Thursday, March 22, 2012

Brenda Dyer ~ Cover Controversy Guest Post & Giveaway

Brenda Dyer ~ Cover Controversy  
Hello, my name is Brenda. The ladies at Ravencraft’s Realm were kind enough to allow me to take over today. Thank you very much for this opportunity.

I'm a little nervous so I wanted to open with a joke, but could only think of one. Actually, it is more like two questions. I'll post the first question here, and I'll post the second question at the end of the blog. The only thing I ask is you tell me in the comments what your answer is, lol.

Question 1: Have you ever smelled mothballs before?

Now onto my guest post.

Before I became a writer, I didn't think too much about book covers—at least I didn't think I did. But when it came time for me to obtain a cover for my novel, I became obsessed with other's covers: what colors grab a person's attention, what sort of font should be used.  What models would best represent my characters. How do I showcase the genre of my novel?

Love's Prophecy is a paranormal, featuring vampires, but it's so much more than that. It's a passionate love story. There's a prophecy, demons, heartbreak, blood...ahhhhh, it was enough to make my head explode.

So, I want to ask you all how you go about choosing a book to purchase, be it an e-book or paperback book? Is the cover the first thing that grabs you? Are you willing to overlook a crappy cover and give a book a chance if the blurb sounds good? LOL, do you even get to the blurb, or do you just keep on going?

I thought a lot about how I decide what book to buy. There are three things that determine whether or not I'll fork over my hard earned cashola.

1) The cover.

If the cover features a sexy man--even if the rest is blah, I'll then check out the blurb. But if the cover is boring and dull then I move passed that book.

2) The blurb

If the blurb reads like every other book out there, then I move onto the next book. With so many books to choose from, I need something in the blurb to stand out from the herd.

3) Check the sample pages in an e-book or flip through the first couple pages of a paper book.

If I like the cover and the blurb snagged my interest, then I read the first few pages. What I'm looking for is the writer's voice. There have been many books I haven't been able to finish, and it isn't because the story was no good or because there were too many grammar mistakes, it was simply because I didn't connect with the writer's unique voice.

What about you? Do you have a ritual--a check list?

I would like to give away a free copy of my novel, Love's Prophecy. Leave your email address along with your comment. (Drawing will be tomorrow - 3-23 sometime after noon EST. Winner announced here and Brenda will contact with prize. Good Luck!!)

Now back to the joke. Do you remember your answer from the first question?

Question 2: How did you get his little legs a part?

Thank you so much for coming by.

Click Cover for Buy Link

Love’s Prophecy

By Brenda Dyer

Dark warriors of might...

Mel is a vampire warrior sworn to hunt and kill demons in the dark streets of Vancouver. But he's burdened with a new assignment: find the meaning behind the Vampire Prophecy.

Having no faith in the gods and their empty words, he believes there's no truth to the ancient legend until he meets Breeana, a human woman who bears the mark of the prophecy and resembles the mysterious woman haunting his dreams. When a vengeful demon spies Breeana in his arms, she is marked for death. He must take her from the world she knows until he can eliminate the threat. But the real danger is the role Breeana must play in fulfilling the prophecy and the intense feelings she brings out in him. Mel is forced to choose between his obligations to his kind, the world, and the woman he loves. Does he have the courage to let the one woman who could heal his wounded heart and soul go, or will he risk her life and bind her to him for all eternity?

Small warriors of light...

Veterinarian, Dr. Breeana Spencer yearns for love and companionship, but the disappointment of failed relationships have left her bitter. She now finds solace in romance novels. But when she meets a mysterious stranger, she's drawn to him by a connection so forceful it shatters all reason, leaving her incapable of resisting him. Yet there's more to him than smoldering good looks and a rock-hard body. As she's drawn deeper into his danger-filled world, she learns she's part of an ancient vampire legend. Breeana fears her future is no longer hers and will not include Mel. As their enemies close in, desperate to destroy them both, she must fight to convince Mel her place is at his side. A life-altering choice is before her—one that will take all her courage and love to make.

Buy links:

About Brenda Dyer:

Brenda Dyer lives in the small town of Sooke off the coast of British Columbia with her husband, two teenage boys, and an assortment of animals.

