I'm assuming this is good. So from this point, how long should it take to hear back...be it yay or nay? Just curious. Is there a specific timeline? Like, the longer it takes, the better? Or...not?

Title for your next Kanner series...Ebony Sunset?

I liked White Fear too.

Blessings,
Lynette

Jenny said...

I vote yea on the cover. Plenty creepy enough.
For other title ideas, what about Amber Sky or Amber Dusk. I thought Amber would be a good color for the mix.
As for other covers, I have to say my favorite cover that grabbed me from the first is Linda Windsor's Along Came Jones. I saw the cover from across the room and had to check it out. Randy Ingermanson's Retribution also is good. Something about the starkness of Ted Dekker's book covers draws, too. They fit for him.
Abundant blessings!

Katie Hart said...

Title idea: Crimson Dusk.