IWSG: Covered

12:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 35 Comments

Special thanks to our host Alex Cavanaugh! 

Alex's novel, CassaStorm, is up for a efestival of words award. Congratulations Alex! You can cast your vote HERE!!  

We are trying to get the IWSG on the Writers Digest Best 101 Websites list! Please email them at writersdigest@fwmedia.com, subject line 101 Websites, and suggest the IWSG - http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

Also, don't forget to stop by this month's guest hosts and say hi and thank you :)
 Kim Van Sickler

Insecure much?

Not me. My life is perfect, as is my house, my weight, and my sanity.

I have no worries. I'm living the dream.

I wake every day on a cloud and get transported to my always tidy work space where a pot of hot java is waiting to keep me quenched as I write epic tomes that will then be sold for thousands of dollars.

It's a good life.

One I won't complain about.

Because when I do admit that some days I feel like I'm so far behind that I will NEVER catch up, I get treated with sighs and eye rolls.

I play with imaginary people all day and cash checks later.

That's NOT work.

Not in reality.

That's why I should never leave here for long.

Remove yourself from the virtual world and you start to doubt everything. You start to wonder if you're still capable of tying your own shoes...if you could find the damn things.

Complain and you will get no sympathy from nine to fivers.

Come on...we sit on our bums for hours and hours a day. Our occupational hazard is what? Carpal tunnel? Waaaa!!!

Nope. If I want to whine, I've got to bring it to the blogosphere.

You guys are the sanity line. You will say, “Oh, we get it.” You'll pat me on the back and say there, there it will be all right. “Yes, you feel crazy, but crazy writers are better plotters.”

Then I will feel so much better.

It's an insecure writer's nightmare out there!

Stay connected and never stay in the real world very long.

Speaking of people in the virtual world who keep me up and going forward better than helium, Tara Tyler is all sorts of awesome, helpful, talented, and supportive. I'm lucky to call her a friend and wish her best of luck with her new book- Broken Branch Falls.

I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I think of Elizabeth – because I can say I actually know her in person. She's such a sweetie! And we moms of boys have a common bond in our ability to deal with disgustingness. Thanks for lending me some time on your blog and helping me spread the word about BROKEN BRANCH FALLS, Liz.

Liz and I showed off our new covers around the same time a couple months ago. This is her cover for BELLA'S POINT. Isn't it lovely!

During the A to Z challenge this year, I briefly touched on covers, but I think more should be said. They are the first thing a reader sees – and if they don't like the cover, they won't look at the back to read about what's inside. (Unfortunately, we usually do judge books by their covers!)

Covers set the tone for your book. The adorable flower of a girl on Elizabeth's cover reminds me of a fairer Scarlett O'Hara. Her almost-pout expression says to me, "I dare you to question me." But, she also teases and tempts just enough to keep her man wanting her.

At first, I thought mine might be too dark. But, it really grew on me. Those ogres are so realistic - mean and ugly! I think the cover enhances the fact that it's a fantasy adventure shadowed by dark feelings that need to be overcome.

Covers need to capture attention. That is hard with so many out there. Any of you get a daily offering of books, like from BookBub or the Fussy Librarian? It's like going to a bookstore and seeing what's new on the front shelves – if the cover catches my eye, I read the title and possibly the blurb. We all have so many books on our TBR lists, we can't add too many more, just the most promising!

Covers should be bold, yet simple. Many best sellers are only words or a single image. Too many details or colors can be confusing or distracting. And for goodness sake, make the title and author nice and big – and no crazy, hard to read fonts! (Unless it adds to the tone…)

Covers should look professional. If you can't tell your artist relative or friend what edits need to be made for fear of hurting their feelings, you better use a professional. And compare your cover to others in your genre. It should fit, yet stand out as unique (sounds easy, doesn't it!)

Here are just a few covers I recently added to my TBR list…

M.J. Fifield's EFFIGY – the cover just came out. So desperately beautiful!
Enchanting. Perfect for an epic fantasy with a bit of romance.