She is a graduate from LongRidge Writers group.
When she isn't writing you can find her out in her gardens or working with her two miniature horses.

Brenda loves to hear from readers. If you would like to contact her, visit her website.

Click Button for Brenda's Tour Schedule

Brenda, thank you so much for being a featured guest today ~ Loved your take on selecting a book by its cover *smile* Great post!
Everyone ~ thank you for stopping in to visit with Brenda ~ don't forget to answer her questions and leave your email address to be eligible for her drawing, which will take place tomorrow sometime after noon EST. (3-23) Winner will be posted in the comment section here, and Brenda will contact you with your prize ~ Good Luck!!


Kay Dee Royal said...

Brenda, thank you so much for agreeing to this visit at Ravencraft's Romance Realm so quickly...I love this post. You're so correct in saying a cover truly has the power to make or break a sale with most readers.

With e-books, I'm finding I don't fall into that as much as I do with print books...not sure really. I have a tendency to read the blurb and maybe an excerpt. I have so many author friends...I think that part of me (the cover critic) is changing. LOL

Please settle in and enjoy your day...I'll be serving up coffee and tea shortly (brewing it as we speak).

Big welcome to the Realm!

Me: said...

I tend to use covers and publishers as the first litmus test. A really well done cover tends to be a good indication of the quality within. Although, if a book has really good reviews but a mah cover I will still read the blurb. I love the option with Kindle to read the first few pages. Happy Thursday!

Rhonda D said...

The main thing I consider is the blurb. If it leaves me wanting to read more and find out what happens, then I am definitely buying. Now, if the cover is extremely hot, I might buy it anyway :) Thanks for the great post!

Criss said...

I've never smelled mothballs but that's not a bad joke. I mostly check out the blurb of books and then the cover to make my decision. Although if the blurb is good but not the cover I'll still read the book because I've really learned my lesson where that is concerned. Its awesome when a cover matches the blurb though. Thanks for being here.

Allison Merritt said...

OMG, that joke was hilarious! I have to remember to tell my husband. As for covers, a few months ago I went to a meeting (er, it was at my writer's group, so that makes sense) where an e-publisher talked about what makes covers sell. He said if it has a horse or a girl, it will sell.

I couldn't find any way to add a horse to my cover because there aren't any major horses themes in it, so I kind of hoped the cleavage would draw people. Still keeping those fingers crossed.

As for covers, I don't really pay attention to them, even when picking e-books. It's the blurb that draws me.

Casea Major said...

I have to say I have a hard time buying a book with a cover I don't like. Even if it has a good blurb and great reviews. In my mind it takes a lot to overcome a bad cover.

Great post!

Ella Quinn said...

I read the blurb and either a sample chapter or the first few pages and the end. That is the only thing I don't like about my Kindle, I can't just flip to the back of the book.

Kay Dee Royal said...

Hello and welcome 'me', Rhonda, Criss, Allison, Casea, and Ella...thank you for stopping into the Realm and visiting with Brenda. I loved her little mothball question also...asked it to my husband and he knew the answer...why didn't I know that??? LOL

Great having you all stop in. Thankyou.

Brenda said...

*Ahhh* Kay Dee, this coffee is Heaven. Thank you. And thanks for having me here.

I agree with you. I have a ton of author friends so I don't follow my cover rule with them, but I do with new to me authors. But I'm a little weird. I usually like covers that others don't, and don't care for the ones others love. LOL, go figure.

Brenda said...

Me--thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
I think I may have to change my rule about sexy guys on covers as a gauge, lol because I recently read this awesome book and I wasn't going to purchase it because the model on the cover was meh, but the book was great. See, rules are meant to be broken , lol.

Brenda said...

Rhonda, thanks for stopping in.

LOL, sounds like you and I both like a sexy, muscular guy on the front.

I totally agree with you about the blurb!

Brenda said...

Criss, lol, lol, lol, thanks for coming by and thinking my joke wasn't too corny. I appreciate that. I can never remember jokes. But this one made me laugh so hard when I heard it years ago it has stayed with me.

christine warner said...

LOL...thanks for my daily laugh...or at least one of many I hope to have!

