New site coming soon – as seen in Dot Net Magazine

Tirfo Thuin New Web DesignAs many of you may have seen in this months Dot Net Magazine (Summer Edition), Tirfo Thuin has a new website that is soon to be built. Many thanks to frontend developer, digital designer and general web guru Paul Welsh (@Spacedawwwg) for creating a new one page website design for a feature called Website Build-Off.

The brief from dot net magazine:

‘Mock up the homepage for a site promoting a self-published book. Think about the niche it fills, its audience – and how you can persuade them to open their purses.’

The magazine contacted Paul as he has done some great features in the past for the magazine and, given that he knew I had a self published book and had some assets from the cover design all ready to go, he jumped at the chance.

Paul’s aim was:

“To make the book seem as if it could have been released by a top publisher. One fallback for self-publishers is the lack of availability to resources such as design. Unfortunately, bad design can easily make even the most fantastic product seem cheap and deter people from parting with their hard-earned cash (people really do judge a book by its cover).”

Once I pay Paul the almighty sum of a black americano from Starbucks as down-payment (other coffee outlets are available), the new site should be available. I’ll post and tweet when the site is live so people can let me know what they think.

Sneak preview of my promotional goodies

As many of you know my first fantasy fiction novel – Tirfo Thuin – is due to be released before the end of the year. In preparation for this I have been busy finishing my cover and getting some promotional goodies together. I’ll report back on how successful they are once I am a few months into 2012.

However, as the number of sales versus cost on most printed promotions is probably extremely low I decided to look into Vistaprint (other print companies are available). I get daily emails from Vistaprint for free items such as business cards, brochures, pens etc. You simply pay the postage. I gave it a go and the results are great.

I got 250 free premium business cards (which I can pop in Christmas cards or hand out to people I see with a Kindle on the tram). Whilst they are not entirely free I think this is a bargain at just £4.53. This cost covers £0.69 to use my own image as opposed to the templates they provide and the rest is postage. Even if it doesn’t pay of it not a huge risk due to the low cost.

TirfoThuin Business Card

Let me know what you think of the design – it is difficult to get across all the information you want to in such a small area. Also, feel free to share your experiences if you have taken similar approaches and have any good tips on how to promote your books offline.

Check out some of the offers here: http://www.vistaprint.co.uk. If you sign up for newsletters or purchase something you tend to get a lot more offers for free things in email newsletters.

 

Ebook Cover Design – from initial concept to latest version

I have spent a little time updating my ebook cover design ready for my debut fantasy fiction novel – Tirfo Thuin.

I thought it would be good to get some feedback on the latest cover and also show some of the earlier drafts. I wanted to show how this has evolved into what it is today. Thanks to John Saunders (@Johns_thinking) for his feedback to flip the character and raven to be forward facing (i.e moving forward in their adventure) and to add some colour back into it.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Would this cover catch your eye?

Latest Version

Tirfo Thuin cover

Progression

The images below show a very early version of this and a few interim jpegs.

Cover design progress

Fantasy fiction cover art inspiration

I am looking for some inspiration to make my first fantasy fiction novel cover stand out from the crowd. You can view it here. I would love it if you could comment with links to similar genre artwork, illustrations and illustrators or general sites with examples of interesting book covers.

I have also received some great advice on Twitter such as losing the fancy ‘i’s. Any feedback – good or bad – is appreciated.

Remember, rate the post as well so I know the general verdict on the cover art.

Thanks.