 – a time traveling western with intrigue and romance. Can you feel it?

William Massa's SILICON MAN – a gritty sci fi android rebellion, my kind of fun!
(One of my Fussy Librarian's recommendations.)

Consider your covers wisely and don't skimp on them - they're a foot in readers' doors!
Thanks again, Elizabeth! This post made me want to get reading these and yours!

Do you all have any favorites covers? And why? Any pet peeves about covers?
(And don't forget to enter the giveaway below!)

by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014
B&N ~~~ Amazon ~~~ Kobo
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. But Gabe wants to break out of his nerdy stereotype and try other things. He has his eye on the new ogress at school. Though it’s against all beastly rules, there’s just something about her.

Gabe starts a fad of mingling with other species, forcing the High Council to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. With help from other outcast friends, Gabe sets out on a quest to save his town. They'll show 'em what different friends can do together!

Add it to your GOODREADS list!

Tara Tyler has had a hand at everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!

Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series,
The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. OH COME ON!! You totally forgot to put the part where I massage your impeccable hairline and refill your candy jars on said tidy desk! Don't cheat me of my coolness!! Hugs to Tara! And MJ, Marcy, and William. And a big butt squeeze to....me! Okay...to you. It goes to you ;)

    1. How could I forget that?! You are most certainly all sorts of wonderful to me. I do love those scalp massages...Leigh wants the butt squeeze and me being the sharing type...

  2. So many books! And yes, crazy writers are definitely better plotters. I don't think I could come up with any of my ideas if I were sane...

    1. There has to be a little crazy...I mean normal people don't have that many voices chirping in their heads all the time, do they?

  3. Um... you're stealing my butt squeezes from Tammy! AH! Now I really can complain, right? :) JK! And I totally agree about covers. If I don't like it, I won't look much further. Some... that I meet in the blogosphere and hear great things about, at least draw me to the blurb. Looks like you've got some fab stuff on your TBR list! And congrats to Tara!

    1. I guess I can let you have the butt squeezes...

      Covers are very, very important.

    2. TRAITORS! kidding. I have two hands for a reason :D

  4. The crazy is part of what makes it. Which is totally the Tom Hanks line in a League of Their Own "It's the Hard that makes it Good."

    Also, There is no crying in baseball (but there's plenty in writing, at least, when I'm writing there's crying).

    1. There's no crying in baseball was a trivia question yesterday (had a game night while family visited) and I missed it :(

      It's the hard that makes it good. Such good movie wisdom. No part of this game is easy. If it was, everybody would be doing it.

  5. Great post! I don't do so well in the real world either.... :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

  6. Crap, what happens when the writer is also the nine-to-fiver?
    Those are all awesome covers, as is yours, Tara. And yes, great cover art makes all the difference in the world.

    1. LOL. Well now, you get to complain everywhere you go and make people start silly rumors about you cloning ninjas and suspect you may not be completely human.

      I still wonder...how does he do it!!!?

  7. I think my new insecurity is that there are too many good books coming out all the time and I'll never get to read them all. . .
    The real world is tough. They really don't get it. Which isn't their fault, of course, but it still makes it hard. Even my husband, who at least sees it first hand, doesn't always understand why I stress about the things I do. Thank goodness for the internet! :)

  8. So you can't whine to them so I have to listen to it? geez, thanks lol

    Yeah cover art sure can be a make or break for a book, and yeah a little whine never hurts anything. I'll whine about the 9 to 5 i still have to go to though, hate that place haha

  9. Carpal tunnel... waaaa! It also garners a lot of sympathy when you tell folks you need to read a couple of novels to help get you back in the zone. Just stay in the cave!!!

    I am going to respond to your question about aliases with my (limited) understanding that reading two numerology books brings. The science says letters are symbols for sound. Each sound has a set rate of vibration that can be measured. Each letter's numbered place in the alphabet IS its rate of vibration. In the very first alphabet it was discovered (much later by Mrs. Dow Balliet) that the letter name of a musical note and its sound have the same vibration. And that was the secret of the alphabet, which was originally only used for sacred writings. Everything was placed deliberately according to its rate of vibration.