As for book shopping...I'm a cover girl all the way (and I don't mean the model variety)...if a cover grabs me, along with the title, that is what will make me want to read the blurb. If the blurb grabs me, then I usually flip through a few pages and that's how I make my decision. But I do admit that even if I don't like a cover, but have heard wonderful things about the's a done deal and I'll buy it. So I guess recommendations fit into my decision making big time as well!

Congrats on your book Brenda! You are awesomesauce to the extreme!

Martha Ramirez said...

Hi Brenda!!

I have to say word of mouth is what always gets me to buy a book. Then I look at the cover and the blurb. Sometimes though even when someone recommends it and if I read the first few pages, sometimes I decide not to purchase it. I say sometimes cuz I've been known to give lots of books a try by reading the whole book even though it didn't grab me at the beginning.

Great post!

Harlie Reader said...

I loved the joke. I didn't think it was corny at all. Great post, too.


Brenda said...

Allison, thanks for stopping by and laughing at my joke!

A horse and a girl...hmmm, the horse I can see since I'm a horse nut.

Good info. I didn't know this.
LOL, yeah, I don't remember there being any "major" horse themes in Treasure Hunter's Lady--not enough to warrant a horse on the cover.
Same goes for LP. Sadly, no horses.

Brenda said...

Casea, so glad you stopped in--and super congrats on your new release, One Night With A Dom. I just purchased it from Amazon and can hardly wait to read it.

Yep, a bad cover is hard to overcome.

Brenda said...

Ella, you're a read the last page type of person too?

That's the only thing I miss about paper books.

Thanks for coming by!

flchen1 said...

Hi, Brenda--that made me giggle! I read part one and thought, "yep, I wonder why she's asking!" HA!

As for books, if I'm browsing a physical shelf, titles and covers are the first to catch my eye. If the back cover/blurb sounds good, I flip it open and read a little from near the front. If it all still sounds good, then I grab it.

For e-books, I tend to go more by recommendation, on books I've seen on blogs or where I've "met" the author in a chat or a blog visit, or on books from publishers/authors I've read and liked before. I still appreciate the blurbs and excerpts, but the cover is much less important in terms of sealing the deal.

Brenda said...

Hello, Christine--thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment. LOL, glad you enjoyed my joke--and no worries, absolutely no moths were hurt during the telling of this joke.

Love it: cover girl!

Brenda said...

Hi, Mart. Thank you so much for coming by.
I also go by word-of-mouth. But I have been burnt by this before. Some people like books, movies, and clothes that I don't, and stuff I like others don't.
The last movie someone said I HAD to watch because it was SO funny was Something About Mary. I didn't like it at all. There were a few places I chuckled, but that was it.

Brenda said...

Aw, Marika, thank you!

Brenda said...

flchen1, thank you so much for coming by. LOL, it made me laugh that you laughed at my joke.

I also tend to try out e-books I've seen on blogs. One thing that never sways me to make a purchase is reviews.

flchen1 said...

True--rave reviews may confirm my desire to purchase, but they wouldn't alone convince me. And negative reviews don't necessarily scare me off, depending on the content and presentation of that review :)

Danielle Ravencraft said...

Brenda, it took me a moment to get that mothball joke because I had answered "no" to the first question, but once I got it I laughed so hard my dogs looked at me funny.

To answer the questions about how I pick books to read, I do it the same whether it's in a store or online, assuming I'm browsing for something new and not looking for anything specific:

1. I start with the genre section I like which my top 3 are Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and YA.

2. Then I look at all the cover art. I look for titles or authors I recognize first. But assuming there aren't any, I look at the cover art in general for anything that catches my eye. I like CA that is pretty/pleasing to look at, like a work of art, and features a young woman because this usually indicates that the MC is female and that's what I like. I also look for obvious indicators of paranormal.

2. I'll pick up a book with a catchy cover art and then read the blurb to see if the story sounds interesting. Usually I can tell from the blurb if I want to buy it or not without having to open the book, but if I'm still undecided or tight on money and trying to pick between two books I want, then I'll open them and read the first page or two to get a feel for the main character and style.

Melissa Limoges said...

Ha, that was a good joke. Can't wait to read the book!

Maybe I'm horrible for saying this but I love looking at the covers. Sometimes just the cover alone sells the book for me. Sad, I know! :)

Charlene A. Wilson said...

