September 15, 2014

The evolution of a book cover: why I will always hire a visual artist now

I think of my self-publishing experience with The Night Ones as a learning exercise and, right now, as a demonstration of why self-publishing writers most often should hire someone else to do the artwork for their book covers.

Here’s the first book cover I tried to make, on my own.

book cover possibility three point seven five

Here’s the second book cover, also made on my own.

Second book cover

Second book cover

Here’s the third, also on my own, that I made for the re-release while I waited for a final book cover. (More on that another time–the artist I hired works fast. I was waiting on other things.)

green ebook cover red print cropped resized

And, finally, here’s what artist LaRae Monroe can do.

The Night Ones has a new look!

The Night Ones has a new look!

LaRae and I had a great chat about what separates writers and visual artists. Both she and I keep notebooks. The biggest difference is what we keep in our notebooks. Mine is full of words, describing my ideas in detail. Her ideas are mapped out with pictures, more like story boards.

I’ve gained a new respect for all visual artists because of LaRae. In some ways, she can see what I write about better than I can.

If you’re intrigued by the beautiful new book cover, check out the e-book! It’ll be free on Amazon from Sepember 18-22. Also–check out the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Wishing you all the best!

September 14, 2014

Beautiful new book cover for #thenightones

The Night Ones: Book One of the Legacy of the Night Ones finally has a new cover.

The Night Ones has a new look!

The Night Ones has a new look!

It’s been uploaded to Amazon. I expect it to go live sometime early Sunday morning.

Just a quick note about the artist, LaRae Monroe–she did an excellent job of seeing what I couldn’t see and pulling this book cover together in just about a day. It’s a beautiful thing.

Check out LaRae’s blog page here: http://laraelxdesigns.blogspot.com/ She is one talented lady!

Meanwhile, don’t forget about the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway. Book two is on track for a December release. LaRae will be doing the cover for that book, too.

August 31, 2014

For the Love of Geoffrey

Gwen Bristol:

If you know what it’s like to really love a dog or any other pet, you can feel for what these nice people are going through. Please donate if you can, and if you can’t, please share this wherever you feel comfortable.

Originally posted on Tricia Drammeh:

I’ve never done this before, and I probably won’t do this again. I’m asking my blog followers to help my son’s dog if they can. Geoffrey is a five-year-old Corgi mix that is probably the most adorable dog I’ve ever seen. Since my son adopted him from the shelter four years ago, Geoffrey has led a very active life. Chris and Geoffrey surf together, take walks on the dog beach together, and enjoy Waffle-fry-Wednesday.

dog beach geoffrey

Over the past four years, Geoffrey has been a regular visitor at the Vet’s office. He suffers from chronic skin problems and allergies. Chris has always been vigilant about seeking out medical care for his best friend and will ignore his own needs to make sure Geoffrey is taken care of.

sad geoffrey

Now Chris and Geoffrey need our help. Two weeks ago, Geoffrey began having seizures and displayed a lack of mobility in his back legs. After…

View original 225 more words

August 31, 2014

New drawing for $25 Amazon gift card #contest thing

Prizes for The Night ones Legacy contest

Enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! by reviewing the Night Ones. (See below for details. :)

I’m so excited about this!

While I wait for the final book cover for The Night Ones, I decided to host another $25 Amazon gift card drawing. (Some of you may remember when I did this a few years ago. I’m really happy to be doing it again.)

Here are the rules:’

1. Read The Night Ones, by Gwen Bristol

2. Post a review of The Night Ones on Amazon–here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Night-Ones-Legacy-Book-One-ebook/dp/B00N505O94/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409461305&sr=8-1&keywords=gwen+bristol+the+night+ones

3. Send me an e-mail at gwenbristol@gmail.com letting me know you posted a review. If you win the drawing at the end of the month, I’ll contact you by e-mail to get a physical address so I can send you the gift card.

Here are a few more things to consider:

1. If you read my last post, you’ll remember that The Night Ones was previously published as The Night Ones Legacy. I recently re-released it under a new name to prepare for the sequel, but if you already read The Night Ones Legacy and left an Amazon review, you have a head start. It’s the same book with some minor editorial tweaks–so just go ahead and review it again, and send me an e-mail letting me know! (Of course, I would love it if you liked the book enough to read it again anyway.)

2. If you feel this is worth sharing, please pass it around! If I get more than 50 entries, I’ll buy another gift card and host two drawings…and if I get more than 100 entries, I’ll buy another one. You get the idea.

3. You have almost all of September to post a review and e-mail me. I’ll stop receiving entries by midnight (MST) on Friday, September 26. I will notify winners on Saturday, September 27 and I will post about the results of this promotion/contest thingy then.