    So, to answer your question about names. Since it is the sound of the letters and the vibration that they create, the name that you most often use (what your friends and family call you) is probably the name that resonates with you (and not your aliases). However, there is some "fixed" information in your name as it appears on your birth certificate. It's very interesting stuff!!!

  10. "I play with imaginary people all day..." Lol. Love it!

    It is so true that you do judge a book by its cover. I LOVE your cover for Bella's Point! So beautiful! And the rest are great covers as well!

  11. I think the authors that work in the real world too (aka. most) really have it rough. But us 'other' writers aren't viewed as doing anything substantial (at least, I haven't heard from any ppl yet that writing is a hard, down-to-earth, real job) I know I get guilt trips from spending 8-10 hours on a day writing- like I haven't really done anything worth while. That's one reason the writing-internet-sphere is so important to me.
    As to covers - gosh, yes! They are SOOOO important.
    And wow, you have a lot out there today. Congrats to all of you guys!

  12. You mentioned tying shoes? Bah! I have slip-ons. Who needs silly shoelaces?

    And the covers...I admit, I judge books by their covers first. Then I judge them by the content. :)

    See you in the virtual world!

  13. Elizabeth, rock on. Seriously. I say there's a point where you just have to shrug off the things you can't possibly catch up on and go forward from there.

    Those are all excellent examples of covers. LOVE them.

  14. I tend to not even bother with a book if I see a generic cover, one of the 4-5 most common cover trends. Like, wow, yet ANOTHER headless bare chest, almost-kiss, big poufy dress, mouth closeup, or headless girl! I wish we'd see more of the old illustrated covers instead of so much graphic design. A hand-made cover lets the reader use more imagination, instead of having exact photographic representations of characters or scenes.

  15. Love this post! And hey, losing our shoes and carpal tunnel are big problems. Thank goodness our imaginary people never abandon us in moments of need lol

    These are beautiful covers, and perfect examples! :D

  16. Covers are so important, but it doesn't help if a crappy book is inside and nobody recommends the read. Word of mouth is most important overall, IMHO. Elizabeth, try working in teaching & being a writer. No need to complain . . . I get summers off to write and after all, I KNEW I wasn't going to be rich going into education. True, but I didn't know I wouldn't get a raise for the past 7 years. I thought writing books could help with house payments. Turns out they barely help with groceries, lol. Foreclosure coming in Sept . . . but yeah, no need to complain! (Do you sense my sarcasm?! ;-)

  17. I can totally relate to how people view us. It's not safe out there :)

    Great post about the importance of covers!

  18. LOL this is so true. I can't imagine a world without the blog folks in it. It's too scary to imagine.

    Yay for Tara!

  19. To nonwriters, we make no sense. Carpal Tunnel hurts. I have it and almost loss the use of both hands. I want to wake up on a cloud. :)

    I'm jealous Tara, Elizabeth, and Julie get to meet. Wish I lived over that way.

    Cover has to meet the expectations of our audience and sell the type of book it is more than anything else.

  20. You are so right, and I'm glad I'm working my way back into the blogger fold.

  21. I love your last line. i don't know what i would do with my blogging buddies, like you, or what I would become if I was in the real world too much. I shutter to think of it. ;)

  22. I love being in the blogging community and I appreciate all of their support. It's kept me going through some rough times.

  23. I don't know what I'd do without the blogging community. I whine to my husband, but he doesn't get it. Fantastic guest post, Tara! Covers are so important.

  24. Stay online and pretend the rest of the world isn't real... Like the Matrix, yes?

  25. People like you make the real world worth while Liz. Life can be tough but beautiful too. Virtual Life rocks ass!

    So glad Tara got to stop over and covers are very important. I love when covers catch my attention whether through subtlety or crazy graphics. The worst cover is the one that bores you.

  26. I share a whole lot of the same insecurities on your list there. In the "real" world I'm a hot mess. In my head, all things are fantastic!!

    All of the covers you displayed are awesome!


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