Hi, Brenda. Welcome to the Realm. :)

Yeah, I'm a cover browser. If I see a cover that looks like it was thrown together I tend to think the rest of the work has been too. I can't help it. I know that's not always true, but with so much out there to choose from the whole thing really needs to be a great package.

Then I check out the blurb. If it's written well, I figure the book will be too. And if I like the premise, I'll read some of the first chapter to see if the characters grab me.

I like to read the reviews but they don't sway me one way or the other as far as if the person liked it or not. I look to see if they highlight the story, if the characters stand out, etc.

Robert S Sadler said...

Absolutely brilliant question to ask Brenda! Great blog, good job!

Maggie O'Malley said...

Cover and blurb to it for me. My fourth Kitty DuCane novel sold the least amount and I'm sure it was the cover.

Brenda said...

I agree, flchen. Negative reviews rarely scare me off.

I like what you said here: rave reviews may confirm my desire to purchase, but they wouldn't alone convince me.

That is very true as well;)

Lisa Kumar said...

Great joke! It took me a moment to get it, lol.

Cover is important to me, but if the blurb is outstanding, I'll buy the book regardless.

Brenda said...

LOL, Danielle. Glad you got my joke--and glad you laughed.

Years ago, most households had mothballs--LOL--they kept moths from eating clothes hanging in closets. They have many other uses too.

I like your ritual! I also browse in my genre of choice.

Brenda said...

Melissa--you're an angel. Thank you so much for stopping by. And I'm so happy you liked the joke, hehehehe.

Hey, sometimes the cover makes the sale for me too.

Anya Millar said...

LOL, loved the joke... :P

Don't enter me into your drawing as I have it, read it, and LOOOOOOOVED it. Infact you will be reviewed next week on my blog.

As to covers... I am partial to them but if the blurb is good or I've heard good things about it, I can ignore a cover. Many self pub'd and even some trad pub'd don't have the best covers but have awesome stories.

Best of luck with LP!

Brenda said...

Charlene, you have all the bases covered!
Thanks for the welcome. I enjoyed myself immensely. I love the Realm and have signed up for the Newsletter and am now a follower.

Brenda said...

ROB! So glad to see you here. Thanks for stopping by!

Brenda said...

Maggie, thanks for stopping by. I tell you this, your cover for Claiming Their Cat is BEAUTIFUL. Your book is on my list of must haves.

Brenda said...

LOL, Lisa!
Thanks again for stopping by and supporting me.

The cover of your novel, Bound By the Mist is gorgeous.

Brenda said... are so sweet and kind. Thank you!!! And thank you for stopping by.

LOL, glad you liked the joke.

Sheri Fredricks said...

I'm reading and nodding to your blog. I agree point by point since I'm the same way! How funny - we must have great minds. Cute joke, btw!


Jenna said...

You set it up as a joke, Brenda, so i "smelled" a rat. My answer was "Now while they were still on the moth." LOL

If I'm not buying a book by an author I know, the cover is everything. It's what sucks me in to pick up the book or click to read more. Then the blurb gives me an idea about the plot and if that's interesting enough I'll bite and read some to get a feel, like you, for the author's voice. Can't tell you what it is I like about a voice, but I know it when I read it.

Excellent post!

Robin said...

LOL - gross joke! Fortunately my answer was "no"! A cover attracts me, but the blurb and reading a bit of the book has to be good to keep me there. If I am browsing books I will look at blurbs even on books with boring covers. Your story looks good!


Brenda said...

LOL, Jenna--you're too smart--you know me too well.

You don't have to explain about the voice--I totally get it. That is a huge deciding factor for me as well.

Brenda said...

Robin--LOL...LOL...LOL--OMG, you made me laugh so hard. THANKS!!! That joke is a little gross.

Yep, you are like me. The cover attracts first, then blurb, then checking out a bit of the writing.
Thanks for stopping by!

Brenda said...

I would like to thank the ladies from Ravencraft's Romance Realm for having me on their site. Thank you!

I would also like to thank all who took time out of their busy day to come and say hi. It means a lot to me. Thank you!

Catherine Lee said...

Even though I am a librarian, I admit to being heavily influenced by the cover when it comes to my own recreational reading. Then I'll look at the blurb and then reviews. I take reviews with a graof salt, but I am pretty swayed by those.