Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fonts, fonts, and more fonts

By Michelle Lee
BWL Art Director

Hi, it's me again - the resident cover art geek.  I'm back with my latest in cover art related posts (after a fairly long hiatus due to graduate school).  I bet you can't guess what this post is about.  Come on ... give it a try ...

I'll give you a hint.  It's not images and it's not color schemes.  So what's left?  FONTS of course!

I touched on this a little bit in a past post, but it is well worth revisiting (at least in my mind).

Now I know what you are thinking, why would this be something worth talking about - twice now?  Well ... because the font typefaces used can be just as iconic as the images.

Let's look at a few examples shall we?

With the sharply pointed edges of this typeface, the artist brings to mind fangs.  Which is appropriate - anyone who doesn't know what Blade is about, it involves vampires.

 Another font that springs to mind right off is the one used for the Highlander TV series with Adrian Paul. Since she show is about sword-welding immortals, the font fits - because it has an almost blade edge like to it.

Ready for one that everyone should know?

Look at the elongated S's.  They almost see to be moving further away from the nearby letters. 

Another blast from the past - TRON.  Although the font was updated slightly for the new movie, it still have the same basic shape and feel.  The N especially is iconic.

Want a more modern example?  Then look no further than the Hogwarts school of magic.  It has a very wand like feel to it, and of course there is the lightening bolt end to the letter P.

 Now every author's dream is probably to be a household name.  Obviously the biggest part is creating a product you can be proud of.  However there are other things that go into the magic formula of success.  Part of that is branding, part of it is the wrapping, and of course a good deal of it is plain old fashion luck.  Since you can't control luck, an author needs to focus on what they can control - the product, branding themselves, and the wrapping of their product (namely the cover and blurb).

While the images are going to be what catches a reader first, they will notice the font.  And if it doesn't fit the overall feel of the product, then it can turn them off of the book.

Imagine a romance with a very stark, bleeding font.  Unless you are looking at a post-apocalyptic or paranormal genre, it probably wouldn't fit.

How about a fancy, script font on a horror.  Or a blocky, unattractive, bland font on a very visually stunning and provocative image.

The font selected for a cover can really say a lot about the contents.  So I strongly suggest authors take a little bit of time and scan through some of the options.  Including a few suggestions with the cover art form can help a cover artist to create the wrapping that will help to see your book.  At the very least, it will let you be able to explain to the artist what style you are looking for.

If you are not sure on what kind of font you are wanting, ie don't know the terminology, check out this quick resource - Basic Typography Terminology

If you are looking for something a bit more in depth - check out this article.

Some of the websites I personally use are:

DaFont     *     1001 Free Fonts     *     Urban Fonts

What I like about DaFont over some of the others out there is the option to see what specialized words - like a book's title - would look like, and the way they have the categories organized.  It makes it super easy to find something to fit.

To stress how important a choice picking the right font can be I leave you with one last iconic font.

Can you guess what uses this particular font?






If you guessed
 then give yourself a hand.

Now being realistic, your font typeface choice isn't likely to make you a household name.  BUT it is something important to consider when looking at a cover's creation.

Friday, May 2, 2014



If you are a fan of traditional love-stories with a genuine, old-time, rural setting, check out Hand-me-Down Bride. Meet the Wildbach's, both the schemers and the dreamers, and take a cool evening walk alongside the mill pond...

Judge Markham sat at his desk.  George Wildbach faced him across the mahogany surface.  A bottle stood between them.  It was the finest Kentucky bourbon, meant for sipping.

The Judge poured.  Then, ceremoniously, the two men raised their glasses.

"A good day's work, son." It was not just a figure of speech.  George's wife had been born Sally Markham.  The union had made kin of the two sharpest dealers in the county.

"I don't know how I can thank you, sir." 

"Just doing the right thing, m'boy."  The Judge's spectacles were misty with emotion.  "You've been a fine husband to my little Sally, and now there's Teddy and the girls.  They come first."

"To think! Just because Papa died so suddenly, Ilga Bullmaster and her niece would have waltzed off with $2,000 next week, skimmed right off the top."

"Well, with both wills in my file and the witnesses in my pocket, it was easy enough."

"A damned handsome girl," George took a meditative sip.  Oddly, he felt a little sorry for Sophie.  She seemed quite innocent, although Heaven knew that conniving Ilga was not.

"Forgive me for being candid, George, but nothing less than handsome would have suited your father.  He was a man of the most informed taste.  Ilga had the good sense to offer him a rose as perfect as any in his garden."

The Judge paused to splash more whiskey into George's glass.  "It's just good business," he declared, "not to let money get away from the family. Real family, that is."

George drank the second shot neat and then shook his head in an attempt to clear it.  He wasn't accustomed to drinking so early in the day, nor was he accustomed to downright larceny. Theft which could be performed under cover of law, like foreclosing on that shiftless Washington McNally a few years back, well, that was one thing!  To "lose" a signed and witnessed codicil was something else...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DISCOVERY by Ginger Simpson

Where else can you get a compilation of stories that have a connection?  I've been told that short story collections don't sell, but the history of Reader's Digest condensed books proves that theory was once wrong.

 In Discovery, someone learns something they didn't previously know, and I'm hoping readers might realize the "Discovery" of a love of shorts again. *lol*

 Please forgive me if I toot my own horn, but the stories are entertaining, hopefully well-written, and are great for passing time in a waiting room if you have a Kindle.  The "book" is available in both download and print if you don't have an e-reader, and I absolutely LOVE the cover.  The eye is on you!  *smile*

Here's a little teaser to grab your interest:  (hint, hint)

A Wing and a Prayer - A flight attendant discovers that her judgement in people might be flawed.

Joy's Revelation - While waiting for her wedding, Joy makes plans to get a passport for her honeymoon.  Why is her mother dragging her heels when it comes to finding Joy's birth certificate?  Is there a secret to discover?

Just the Right Fit - An older heroine discovers more than shoes at a sale she visits.

Masked Love - Divorced, overweight, and trying to find love.  Will my heroine discover the health problem she has might be her doom?  Betcha think you know what she has.  *lol*

Hurricane Warning - When my heroine moves to Florida to be next to the water, she discovers help comes in the strangest and most handsome of ways.

The Forget-Me-Nots - When a mother passes away and her daughters clean out her belongings for donation, one discovers three strange objects in her jewelry box and sets off to find what they mean and where they came from.

Paging Dr. Jones - A woman injured in a domestic violence incident discovers a doctor that doesn't just care for her injuries, he treats her soul.  Will she discover a connection?


So, there you have it.  My seven stories and I hope you'll try them and let me know what you think.  You can always email me at mizging @ gmail dot com or leave a "non-snarky" review on Amazon.  Really, most authors pay attention to what their readers have to say, if the comments are given as positive feedback.  Thanks for visiting today.

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