Day 4: Get the Cover #authorblogchallenge

A book cover is a very important marketing tool – probably the first one an author will create. You’ll use it even before your book is done to help build interest. Describe your process for choosing and designing your book cover. Who created your cover? How did you find him/her? What do you love about your cover? What might you do differently next time?

Never judge a book by its cover… okay that’s so not true. We all judge books by their covers. This is one part of publishing that is quite a dilemma for lots of people. It is something that takes me ages to get right and I have my own cover designer right in my house – my husband….

New Cover
New Cover

He and I have designed the covers for all my books and it is a really long process to get something we are both happy with. Having said that I really like the covers of all my books – now.

Obi 1 new

I have learnt few things along the way
1. Photos are a great place to start – I often go and take photos for lots of writing inspirations and to help me with illustrations, so it was natural to turn to them for covers.

Homework Goblin new

2. Simple is the best philosophy
3. Pick a style that can be consistent
4. Be patient

Cover final

I like to get feedback before I release the actual cover. I find critiques to be helpful, although I don’t always take their advice. Sometimes when you produce a photo of the cover it will be less clear than when it is printed on the actual book. Some people don’t like certain colours or don’t understand the concept of the book. So it’s always worth reading the comments and taking the information that will improve your book. I find the best and most useful reviews comes from kids. I always ask my kids what they think and sometimes their friends.

FntCover

Another trick I have learnt is to print a photo of your cover, then I put it on the fridge while I am editing the book. This gives everyone in the house a chance to look at it and make the final decision.
My next cover will be the first of my super hero books and I know what I want, but it’s going to be tricky… better get back to work, check out some of the other author blog challenge posts via their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/authorblogchallenge/

FrntCover_FINAL (419x640)

Have fun!

Day 3: Character Costumes #Authorblogchallenge

On the day before All Hallow’s Eve, let’s examine the obvious and think Halloween today. If you were to put together a “costume” to promote your book, wear at your book signings/events, and otherwise attract attention – and, more importantly, questions – about your book, what would it look like? Are you brave enough to actually wear it?
BONUS: Tell us about the results if you’ve actually already created and worn said costume.

This is funny because a few years ago my kids dressed up as the two super heroes they helped me to develop. I have had some short stories staring these characters published, but the actual chapter books are still a working process – hopefully next year!

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The super heroes we created are:

Lightning Lilly

Princess Seea and Super Stitch

I can’t wait to get these books out there, they have been so much fun to write. I have lots of ideas to keep this series going too.

Cover  text

(still working on the cover and the illustrations)

As for me… Mmmm I’m not really into dress up and to be honest there aren’t too many adults in my story. I guess I could find a green mask and go as The Homework Goblin… that would be great in class, no you can’t use that excuse because I am the homework goblin…

Homework Goblin new

More soon – have fun!

Day 2: Readers #Authorblogchallenge

Another key to book marketing success is knowing everything about your ideal reader’s demographics (e.g. age, gender, education level, income level, religious preference, parenting status, marital status) as well as their psychographics, which covers everything from the kind of car they drive to their favorite social media sites to what they do on Saturday mornings. Extrapolate to the parents if you’re a children’s author. Tell us about your ideal reader.

My ideal reader is anyone who read. Adults and children have told me they love my books and a few teachers have used them in their classrooms. I guess that’s not a definitive answer, so I should be a bit more specific. My ideal readers should

DSC_0072

Love animals (especially dogs)
Enjoy adventure
Have a sense of humour
And a passion for writing themselves

As a teacher I get to share my passion for writing with lots of children. Which is a great way to keep my motivation for writing. My own children are also published authors, so it is also something we do together.
One more blog to catch up – have fun!

Day 1: The Pitch #Authorblogchallenge

Having a hook is one of the keys to successfully marketing your book. What is your 30-second elevator pitch? And whom would you most like to give it to?
Right, playing catch up here… excited to get back to my blog and I love this challenge. So here I go….

My 30 second elevator pitch:
My best pitch works when I have my writing buddy – Stitch (it used to be Obi, but Stitch has filled his big shoes). Stitch hooks them and then I start on about all his adventures, but if you want more you need to read the books….

FrntCover_FINAL (419x640)

Then if I have a second between pats I go on about my writing journal that I published… oh you want to write books too, or you have a story that needs to be written… well try this.

