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MEOWING ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE: A Collection of Short Fiction and Prose by Robert Emmett

https://robertwriting.wordpress.com/meow/

“A book that Philip K. Dick could have written… A twisted sense of humor…” -Tessa B. Dick

$10.00 USA / 15.00 International(Watch this space for a new release coming in July) https://robertwriting.wordpress.com/meow/

Back On The Air. New Book Announcement.

I will be back on the air with the always fabulous Flabby Hoffman on June 13th! 1680 AM in Chicago or Que4.org worldwide

You don’t want to miss this one! I will be using this opportunity to break the news about my NEW BOOK!

Including: What it’s called, what it’s all about, when it comes out, where you can get it, and what you need to do in the meantime to prepare yourself for it’s imminent arrival.

Join the Facebook event page. Keep up to date with details, and be reminded when to tune in!
https://www.facebook.com/events/782875501831134/

Judging books by their cover

catacombsI think it’s one of the most used metaphors in existence, ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover.’ And while I agree with the sentiment, in general it’s not wise to judge people or things on appearances, the truth is — at least as far as the world of book publishing — this rule just does not apply anymore.

I think the saying comes from the not too distant past, when all books had hardcovers, and the most decorative thing you could manage was splurging for the good leather.

These days the cover seems like a vitally important part of the book, I would say they are as important as cover art for albums back in the day when albums mattered.

I have seen many authors lately sharing some of their cover ideas. Some are better than others. Many authors still just do not recognize the importance of this step.

We spend countless hours writing and rewriting and then editing and re-editing, I think it is important to give the book cover the same degree of time and devotion. These are the containers we use to package our product, and they are so much a part of the product themselves. A good cover can persuade sales, and likewise a bad cover can keep a great book from being read.

I learned a lot putting together Meowing on the Answering Machine. I am glad Kat Mellon jumped in when she did, otherwise I would be on the other side of this article and probably simmering.

There was a time when book reviews in newspapers or magazines were not accompanied by a picture of the cover, because at the time it wasn’t considered important or relevant. These days are gone. It’s probably the internet to blame once again, the market is cluttered with publishers and independents fighting for a sliver of attention for their work and will use any means they have to hook a potential reader. And these days so much of our retail world and social lives are online, the chances are good that a majority of people will first encounter your book as a thumbnail.

This is important to keep in mind when you design your cover. Besides looking at how it will look when printed at say 6 by 9 in paperback format, you want to also make sure it looks good, the title and your name are legible when the image is reduced to 110 x 75 pixels.

I believe it’s important to recognize what the cover is and what its purpose is. It is meant as a representation of your product, if you are writing horror your cover should convey this. If the image and feel doesn’t complement the story, you run a risk of frustrating your readers.

When we get down to basics, your cover is the packaging of your product. Every detail should be aimed toward describing the product, as well as attracting attention and persuading people to take a chance. Your blurb should be short, direct and intriguing. Give them some mystery, a struggle or a contradiction, something to make them want to investigate further.

It was a dark and stormy night,‘ and almost any talk about the weather or the atmosphere or the ‘tension in the air’ probably should be snipped out of your sixty thousand word manuscript, descriptions such as these have absolutely no place in your two-hundred-words-or-less blurb, where they will stick out like a sore, but boring, thumb. Show us conflict and intrigue, make us want to crack the book open.

Get professional help if you can. I generally believe in the ‘you get what you pay for’ adage. But there are a ton of cover artists on the internet with a variety of different skills and a wide range of prices. Some of them are authors themselves and may be willing to help out a fellow writer, especially if they believe in your work.

But even if you do it yourself, take the time and do it right. If possible, don’t do it with the cover creator programs that createspace and lulu offer. These are functional and ‘okay,’ but do not give you many options and make it difficult to get a really professional look. I believe even using free software like GIMP, or even Paint, will let you make a more professional looking product.

But recognize what your cover is, it will be the first impression many people have of your work, and in some cases it will be the factor between tossing it in the cart or putting it back on the shelf. Make sure you honestly represent your work, and take this opportunity to hook a new reader, make it impossible for them to put that book back down.

In the Bowels of the Bookstore

I snapped apart the chain and rolled the stone away. Behind it was the mouth of an earthen tunnel. An opaque darkness hid any further information. Fortunately I was at the crumbling end of the Romance section. I easily found a book to light for a torch.

~The Comma Sutra, MEOWING ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE

catacombs

©M²XIV/REM

 

At War withe Spiders (video and comic)

‘When the Going Gets Weird, the Weird Turn Pro’
~Hunter S. Thompson

At War with the Spiders on YouTube

I’ve been playing around with this little cartoon sequence for ‘At War withe Spiders.’ The whole thing started merely as an idea for a promo for ‘Meowing on the Answering Machine,’ which is where the ‘Spiders’ story comes from.

So far I have attempted a video version with a few different bits of music behind it, some spookier than rhythmic, others more disturbing than expermental, but I think I found the one that is JUST right. This is the one I am liking the best for now, it uses a section of the second movement of ‘Lost at Sea in the Electric Desert.’

spider-title Spiders1-txt
Spiders2-txt Spiders3-txt
Spiders4-txt Spiders5-txt
Spiders6-txt spider7-txt
spider8 Spidernew9
SpidernewA SpidernewA-credits