Book covers: Before and After

Most people buy books with their eyes. At least, I do, unless I read about a book-or already know the author-and don’t particularly care about the cover. However, for a baby indie such as myself, it’s important to have a great, professional looking cover. For The amazon and the beast I had a cover from fiverr first which was fairly cheap (the more professional looking artists on fiverr were quite expensive which is only normal considering the quality). But then I stumbled upon a great facebook group for indies and saw other covers and was like… umm okay, my original cover just won’t do. At all.

I was lucky to come across Andrew Dobell’s Creative edge studios and had a new cover made. The end result was fantastic and I get a lot of positive feedback. Lesson: save up for a professional cover!

So, how did the cover for The Amazon and the Beast come to life?

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Travelblog: Japan in 14 days (Tokyo)

Hi there, travel lover!

Took me some time to put this blog together, but here it is. I absolutely loved Japan. The views, the people, the food (omg the food!), the temples, the toilets (yeah, nothing beats a Japanese toilet) and the all over hygienic lifestyle over there. This beautiful country is definitely on my “Must visit again” list.

So, after a really really long flight (there’s just no way around that when traveling from Europe) we first had a stop-over in Taiwan.

Tip: keep on walking in the airport until you find the massage chairs. They are free to use. Just get some coins from the store nearby.

Also, I will be covering this trip in several posts, starting with Tokyo, because it’s near impossible to cover everything in just one post.

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Instafreebie excerpt

 

Hi there,

I’m so excited to announce that the editing of the Amazon and the Beast is almost finished. I’m hoping to publish within a few weeks. The first pre-orders were already flying out the door while I was in Japan. A travel blog about this beautiful country will follow later this week.

In the meantime, if you want to enjoy reading some kick-ass paranormal romance, here’s the excerpt on Instafreebie.

Enjoy!

Going to Japan! Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka.

In about a week I’m going to Japan. I’m so excited! I’ve been wanting to go there forever and now it’s almost happening. I’m going with the same friend with whom I took the Mongolian express to Russia, Mongolia, China and Tibet (I can’t believe it’s been over 7 months and I haven’t even taken a weekend trip– been busy writing).

So, where are we going and, of course, how did I plan this trip?

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Indie book marketing

The horror of every new indie: how to sell your books also known as book marketing. Now, since I haven’t published my first indie book yet I can’t give you any personal advice. I can, however, tell you that I’ve been doing a lot of research on the matter for the past several months and I wanted to share this with other indies.

There are endless sites about this subject, but here are my favorite sites so far:

1. The Creative penn. A must read. Don’t question it, just read.

2. Creative indie: Lot’s of useful articles on it, (though less search friendly as the Creative penn).

3. Jane Friedman: Great blog, lots of info.

4. Instafreebie: maybe you’ve already heard about it since it seemed like (almost) everybody but me already knew about this site. But, if you’re a newbie like me, then check it out. It’s a great way to gather an e-mail list and put your book out there to a large audience.

5. Just Publishing Advice: great resources about marketing but also about various things like publishing.

6. Facebook groups: I haven’t added a link to a specific facebook group because there are so many of them and you should just search the one that appeals to you most. You have groups for indie authors of urban fantasy, thrillers, romance etc. This is the place I’ve learned the most so far. So, join a facebook group today!

Hope these sites will be of some help to you. Have other useful links? Please drop it in the comments or mail me.

Book cover designers

There are two things as a – first time – indie author I knew I shouldn’t do myself.

  1. Editing. Always, always hire an editor. I have a great one I worked with previously and she finds mistakes I was sure of weren’t there (but of course they were).
  2. Book cover. I know there are writers who are skilled enough to design their own book covers (I’m not one of them).

So, today is about book covers within your budget. Where do you find a good book cover? The first thing I did is simply google ‘indie premade book covers’. I specifically searched the term ‘premade’ as these book covers are usually (not always) cheaper and for every budget.

So, here are a few sites I found very helpful. Of course, it depends on your budget and genre which one suits you.

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Travelblog: Iceland

I am no friend of cold weather by any means. So it takes a lot to get me to take a vacation where I have to wear a thick coat and a fleece hat all the time. Then again, when you go to Iceland you don’t have a lot of choice. October in Mongolia meant that my ass almost froze off, so I was hoping that Iceland in April (2016) would be less bad. Btw, it was, but not by much, and only because in Mongolia I slept in a tent 🙂 (that moment when you wake up in the middle of the night and the fire has gone and it’s -20!).

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10 rules for writing fiction

So, I have these days when I know I have to up my wordcount, but then ‘accidently’ click on some bookmark so I can ‘learn’ more about writing. Ironically enough these writing tips mostly shout to “just start writing!” which also translates into “don’t write a blog post about it, but just finish that first draft”. Well, since I finished the first draft on The Amazon and the Beast I think it is time to share some writing rules with my fellow (aspiring) writers.

The Ten rules for writing fiction was posted in The Guardian, (and inspired by Elmore Leonard). I will just give a highlight of the 10 writing tips.

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Character Sheets for writers

When I first started writing I didn’t have a plan whatsoever. I knew my story, my main characters and the ending (big yay on that) and just started typing. The more I wrote, the more I got to know my characters. They became ‘alive’. Nowadays I like to work more structured when it comes to characters. There is actually a very simple way to ‘create’ a flesh and bone basic character. I just use a character sheet.

You can find many examples of character sheets but I found 2 that work best for me. One is very detailed, the other not so much. To be honest, I use the less detailed one, because that’s easier.

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Travelblog: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia

I love to travel and especially to more than one country at the same time. So last summer when I saw a 3 weeks trip to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia I was thrilled. I didn’t have to think long about who to go with. I went with the same adventurous friend I took the Trans-Mongolian express with to Russia, Mongolia, China and Tibet with. Also, she’s a doctor and hey, it’s always handy to have one with you when you’re travelling right. We went around September 2016 and it was actually a great time. We feared the rain season but other than a few drops in Hanoi and Siem Reap, we mostly had sun.

Enough said, let’s skip the talk and move over to pictures. Btw, the picture above was taken in Phuket, Thailand. It was on one of the few relaxing days we had on the beach. I’m not really a beach vacation kinda person. After a few days I’m like ‘ok, now what are we gonna do?’. But the coconut beach picture I like. Also, if you are going to travel to Phuket, try to avoid the most popular beach. You will literally be disturbed every minute with someone trying to sell you stuff (literally!). Your only option is to close your eyes and pretend to sleep. Other than that, people there are great. Though I was a bit shocked with the huge amount of older Western guys with young prostitutes. I’m from the Netherlands, and I believe it’s the one country in the world where prostitution is legalised, but still I was surprised by Phuket.

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