Another 5 Minute Tip -Importance of a great cover.

Here is an five minute tip from Colorado Independent Publishers Association Marketing Chair, Cassy. If you believe you have written a great story, had it edited, and now you want to hurry to get a cover on it so you can publish it next week, I suggest you take a breath and not hurry this decision. Some authors believe that the cover is the least important ingredient to publishing a great book. Yes, it is easy to scroll across the internet and find an image or two that might fit your book and it will only cost you between nothing and up to $100. And then you can slap it on your lovely text and call it good. Well, maybe not.

I have actually seen the exact same cover on two different books – in different genres! It was so generic that the only reason I remembered it was that it was in different genres (one in the Science Fiction shelves and the other on the Romance shelf – I’m not kidding)  I actually grabbed a copy from the sci/fi and compared it to the romance. That’s when I knew it was a cut and paste. I should have written down the authors so I would be sure to NOT read them. If they cared so little about their books presentation I wondered if they had cared about all the rest. I did read the back cover blurb and was not impressed with either one so I was doubly doubtful and will not waste my money or time – just like they wasted theirs.

If you respect yourself and what you write enough to get an editor to help you bring it up to the best possible story, you should do the same with its visual presentation. Of course, you can beat the odds and land a great cover from Fiver and you can also spend thousands and end up with a crappy cover. I’m asking you to respect yourself and your talents enough to do your books the best way possible. Your book’s appearance gets less than ten seconds to grab the attention of a possible reader – make the best of it. Give them an image from the interior text that will have them opening it up and diving in.

Here’s the link:

Take five minutes and consider the wide range of options you have available – particularly if you are self publishing. Respect your characters and their story enough to intrigue possible readers with an iconic cover. The same goes for any interior illustrations you might want.



NOW!! The Blood is here.


Yes, the e-book is available as of May 7, 2014 – very early in the morning. Here is the direct link:

I would love to hear what you think about The Blood. Ask me questions here at Timberdark Writer. Write reviews on and Goodreads. If you enjoy the story let your friends know how to get the book. The print version with its magnificent cover will be available soon.

This is an unbelievable moment. Well, perhaps not really unbelievable as I have always known The Blood would be published. Until late in 2011 I thought it might get the traditional treatment with one of the medium to large publishers. Then in February of 2012 I was encouraged to join the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. This group has been fabulous. I have learned more than I thought possible about the publishing industry. Instead of someone else deciding what the cover was to look like I was able to connect with an artist who made my imagination visible. He was my personal choice. I can with him about how important covers are, to those who are buying a book, to the author and to the story between the front and back cover. Nathan Fisher ( understands the impact of the cover. Several weeks of visual research focused on certain aspects of his proposed design finalized subtle elements such as seeing two of the characters from behind, designing a specialized font for the title, using the crossed blades to divide the cover into quadrants at the same time pulling the front, spine and back pieces together. If the cover is not appealing then few readers will get beyond glancing at it and shoving it back onto the shelf. By using the crash scene he chose the pivotal moment when the lives of the characters are truly changed. After reading the original manuscript Nathan had several ideas on possible covers and, though the others were good, he kept coming back to the crash. He felt it was the beginning of an epic story. There is an air of mystery about this scene. You want to find out who the girl and dog are, what are they thinking as they observe the crash site, how will this impact their lives, why did the ship crash and did anyone survive. I won’t answer those questions here – you will have to read the book.

If you are considering publishing independently you must be willing to spend time and more than a few dollars. You should have enough respect for what you have written to hire editors/writing coaches to help you hone your words as well as cover artists, proofreaders and beta readers who understand your chosen genre. I once spent hundred of dollars on an editor who told me that rocks can’t talk and I should cut that part out – turns out she had never read a science fiction or fantasy book and had no interest in either of those genres. So don’t necessarily choose the first one available. Again, respect yourself and your work. Take the time to find the right team. Don’t be in a hurry – it took you a while to write it and it will take you a while to publish it. Listen and learn from fellow writers, small independent publishers, photographers, graphic artists, editors and writing coaches. Surround yourself with experts who can do things you are not comfortable doing – they will help you create the best possible product.

Again, I invite you to read The Blood. Join me on this adventure. Leave me comments. Do you have questions?