Sunday, June 9, 2013

Opinions and Advance Reader Copies

Issue #1:   I need your help. Ghost of Lost Eagle is being prepared for release. That's a good thing. However, my book cover received strong support from everyone except my marketing and PR company. They don't like it. I'm torn. I like the cover, but the pros feel it would be better to have just the cowboy or just the woman. Before I select another cover, I need opinions from potential readers about the issues of concern for my marketing team.

Title:  Ghost of Lost Eagle
Genre - western/romance/paranormal

1)  Do the black areas detract from the cover's appeal?
2)  Would you prefer just to see a lone cowboy?
3)  Is the cowboy's facial expression good or bad?
4)  Does this style look old-fashioned?
5)  If so, is old-fashioned a good or a bad thing?
You can answer in the comment section, or send me a private note at the email address listed in the next issue.

Issue # 2:   My promotion company wants me to release 75 ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) for reviews. These free ebook copies only carry one request. ARC reviewers are asked to post an honest review of the book on Amazon. Let me repeat the important part..."honest review."  If the ARC reviewer doesn't like the story or something about it, those valid concerns are both appreciated and valuable for future buyers who are thinking about purchasing the book.

If you are interested in receiving an ARC and you will give me an honest opinion about the story, then please leave your name and contact information in the comments section, or you can send me a direct request for the ARC copy at:

Thank you so much for your feedback.


  1. Since the woman’s picture is bigger, it appears she is the focal point of the story. The black portions are very clean compared to the shimmer of the photos. Not sure how to word it, but a flow seems to be broken with the contrast.

    I like the woman. Seeing her on the cover would make me more apt to buy the book. It does look like the story take place about a hundred years ago and I also like that.

    The man’s handsome and looks like he has an attitude. If that’s what you’re going for then it’s golden.

  2. Hi Dean,
    My eyes are a little distracted by the woman figure. I think her image is to large in comparison to the other images. I would be happy to read a copy of 'Ghost of Lost Eagle'. Most of all, a very big Congratulations on your work!
    Kindest wishes,
    Peter Thomas Senese

  3. The black does not detract for me. It may not be as good for print books, but for ebooks, I think as a thumbnail and full size, it's fine.

    The only problem I see with the two figures on the cover is that they look like two separate pictures blended, but not fully together, if that makes sense. So if they recommend one or the other, I can see at least one reason why.

    I have no problem with the older fashion style. It's not as 'old' as back in the 70s and 80s.

    As far as an ARC, I will wait for the release. When I post on Amazon, for example, I think that being able to list a review having purchased a copy, will add merit to my opinion with potential readers. I think a good mix of ARCs and identified readers is a good thing.

  4. Hi, Dean.

    1. For me, yes. The black areas extend too far from the top and bottom of the cover. One's eyes are drawn straight to them, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing per se, it's incongruous with the rest of your cover.

    2. This is a Western romance, yes? Then, no, I would not like to see only the cowboy. Since so many people judge a book by its cover, despite the maxim warning against it, having a cowboy on his own would be misleading -- even if the blurb made everything clear. If you look at covers of your typical Mills and Boon romance novels, 90% of the time you will see a man and a woman on the cover. It's the accepted norm for romance. Once again, the eyes are drawn towards it -- and one can easily distinguish a romance novel from a thriller for this reason.

    3. The facial expression reminds me almost of lust, but I agree with what Terry has said. Also, the cowboy appears to be looking PAST the woman at something in the distance. The two images don't marry up, but that doesn't necessarily mean that one should stay and one, go. I think the two images just need some tweaking.

    4. It does look slightly old-fashioned.

    5. It's a good thing. It's a Western, after all. An old-fashioned cover speaks to the type of book it is.

    PS: I'll happily be an ARC. I'll send you an email later.

  5. Ill take an ARC and will be happy to give an honest review

    as for the cover the Black extends a tad much, and as far as the woman and man...they seem to be from two images and need to be as one as to letting the flow read smooth read

    Erick Prado

  6. Hi Dean,

    Issue #1

    1. I agree with Dan re the black top and bottom extending far too much of the cover.

    2. I think equal proportion of the man and woman would emphasize the romance part of the genres, the western genre is self-evident. I find the hat covering the woman's eyes makes me want to know her since the eyes are the windows of the soul. What is the cowboy thinking? Is she his past or his future? Is he finished with her, or is there still some things unsaid.

    3. The expression of the cowboy has a bit of the "Bad Boy" appeal which makes him mysterious for the male readers and appealing for the female readers.

    4. and 5. Old-fashioned, yes, as well it should be since it's predominantly a Western.

    Issue #2

    I agree with Terry. A nice mix of both ARC and readers who've purchased the book would garner a wider audience since both types of readers vetted the book.

    P.S. I think your willingness to gamble with reviews of both the great and the not so great is an attribute to your character and principled beliefs and I honor you for those traits. It's the honest critiques one grows in their art. I should know...



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