On Writing: More Book Cover Tips

If you’re curious as to what I have been up to, here’s your answer. I’ve been messing around with book covers. What do you think of the new Valley of Magic paperback cover?

Of Metal and Magic Publishing

I’ve learned a lot about book design over the past five years, both through self-publishing and working with others. And I’ve grown a lot as a cover designer myself, though I’m not anywhere near the level of a practiced expert, such as the folks at 100Covers who do the art for our main books.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve completed my first full paperback cover, and I wanted to share it with you along with some insights I’ve picked up along the way. We’ve posted tips on book covers before, so I’ll try not to retread old ground.

The cover is new image for my short story novel IN THE VALLEY OF MAGIC. The reason for the new cover is that I am experimenting with a new paperback size, 5x8in, which required a new image. I did not have the files for original cover, since VALLEY was originally…

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REBLOG: Cover Reveal for Scion of the Oracle

Big news from the OMAM front!

Of Metal and Magic Publishing

Things have only seemed to be quiet here at OMAM. Behind the scenes, we’ve all been hard at work getting new stories ready for you!

Today, we have something really exciting to share, the shiny cover for EA Robin’s debut novel, Scion of the Oracle.

The Seeds of prophecy often bloom in the most unlikely of gardens.

Dali is sure there is adventure and excitement beyond Telsemar’s timeless, sandstone walls, certainly something more than the daily routine of a flower delivery girl. There has to be. If only she could prove herself to the secretive Society of the Divine and earn a place among its revered ranks of explorers. But under the watchful eye of her guardian and mentor, Kip, Dali wonders if there will ever be an opportunity to gain their approval.

When Katherine, a senior member of the mysterious society, ends up missing along with the magic…

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REBLOG: The Wonder of Portal Fantasy

I posted on OMAM about one of my favorite fantasy subgenres–Portal!

Of Metal and Magic Publishing

At this point, I’ve received several submissions which I would call “portal fantasy.” Unfortunately, due to our strict “no Earth” policy, I’ve had to say no. That’s not to say I haven’t been tempted…

What is it about portal fantasy that is so compelling? A recent article on Tor.com had me thinking about the genre. First, let me share the key idea of that article with you.

Is John Wick portal fantasy? For the stubborn few of you who don’t know, John Wick–an action flick starring everyone’s favorite nice guy, Keanu Reeves–is the story of a man who gets drawn back into a secret underground world of assassins and conspiracies. As described by the article’s author, Leah Schnelbach:

While subtle, John Wick’s entry into his fantasy world is not unlike Dorothy Gale’s—where she is sucked up by a tornado and comes to the Land of Oz after saving her dog…

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REBLOGGED: Short Fiction Writing, In Short

Here’s another one laying out the basics of short fiction. You can send me your work at the OMAM site.

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I always encourage new writers to experiment with short fiction. There are numerous benefits to be gained from practicing the short form. First, you learn, by necessity, to be more efficient with your writing. The shorter the story, the more you have to scrutinize each and every word, eliminating redundancies and maximizing clarity with as few words as possible. Second, you get more experience working through the publishing process—formatting manuscripts for submission, writing cover letters, working with editors,etc—than you would by writing one or two books a year. Last, publishing short fiction improves your author brand. In order to get a story into an anthology, you need to get past the gatekeepers (editors and publishers), proving you have at least some chops at this writing thing.

When you make the decision to attempt your first piece of publishable short fiction, first you need to consider format and size. There are…

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REBLOG: The Sound of Silence

I’ve been rambling about the craft over at OMAM. How do you like the new design?

Of Metal and Magic Publishing

Utilizing sensory details is a critical part of good writing. Tapping into the five senses allows a reader to go beyond just visualizing the scene to the point of feeling it for themselves. But of the five, sound is probably one of the hardest to convey.

You can get by sometimes withonomatopoeia. Providing details of what is making the sound can create subtle differences–the light clang of steel vs. the heavy clang of iron. Changing the sound word a slight bit can also do the same–the thunk of light wood vs the thud of weighted-down wood or barrels. More often than not, I find myself resorting to similes to describe certain sounds, e.g, a metal scratch like the wail of the damned.

I’ve always felt that Terry Pratchett had a wonderful sense of sound, and more significantly, a peerless skill at delivering that sense to the reader. Take these…

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