How to Sell Your Book by Way of a Great Cover, or Cover Lovin’ by David Blalock

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Once more I’ve decided to welcome another author over to the Belle to do my dirty work.  Today, author and cover art critic David Blalock has come over to talk about his Angelkiller Triad and how a really great cover artist can give your book the boost it needs to excel.  Because, as we all know, your book might be the best thing ever, but no one will know if they don’t pick it up.  And if you’re like me, you often choose a book initially because it has an interesting cover.  Seventh Star Press is well known throughout the industry for having the very best in cover and interior artwork and David’s trilogy is a perfect example.  But I’ll let him tell you…

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What can I say about Matt Perry’s artwork that can do it justice? His covers have drawn some significant attention to the series, attention it probably would not otherwise have had. As an artist, Matt has the ability to take an idea and imbue his own personal interpretation into the image without losing the original theme. It is a tricky balancing act, one he has mastered admirably.

 

Click me to buy!
Click me to buy!

 

The cover of Angelkiller is a striking image, unlike anything I’ve seen. His use of atmospheric imagery on that cover gave it that disturbing, unreal feeling that conveys the essence of the Great Conflict. The books are about a war between entities more than human and that cover shows just enough humanity to connect with the reader while retaining that otherworldly quality. The interior images in Angelkiller faithfully reproduce the scenes from the text in an exciting and provocative manner. They more closely connect the reader to the text, inserting more humanity into the art while retaining just enough emotional impact.

 

 

CLICK ME to buy!
CLICK ME to buy!

 

For Traitor Angel, Matt reached into the idea of virtual reality crossing over into mundane reality by presenting the combat between good and evil, represented by the knight and the dragon, against a background of circuitry. As a lot of the book contained just this combat, it was again faithful to the ideas embodied in the text while making a broader statement about the story arc in general. The interior art continues this theme, reaching toward the humanity without letting us forget how different the virtual reality conflict can be.

 

 

CLICK ME to buy!
CLICK ME to buy!

 

Finally, in Doom Angel’s cover, Matt states the Great Conflict in an iconic image that sums up the series marvelously. The feedback about this art has been unanimously positive. Again, he took the road of impression instead of strict interpretation, resulting in a stunningly beautiful, yet slightly troubling, image. The Great Conflict could not have been better presented in a single piece of art. The interior artwork only reinforces and strengthens the conviction that what is happening has a deeper meaning than simply a war between human factions.

 

 

Having Matt Perry as my artist for the series was a struck of incredible luck. I am very fortunate to have such a talented and perceptive individual on my team. And Seventh Star Press has a gem of an artist in their employ.

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Now you all know that while I’m a romantic at heart, I really love a dark urban fantasy.  I’ve just started reading Angelkiller but I’m already in love.  Read this description.  I dare you not to be desperate to read it…

Why do bad things happen to good people? Simple. In the ancient war between the Angels of Light and Darkness, the Dark won. Now it is the job of an undercover force simply known as The Army to rectify that.

Using every tool available, The Army has worked to liberate our world from The Enemy for thousands of years, slowly and painfully lifting Mankind out of the dark. On the front of the great Conflict are the Angelkillers, veterans of the
fight with centuries of experience.

Jonah Mason is an Angelkiller, and his cell is targeted as part of plot to unseat a very powerful Minion of The Enemy. Mason and his troop are drawn into a battle that stretches from real-time to virtual reality and back. The Conflict is about to expand into cyberspace, and if Mason is unable to stop it, The Enemy will have gained dominion over yet another realm.

Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?  Okay, kids.  That’s it for me today.  I’ve got a dragon by the fireplace waiting.  He seems pretty tame but he keeps shouting, “Bored!” and breathing fire. If I don’t act quickly, my house may burn down.  See ya, kids!

The Literary Underworld Blog Tour Presents: Jackie Gamber

I am pleased to be a blog stop on the Literary Underworld Blog Tour!  I have been doing conventions with these folks for a couple of years now and every time I meet one of their ranks, I’m impressed by the level of talent and creativity each one of them posesses.  I am honored to be able to host the fantastic Jackie Gamber today as she blogs about what exactly the Underworld is and of course… dragons.

