Never Judge a Book By Its Cover? Think Again. Then Read the New Books from @tmsanders2014

Traci Sanders is a very busy woman. She has written 10 books since 2013. And it’s not like she is pigeon-holing herself. She has written romance books, children’s books, parenting books. I’d like to see a book about how she gets this all done without sleeping. Because as any Indie author will tell you, it’s not just the writing that takes all the time … it’s the marketing. And the planning. And working with editors and designers.

And, of course, trying desperately to break the algorithm code at Amazon.

Traci most recently published three books simultaneously (show off!) on the art of self publishing: Before You Publish: Tips on grammar, writing, and editing (Write It Right Book 1)Beyond The Book: Tips on publishing, marketing, and networking to build your brand (Write It Right Book 2); and Living The Write Life : Tips on making the most of your writing skills (Write It Right Book 3),

SANDERS MY 3 BOOKSTraci graciously has agreed to share her expertise on one of the more trying tasks of self-publishing … finding the right cover. What follows are her tips on this subject.

Also, she is giving away two prizes:

*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish– Volume I zumba red grunge seal isolated on white
*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book –Volume II 
To enter, all you have to do is email me a proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books to
She will draw TWO winners total, at the end of her blog tour.
You can also connect with Traci on Twitter @tmsanders2014, or at her blog A Word With Traci.
 Enjoy Tip #231 from Traci!

TIP 231: 9 things to consider when
creating your book cover


This tip, and many others on marketing and networking, can be found in Beyond The Book: Tips on publishing, marketing, and networking to build your brand, now available in digital and paperback format.

In the past few years of researching, I’ve learned a great deal about the publishing industry.

So far, I’ve concluded that there are five elements to the process.

1.      Writing the book

2.      Editing the book (including initial edits and final, professional editing)

3.      Designing the book cover and copy material

4.      Publishing the book

5.      Marketing the book

Each step plays a vital role in the success of a book. Professional editors who “get” your story and enhance your words rather than erase them, are worth their weight in gold as far as I’m concerned.

But this tip involves book-cover design. Many authors, due to budget or time concerns, opt to design their own book covers. I’m all about saving money, especially as an Indie author; however, unless you are proficient in special design programs, I suggest hiring a pro for this. And I’m not talking about web designers or even illustrators who “dabble in Photoshop or InDesign.” Kudos to them for having those skills, but professional cover design is a whole other creature.

From what I’ve learned about these programs, they don’t compare to the top-quality ones used by the pros. And print design is much different than web design, I’ve discovered.

So, my suggestion is to hire a pro who specializes in print work, even more so, in book-cover design. A cover can make or break a book sale. It’s the face of your work, the first thing people see that represents you. With more than seven million books on Amazon to choose from, you must make sure your cover stand out.

I personally adore my cover designer. Her name is Rachel Bostwick, and she was referred to me by a fellow author friend. She designed both of my book covers and the trailers for both books. I tell everyone about her! In fact, jump on over to her Facebook page to see some of the covers she has designed. Be sure to give her a LIKE while you’re there.

You can find her on:



Here are 9 things to expect/ask when looking for a professional cover designer:

1.      The best advertisement is word of mouth. Ask around with your fellow authors and see who they use. I’ve already given you one reference.

2.      Once you have a few to choose from, be sure to ask to see samples of their work. Check out those covers on Amazon and see how they compare to others.

3.      Make sure you know what the total cost will be for everything. A reputable designer will give you a set project price, rather than nickel and dime you to death with fees; and he/she will also give you a reasonable deadline in which to expect your product to be delivered.

4.      Be sure to discuss any extra fees that will be involved, if any changes need to be done.

5.      Make sure it’s clear as to what you can expect for the fee: Does it include just a Kindle cover or paperback also? Does it include a 3D cover? Will you have all rights to use the stock images for other marketing purposes?

6.      Make sure your artist has permission to use the stock images chosen for your book. (He/she will probably charge a nominal fee for any images needed to purchase.) Work with your designer to give him or her ideas as to what you envision for your cover. It can be a beautiful process with the right designer.

7.      How does your designer wish to be paid? PayPal is the typical method. You will want to choose a reputable designer who can provide a receipt for tax purposes.

8.      If you choose someone on (other than Rachel, of course), or any other design service, be sure to check his or her references to see what the fees and work ethics are like.

9.      Make sure the designer guarantees his or her work. If you are not satisfied, you need to be able to get your money back. But keep in mind, any type of design work is time consuming. Respect the designer’s time. If he/she does do a great job, don’t be unreasonable with changes. Go with your gut if it’s not right, but be respectful at the same time.

Those are just a few basic questions to ask/things to consider, when choosing a book cover designer.


SANDERS DSC_0055Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance, and nonfiction guides.

Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors. 




random-lucidity-kindle-cover-20151.jpgTHE HANDEL METHOD_DA2Dave Adair is the author of Random Lucidity, proud recipient of the 2015 eLit Silver Medal for Literary Fiction.

Look for Dave’s new release, The Handle Method, on in Summer 2017.

Win a Chance at a Free Pre-Release Copy of “The Handle Method” Today.

Avery Handle planned to change the world one troubled patient at a time. He was well on his way to accomplishing just that when a string of murders struck Houston.

A world-famous physician trying to bury his own personal demons, Handle found himself an unlikely target of two determined homicide detectives.

Trapped in a web of his own design and struggling to keep his dream alive, Handle decided no cost was too steep to protect his method and his patients. Even if it meant landing on death row.


Nominate The Handle Method today and win a chance at a free early release copy

To learn more about Dave’s other works, please visit


Scalia’s Death an Opportunity to Prove Moderates Should Govern

We are heading toward a completely unnecessary fight over Justice Scalia’s replacement. The right doesn’t want a liberal president to nominate a successor, filling a conservative seat with what they assume will be a far left justice.

The left doesn’t want to risk someone like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz getting the chance to nominate someone even more conservative than Scalia, if that is possible.

In fact, the best time for real America – those of us in the reasonable middle – is for President  Obama to make a choice right now. Because he has zero chance of getting a leftist justice through an obstructionist congress, and because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already said there will be no vote until after the election, he has to nominate a moderate justice. 

There are two reasons this will happen:

1. It’s the right thing to do. Enough with the extreme candidates. Let’s let the moderate adults take control for awhile. You don’t like his nominee, don’t vote for him or her. But let’s not act as though you are waiting to see what American voters want to do.

American voters put the man in the White House. Twice. The voters have spoken. Twice. It’s not like this is three days before the election.

2. Obama wants McConnell to look bad. Remember, after his historic win in 2008, it was McConnell who made it his mission to obstruct Obama at every turn. More than anyone else, it was McConnell who denied Obama his chance at changing the tone in Washington, as unlikely as that was going to be, anyway.

Obama is consitutionally obligated to nominate a justice to fill the seat. So there is no political risk for him or the Democrats in the Senate to nominate and fight for someone. He is simply doing his job.

Should Obama nominate a moderate judge, say, one that already has been unanimously approved by the Republican-controlled Senate for a lower court, it puts McConnell in a tough spot. The American voters, I suspect, will turn on the GOP candidate in a general election for paralyzing the Supreme Court for more than a year.

Obama would love nothing more than to drub his arch nemesis over the head with this issue for his last 11 months in office, potentially locking down the next 4 or more years for his former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to take up residence again at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Is there any better parting shot for Obama than to hand the White House keys back to Bill Clinton as Mitch McConnel looks on helplessly?

Is there any better time to let a moderate have a voice, and maybe save us all from this madness?