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My tagline, or motto, or whatever you want to call it is, “a little humor, a little romance, A Little Murder!” Someone once asked me what they’d find in my books and that was my reply. It made them laugh and become my motto. It’s worked well for me.
Okay, there’s nothing funny about murder, but you can find humor and maybe a little romance surrounding the characters in the story. In my books I concentrate more on the mystery and the characters more than the physical crime.
Sometimes when we’re trying to figure out what to do to be unique we forget things like a motto.
The Bogey Man book covers all have one thing in common; branding. A friend of mine, Andy Kohut, created a silhouette of the Bogey Man for me and it appears on each and every cover, effectively branding them for me.
I came up with something for Old Murders Never Die, too. The book is about being stranded in a ghost town. I had some cloth shopping bags made up, and they have a picture of the book cover and a tagline on them. The tagline? “What Happens in Ghost Towns, Stays in Ghost Towns.” This is reminiscent of Las Vegas, but it sure serves my purpose.
I create all of my own book covers. Once in a while I want a person on the cover, but I still want the reader to use their imagination when visualizing characters so I use silhouettes. Let the reader see the character the way they want to, not the way I want them to see people. I’ve used photos of animals when I include one or more of the characters’ pets. In my books the pets are dogs, and who needs a silhouette of a dog? The real deal works quite well.
Another aspect of the covers is that I make sure to depict something from the story. I’ve bought books with covers that have absolutely nothing to do with the story and it didn’t set well with me – a personal problem for me. I want to look at the cover and have at least some idea of what I’m in for if I read the story.
Honestly, I’m not all that artistic, but I know what I like and what I hope readers will like. (No, I’m not fishing for compliments. Trust me.)
What about book trailers? That’s something newish and different. I’ve made a few and they were fun to work on. I’m not that much of a techie, but at least I can say I enjoyed what I put together and in the process hope that they’ll be eye-catching. Sometimes the music can make the whole book trailer. Picking the right background music can be tricky.
I would imagine many authors wish they could write a good (or great) book, and then sit back and wait for readers to flock to them. If wishes were dollars we’d all be wealthy. There’s still a lot of work after the author has typed The End.
Figure out what works for you. I do most of my own work and I’ve learned a lot in the process. Trial and error has played a large part in what I do. If something doesn’t work, move on and try something else.
Authors: What are some of the unique things you do with your books? Readers: What have you seen an author do that stuck in your mind and made you remember him/her?
Imaginative minds want to know.
Until next time, pay attention to mottos on products and books, and think about why it makes you want that product or book. Homework? No, just fun.
CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website (You can find the book trailers on The Books page)
CLICK HERE for a quick trip to Amazon.com
Take a break from the daily drudgery and read “Having a Great Crime – Wish You Were Here.” It might just help you escape the day for a while.