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Hello from Memphis, and thank you so much to Lexxx for hosting me for the Literary Underworld blog tour! I love how Lexxx describes her family as The Munsters; that is one of my most beloved shows to this day, and Netflix has brought the opportunity to carry on the dark love of the show to my own kids. Technology is grand.

 

What is the Literary Underworld, you ask? Its a bookstore outside the box, allowing readers to purchase directly from authors. Cutting out the middle men helps authors make more per book than they would otherwise. And more than that, its a way for authors to join together and support each other by sharing the load, spreading the word, and making it happen! Its the reason I‘ve based my series of posts for the tour on the Beatles song. 

 

I came to be a part of the Literary Underworld the way most people discover new things: through friends. Specifically, friends I made through MidSouthCon, a yearly convention in Memphis. There‘s nothing like sharing a crowded, noisy vendors room with fellow writers and genre entrepreneurs for great bonding.

 

As an author, my first love has always been science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the blends of those that make such interesting subgenres. I‘ve published stories as short as flash fiction, as novellas, and novel-length. My current work-in-progress is Book III of the Leland Dragon Series, a fantasy novel for Seventh Star Press, as well as a steampunk fantasy upcoming for New Babel Books. I‘m also a freelance editor. Releasing soon is the Scary Psyches issue I edited for Shroud Magazine.

 

But I think some of my favorite work has come from my awareness and outreach, related to my research and writing about dragons. In my work with FODERP (Friends of Dragon Equality and Rights Protection) I‘ve had wonderful opportunities to meet dragons across the globe, and to learn, and in turn, teach about these magnificent creatures. To CTRL stereotypes, to ALT knowledge, and to DEL specism. I‘ve spoken at conferences, conventions, and meetings for friends of dragons, as well as represented dragons for those who have never had the pleasure of meeting one. Its been an honor to be an ambassador for these magnificent, and so often misunderstood, creatures.

I‘d like to share with you today an excerpt from my presentation Dragonspotters’ Survival Guide, which includes handy tips on what to do when the unimaginable happens: stumbling into the path of a dragon in its natural habitat.

Even the most seasoned wanderer has occasionally come upon a napping, or otherwise preoccupied, dragon. Here‘s what to do if this happens to you.

  1. 1.      Don‘t panic. Remember the dragon is as startled as you are.
  2. 2.      Eye contact is important.  Dragons often judge the character of a person by the length he or she is able to maintain a gaze. The longer your gaze, the less of a threat you will appear to be.
  3. 3.      Empty all food items from your pockets and toss them toward the dragon‘s feet. The last thing you want at this point is for a stray candy bar to smack a timid dragon in the snout and undo the progress you‘ve thus far made.
  4. 4.      Finally, if after these steps the dragon has come to accept your presence, an introduction is in order. Courtesy and manners are always in fashion, and the dragon will respect you for them.

Sure-fire tips for turning a dragon stranger into a buddy!

Be sure to stop by the Literary Underworld today at http://www.literaryunderworld.com/ and check it out! And use this special discount code to get 15% off of your shopping for yourself and your friends:

LUBLOGTOUR

Because we all get by with a little help from our friends. Even friends with dragon breath.

Jackie Gamber is the award-winning author of Redheart and ela, Books One and Two of the Leland Dragon Series, now available! For more information about Jackie and her mosaic mind, visit http://www.jackiegamber.com

 

And meet Jackie elsewhere on the world wide web at:

http://www.amazon.com/author/JackieGamber

http://www.twitter.com/JackieGamber

http://www.facebook.com/jackiegamber

http://www.lelanddragons.com

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Thank you so much, Jackie, for joining us on The Southern Belle from Hell.  Be sure to check out Books I and II of the Leland Dragon Series by Jackie Gamber, as well as hopping over to the next stop on the blog tour!

http://www.literaryunderworld.com/