What’s in a book cover?

Reblogged from Take Five Authors

How important is your book cover? Well, crucial enough that publishers will change their entire design if a chain store buyer doesn’t find a jacket visually appealing. And yes, even as a tiny rectangle on an Amazon page, it has to stand out, conveying the tone and genre to attract the right readers. Now that’s a big ask!

Of course publishers have teams of experts leading the design process. Great if you love the result. Not so good as a writer if you’re unhappy with the way your book is presented, whereas indie authors have the sometimes daunting pleasure of total control. Obviously the first step is to hire a professional designer but it’s still you, the writer, assuming final responsibility.

Ellie Campbell has gone through both experiences, traditional and indie, and we’re still learning. So just for fun we thought we’d show you some of our book covers, old and new.

       

 

Left is the original Arrow cover. Originally we liked it. Later we decided it seemed too juvenile and we really hated that it was so easy to miss in a WH Smith promotional stand of Summer Reads – even with two of us desperately searching.  Read more… at Take Five Authors blog

Shhh. Keep it Strictly Confidential…

Crouch End Confidential – Mystery Box Set

3 Novels at one low price

We’ve just this week published our new cozy mystery box set, Crouch End Confidential, featuring Cathy O’Farrell, our scatty housewife sleuth and her unusual cast of friends, in three hilarious novels: Looking For La LaTo Catch A Creeper, and Meddling with Murder.  For one week only we’ll be offering it on Amazon at a special, introductory, lower than low, price of 99 cents. Can’t miss this one!

For US Readers only

Want a chance to get it for free? We’re holding three Amazon giveaways, each with a 1 in 20 chance of winning the entire trilogy.

 1)   To tweet a message click here

 2)   To follow us on Amazon click here

 3)   To watch our booktrailer on Youtube click here

Buy from Amazon here

                                    For a taste of the fun in store, check out our exciting trailer on YouTube.

The Kindle Book Review – Win 1 of 6 Kindle eReaders

Here’s a chance for you to win one of six (1/6) Gen 8 Kindle eReaders. Click below

 https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/valentines-day-giveaway/ 

Ends February 15

For more offers, don’t forget to follow us on Amazon or Bookbub, links below

       
Happy Valentine’s Day
Pam and Lorraine (Ellie Campbell) 

Help the Zombies are Attacking!

Happy January!

To start the year right, Lorraine downloaded a trial coupon for a health club because a friend was extolling the virtues of her boxing coach. The minute she walked through the door, she realized how much she hated gyms and working out, but one smooth operator later, she found herself signed up for 3 packs of 5 sessions each. Wish her luck!

She actually prefers her app Zombies Run where you get to “Run in the Real World and Become a Hero in Another”. Even if her run is more of a zombie shuffle it’s much more her cup of tea.

Pam meanwhile has taken up jogging, hates every minute, but is using a new app Couch to 5K.  So far she’s only missed two days (snow in Surrey), and is hoping that if she keeps it up she might start enjoying it a few months down the line. Let’s see how long that lasts…

Win up to 35+ Romantic Suspense eBooks!

(2) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!
(35) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

Another great giveaway from Authors XP! This time the genre is Romantic Suspense and it includes our very own When Good Friends Go Bad.

Three once inseparable friends in middle school begrudgingly unite as adults to track down the missing schoolfriend who disappeared from their lives years earlier. In the attempt loyalties will be tested, secrets exposed, first loves re-ignited and a very real danger faced by all. 

Click here to enter

Ends 23rd January

 Good luck everyone!

Pam and Lorraine (Ellie Campbell)

35 Book Giveaway, $400 Amazon Vouchers and Smashing New Cover Reveal!

Happy New Year!  We have Amazon gift cards and mystery thrillers to be won, plus the cover reveal of our new Crouch End Confidential box set.

Hope you all enjoyed the holidays. Pam’s huge hints to her husband Ian for a blow heater (so she didn’t have to freeze her fingers off while working in the cold attic), didn’t come to fruition but she did get some great work-out gear.  And the lovely Belgian chocolates she was given mysteriously disappeared before she could tuck into them. Something tells her that it could be a big hint from Ian that she needs to get fit before he allows her back on the tandem. We’ll see about that! 

Lorraine had 30 guests over for Xmas dinner. Lots of drama when 90 mph winds took down the power lines and left her in the dark, searching for candles and wondering if she’d be serving half-raw turkey.  Luckily her friends braved the gale force winds and the bird finished roasting on the barbecue grill.  Lights and heat returned just in time to eat and before the indoor temperature plummeted to freezing.  All agreed it was a Christmas miracle.