FntCover

Simple, but effective. Love having Stitch with me (will settle for Chewie, just kidding). The boys are great at selling my books, which is fair as they and the old boy Obi are usually the inspiration.
I do have two other secret weapons, my girls. They are also great at telling everyone that Mum is an author and you should buy her books…

Looking forward to the rest of the Author Blog Challenge and reading all the other posts. More to do now, so have fun!

A Spooky Story #Halloween #spooky

GHOSTNAPPED!

New Cover
New Cover

Alex and her sidekick Thuds (the Labrador) think they are going on a boring family camping trip. They soon find themselves in an amazing adventure and a rescue mission when Alex’s younger brother is taken by a ghost. To get him back Alex has to solve a mystery from 50 years ago and face the most unique monster you’ll ever meet.

Get your spooky book here:
https://www.createspace.com/5513427

For more of my books and the kindle editions go to my Amazon Author page:
http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Howland/e/B00BQA4XRO

If you live in Australia and want a signed copy email me at ashley@ahowland.org

HAVE FUN!!!!

Books are better than lollies #booksforHalloween

I love Halloween, so full of great stories and adventures. BUT do the kids really need all those lollies??? My two would prefer books anyway. So this year go for books instead of lollies and enjoy the real adventure of Halloween…

halloween

You can check out my books here:

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=Ashley+Howland&sitesearch_type=STORE

or

Amazon (Kindle and print): https://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Howland/e/B00BQA4XRO

or email me at ashley@ahowland.org
Have fun!

Rolling on towards Christmas #gettingcloser #needtowrite

It’s the end of our school holidays and there are nine more weeks of school left…. That’s amazing. Now I am not one of these people who sits back and says “where did the year go?”
It goes like this every year and yes if you get too caught up you can miss all the good bits. That’s a shame, but there are so many good bits to come.

This week we head back to school… Yes I am a teacher and yes that is a good thing. Term four is always fun, there’s excursions, concerts, Christmas stuff, beach volleyball and so much more. It’s exciting, fun and there islots to do.

Of course outside of work there is much to look forward to. Halloween is around the corner, that means Boo at the Zoo!!!!

tiger web

Mmmm think that is a research trip for my Diary of a Zoo Animal – the draft I wrote in March.

Halloween is always a great source of inspiration for me, I love spooky books….

New Cover
New Cover

If you are brave there is the Nano in November – write a 50 000 word book in one month. I did it once and then it took be two years to edit and finally publish my story…

Cover final

I won’t be doing the Nano this year, but am intending November to be a full on editing month for me!

Then we roll on to Christmas. My favourite time of the year and this year is going to be super special. Lots of exciting things to come. I love the whole adventure and am looking forward to enjoying every moment that is left in 2016. Then I get to set myself some new writing and publishing goals for 2017… better get cracking on what I wanted to achieve this year then.

What are you looking forward to as the year ends? Would love to hear – have fun!

It’s What You Do #Tweenbook

It’s What You Do Next that counts
So many things can change in a year. For Callie everything has changed so quickly she no longer knows where she belongs.

Cover final

This is the story of one year in Callie’s life. It is full of teenage adventures, sport, friendship, bullying and the journey to find her own place in the world.

You can check out your own copy here:

https://www.createspace.com/4980310

If you prefer kindle then check out my author page at amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Howland/e/B00BQA4XRO

Have fun!

A Ghost Story with a difference #Ghoststory

GHOSTNAPPED!

New Cover
New Cover

Alex and her sidekick Thuds (the Labrador) think they are going on a boring family camping trip. They soon find themselves in an amazing adventure and a rescue mission when Alex’s younger brother is taken by a ghost. To get him back Alex has to solve a mystery from 50 years ago and face the most unique monster you’ll ever meet.

Get your spooky book here:
https://www.createspace.com/5513427

For more of my books and the kindle editions go to my Amazon Author page:
http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Howland/e/B00BQA4XRO

If you live in Australia and want a signed copy email me at ashley@ahowland.org

HAVE FUN!!!!

Homework Got You Down? #perfectexcuse

The Perfect Excuse for not doing your Homework
Check out this one

THE HOMEWORK GOBLIN

Homework Goblin new

Jason has completed his homework for the first time, only to have it stolen by the Homework Goblin. He jumps out his window and into an amazing chase. Will he get his homework back in time?

Check out the perfect excuse here:
https://www.createspace.com/5513433

To grab a kindle copy and check out my other books go to my Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Howland/e/B00BQA4XRO

If you live in Australia and would like a signed copy email me at:
ashley@ahowland.org

HAVE FUN!