4. If, by my writing style tonight, you guessed I’m a bit tired, you guessed right. I may think of other things to say about this contest/promotion thingy later this week, but for now, that’s it. Go read, and review, and e-mail me, and most of all, have fun!

Wishing everyone a wonderful upcoming week!

August 30, 2014

Re-release of The Night Ones

The Night Ones is a re-release of The Night Ones Legacy (see picture below)

The Night Ones is a re-release of The Night Ones Legacy (see the picture below this post). This book cover will hold the place of the final book cover, which is coming soon.

Early this summer I finally began working hard on a sequel to The Night Ones Legacy and decided I really needed to re-release the first book to prepare for the release of the sequel in December. I used the month of August to gather feedback and re-edit the book. Yesterday I re-released it as The Night Ones  with another place-holder cover.

I finally bit the bullet and hired a designer for the book cover, but it wasn’t ready yesterday and I didn’t want to wait on the re-release. I’m thinking about hosting an official launch party when the book cover is finally finished. For now, I’m sending the new version out quietly into the world. If you feel like it’s worth passing on, please share it!

Someday soon, when the final book cover is in place, I’ll post about the evolution of this book, why I’m doing things in small steps  and why I’m finally moving on.

Wishing everyone a great day!

August 29, 2014

#fridayphotopoetry Sleepless Nights

The beginning of night

The beginning of night–maybe another sleepless one?

Sleep dipped into the darkness, long

before I searched the room for him,

before I caught the cricket’s song,

before my candle’s light burned dim-

 

And when I sought him, all I found

was sand for eyes that felt no need,

and so I sit upon the ground,

and by my fire’s soft glow, I read.

August 8, 2014

LIVE ON AMAZON! LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE: THE COMPASS KEY!

Gwen Bristol:

All fantasy readers should try books by Charles Yallowitz. Here’s the newest in his series.

Originally posted on Legends of Windemere:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Available on Amazon for $2.99!
Listed on Goodreads!
Dive back into a world of fantasy adventure with Legends of Windemere: The Compass Key!

 Book Blurb:

Swords will clash and spells will fly in the newest adventure of young warrior Luke Callindor, Nyx the magic-flinging caster, and their friends.

With Sari captured by their enemies, the champions of Windemere are determined to get her back and destroy the Lich’s castle. Little do they realize, their battles in the Caster Swamp are only the beginning of this adventure. Trinity and her Chaos Elves have invaded the city of Gaia in search of a relic called the Compass Key. Rumored to be the key to rescuing Sari from a magical island, our heroes are in a race to find the mysterious artifact.

Which side will claim the Compass Key? And, what will our heroes…

View original 391 more words

August 8, 2014

#fridayphotopoetry The fires we dance around

DSC06666

If all those things we choose to do

are bundled up, piled into one,

the love of life might spark anew,

light fires that spread and get things done.

 

And when the heat of our own games

becomes a blaze of day-by-day,

the things we do go up in flames,

become the music that we play.

 

It’s not the things we choose to do

that keep our feet upon the ground–

It’s just our dreams, when they come true,

are flames we choose to dance around.

 

 

August 1, 2014

#fridayphotopoetry Shared Dreams

DSC01786

SHARED DREAMS

I waited with my dreams in hand

(and some folded beneath my hat,

some in my shoes–but understand,

my heart still carried more than that).

 

And then you came with dreams to share

(and some seemed like my very own,

like garden scents too sweet to bear–

and some of them seemed overgrown).

 

We pasted, plotted and devised

(all collages built this way

have to contain the things we’ve prized,

or they won’t stand in Light of Day).

 

In future years, we’ll seek our dreams

(their colors faded, edges frayed)

and gasp to see Creation gleams

on dreams come true. (Look what we made.)

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August 1, 2014

Book Trailers – Why You Need One

Gwen Bristol:

This sounds like a great deal.

Originally posted on Seán Cooke:

Do you have a self published book? Would you like to get more people to notice it AND to entice your current readers to stick with the series? Then book trailers could be exactly what you’re looking for!

How many times have you gone to a movie and seen a trailer for a movie that you didn’t know existed? Quite a few times, I bet. And how many times have you gone to that movie when it came out? Again, I guess it’s quite a few times. Book trailers work the exact same way.

The thing is, most authors find it tricky to get one that works for them in every way they need. If you go full out professional, you end up paying over $1,000 for a video of maximum five minutes. (And if it’s above 2.5 minutes it’s not going to work well.) Your other option is to…

View original 372 more words

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