We made a few resolutions for 2017 but alas, we’ve already broken one of them. It’s now 10 days in and we still haven’t written up our super-duper new work schedule. See Take Five Authors blog

And now for the fun stuff:

Drum Roll, please!  We proudly present our new cover reveal!

Yes, we finally decided to offer our three hilarious “Crouch End Confidential’ cozy mysteries, starring housewife sleuth, Cathy O’Farrell, as one box set with a smashing new cover.  This will be published sometime this month. If you’d like to be kept informed of when it’s out, then follow us

on   

or  

and they’ll send you a new release update.

$400 Amazon vouchers in The Kindle Book Review New Year’s Giveaway!

Ring in an especially happy New Year by winning one of four $100 Amazon gift cards from the Kindle Book Review!  Just click here to enter. 

Ends 15th January

Crime/Mystery Thriller Giveaway – 35+ books to be won

And now for this week’s Authors XP Giveaway which includes our very own Looking for La La

Win up to 35+ Thrilling eBooks!

(2) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks!
(35) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)

 

 Click on the books or click here to enter

Ends 16th January

Good luck to all and best wishes for an amazing 2017!

Ellie Campbell

Cleaning out the Clutter

Reblogged from Take Five Authors 

pants

It’s 2017 and after last week’s resolutions, it’s in with the new and out with the old – clutter that is. Pam’s clearing out her underwear drawer and has just discovered she owns 51 pairs of knickers (aka panties in the U.S.A.). She has no idea how it got so out of hand but clearly some of those must be past their sell-by date!

The slogan for decluttering seems to be ‘If it’s not useful and you don’t love it, throw it out’. If I truly obeyed that I’m not sure I’d have any clothes left and days like today when I’m feeding horses in a foot of Colorado snow who cares if my sweaters are old and baggy?

But our bulging wardsugar-in-the-snowrobes makes me think of the editing process and someof those huge unwieldy first drafts in our early collaboration. Pam and I have definitely got better at chopping away unnecessary pages, paragraphs and all those extra adjectives that tend to obscure rather than enhance the story. It’s a useful metaphor for life too. Now the crazy holiday season is over it’sa good time of year to take a mental step back from all the busyness to see what’s really valuable and what it might be better to let go.

Meanwhile, just as daunting, I’ve been tackling the thousands of old and unread messages in my two email inboxes. Why two emails? Well, my Yahoo account grew so overwhelming that ages ago I signed up for a second service, under the illusion that using this new exclusive address I could start afresh, be organized and not skip over anything that looked boring or leave opened messages to choke up my inbox. Hah!

So the last few evenings, I’ve been hard at it, sorting into folders any message about writing, money, or whatever, that migunsubscribeht be important to save. Every email I open I’ve been putting the address in the search box to gather others by the same sender and am either filing or deleting in bulk. I identified a huge amount of junk by searching for ‘unsubscribe’, ‘no-reply’, ‘opt-out’ or likely words like ‘student loan’, ‘mortgage’. There’s also that trick of changing the sort option to see what rises to the top and a very clever app called Unroll Me which safely unsubscribes or rolls up the daily new subscriptions that appear in my inbox. In the process of organizing, I’ve found a frightening amount of things that were overlooked – dinner invitations, questions needing an urgent answer two years ago.

More entertainingly, read more at Take Five Authors…

 

Facing the future – with resolution

Reblogged from Take Five Authors:

A new year, a new start? At Take Five Authors, we all have our own aims and goals for 2017 – we’d love to share them with you!

Janet Gover writes: So – 2017. What have you got in store for me?

We never know what’s ahead – but that should not stop us making plans – or New Year’s resolutions. I’m not a fan of the ‘lose weight’ or ‘exercise more’ resolutions. I know I’ll break those. But here are some resolutions I am determined to keep….

  • Read more books
  • Take my readers and supporters back to Coorah Creek – and this time for a wedding.
  • Expand my reading – trying new authors and new genres because there are so many good books out there just waiting to be read.
  • Expand my writing – try writing something new and exciting because I love a challenge.

That all sounds good and achievable – wish me luck. And I hope 2017 is a wonderful year for you and yours.

_________________________________________________________

Ellie Campbell says: Resolutions – seriously, why do we bother! We know that by the time February rolls around we’ll be back to our same old habits. Still New Year is a great time to kid ourselves we can change for the better, so here goes.

  1. Finish what we started. We’ve always got at least two or three projects in the pipeline and often find ourselves bouncing from one to the other depending on our mood. But this year we intend to be more focused and linear in our approach – until the next inspiration hits, at least! Read More

Source: Facing the future – with resolution

Gifts and Giveaways – Happy Holidays from both of us!

horse-with-xmas-hat

Happy Holidays to All! Have we got some exciting gifts and giveaways for you! First, there’s a special Christmas present for everyone. Scroll down to find out more. Meanwhile it’s all hustle and bustle as we prepare for the festive season. This is Pam’s first Christmas without her youngest, Alec, who has hightailed it to the French Alps to work as a chef in a ski resort – she’s drooling over the thought of some fabulous cuisine when he finally returns. In snowy Colorado, Lorraine has the usual thirty-odd friends (some odder than others) congregating for a big social Christmas dinner. Strangely, it’s our husbands who like to take over the stuffing and roasting of the traditional turkeys. Could it be they don’t trust us to get it right? Or that they love basking in the glowing accolades? Either way we’re not complaining.

Sale: When Good Friends Go Bad

Amazon UK has chosen When Good Friends Go Bad for their “12 days of Kindle” sale at the rock-bottom price of 99 pence.

So as not to disappointment our American readers we’re also holding a Kindle Countdown from 23rd to 29th December. US 99 cents all 6 days  UK   USA 

We’ve done a whole new look for Million Dollar Question which will be uploaded shortly to Amazon. Hopefully it just shrieks of humor and romance!!! To celebrate we’re holding an Amazon giveaway so join in – you may win a kindle copy. 20 copies to be won. Enter here.

Coming soon: Love, Lies & Other Deceptions

Long ago we two sisters started our separate writing careers with short stories and we’ve had a lot of fun gathering up 20 short romances and twisty tales for our first ever collection. Available January – follow us on Amazon for updates. Your Holiday Gift: The Trouble with Charlie. To celebrate we’re offering one of our short stories from Love, Lies & Other Deceptions to any blog follower who emails us at ellie@chicklitsisters.com. Just tell us if you would like it in kindle, epub or pdf format.                                                                                     

 

 

Season‘s Greetings, One and All

Ellie Campbell

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and

What does Christmas mean to you? asks author Jenny Harper

256px-happy_new_year_06463When did Christmas start for you? In September, when the first decorations started to appear in garden centres and certain shops? In December, when postal deadlines loom? Or will it only finally happen on Christmas Eve, when the stress of juggling work, day-to-day family needs and shopping has almost become too much, but you can finally sit down with a glass of wine in the happy knowledge that everything is sorted?

Sometimes we lose sight of the reason for doing things. Christmas is a religious festival – in Scotland, when my parents were young (in the early 20th century), it wasn’t even a public holiday! But as our society

Source: What does Christmas mean to you? – Take Five Authors

Books Direct Christmas Giveaway – Cash Prizes to be Won!

AMAZON GIFT CARDS and CASH
PRIZES to be won!

christmas-giveaway-with-santa-hat

Just heard about the great giveaway at Books Direct so here goes for a chance to win some great prizes. Entry options will be added as more donations are received, so check back daily. The giveaway is open internationally and will end on 22 December. Winners will be announced on the Books Direct blog and notified by email. Sponsors are welcome to enter as well.

money

Prizes:

$80 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

$20 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

$10 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

$5 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Prizes will increase as more donations are received.

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Just close your eyes for a whole new world of books

Anyone for audio?

Take Five Authors

800px-ernesthareradiosipConfession: I read very little these days. That is, I read a great deal for research purposes, and I read far too many newspapers articles (especially this year, when the politics everywhere has been so intense and dramatic!) – but as for sitting down with a novel … sorry, but I can’t remember the last time I did that!

Shocking? Well yes. Writers should read, shouldn’t they?

I agree, absolutely. My problem is, since I started writing novels myself, I’ve found my concentration span has shortened immensely when it comes to reading other people’s books. If a novel is fantastic, it makes me want to run off instantly and get back to my own writing – in other words, I find good writing inspiring. If something is poor, or just doesn’t catch my interest … well, frankly, life’s too short to waste.

headphones-1088732_1280However, I do get through twenty to thirty novels…

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