The Kincaids Book #2
By the author of the bestselling Escape to New Zealand series--
When you wish upon a star . . .
Alec Kincaid has never met the obstacle he couldn’t overcome—or the woman who could resist him. And it’s not going to happen now, not with his star shining more brightly than ever in the high-stakes arena of San Francisco’s software industry.
Desiree Harlin doesn’t believe in fairy tales, and she doesn’t waste time wishing. She’s learned the hard way that dreams don’t come true. And with her reputation and hard-won security on the line, succumbing to temptation isn’t an option.
But things aren’t always what they seem. And even stars sometimes fall.
She’d spooned up every bit of the rich broth, the chunks of beef and vegetables, had dipped a second and then a third piece of bread in olive oil. Alec had watched it all without comment, while dispatching his own dinner with an alacrity that confirmed to Desiree that he really hadn’t had dinner yet tonight.
And when they’d finished, he’d insisted, together with Giuseppe—of course the waiter’s name was Giuseppe, because this wasn’t romantic enough, the white tablecloth and the single red rose and the candle and the worn brick against her shoulder—he’d insisted that she order cannoli for dessert.
“Just one,” he coaxed. “If you don’t want it, you don’t have to eat a single bite. But I think you need to taste whipped cream tonight.”
“Don’t you think she needs some whipped cream?” he demanded of the waiter, who smiled back at him, sensing, Desiree thought through a satisfied haze of red wine, succulent beef, and way too much potent testosterone, a truly magnificent tip.
“Definitely, the signorina needs whipped cream,” Giuseppe agreed. “And we have the best.”
She wasn’t sure how you had better whipped cream than anyone else, but when the dessert arrived, she had to concede that this was the best.
Amaretto, one still-sane corner of her practical brain suggested, but that sensible voice was drowned out, oh so rapidly, by the sensation on her tongue, the silky smoothness of cream, the almond sweetness of the liqueur, the delicate drift of pastry and the deep dark pleasure of chocolate. And Alec, watching her as she allowed the rich concoction to drift between her lips, over her tongue, down her throat. Watching her, enjoying the sight of her enjoying herself, as if it were his tongue. His throat.
By the time he’d slapped a hand against the door of the cab that had again been waiting when they’d stepped out of the restaurant’s front door, leaped back onto the sidewalk and raised that same hand in farewell, she’d been so lost in fatigue, wine, and lust that she could only sit back against the scarred leather and thank heaven that she hadn’t actually kissed him. Or begged him.
Creating Your Book Cover
So you’ve written a terrific book. You’ve edited and polished it to a fare-thee-well, and are ready to send it out into the Big World. But first, it needs a–gulp–cover. Oh, well. People aren’t buying the cover, they’re buying the writing, right? You can just do it yourself, right? After all, you’re pretty artistic. Right?
Wrong. Everybody is going to judge your book by its cover. You have a split second to convince your target buyer that this is her type of book, and that it’s a good one. Guess what does that–or doesn’t? Yep, your cover! Your book may or may not sell with a kickass cover. Without a kickass cover, it’s pretty much guaranteed not to sell.
The tips below, gleaned from ten years in marketing for the publishing industry, helped me create my own covers. I pass them along in hopes that they help you too.
1. Hire a professional. It isn’t as expensive as you may think. My initial three eBook covers cost me less than $100 per book, a small investment that paid for itself within days.
2. Choose the right professional. I did a web search to find designers in my genre (Romance), then looked at their websites and portfolios. Who designs covers that appeal to you and make you want to buy the book? When you’ve found somebody whose work you like, ask for a quote.
3. Know your market. Think about bestselling authors whose books resemble yours. Those authors have succeeded in attracting your market. Look at the covers of their books, and you’ll see trends. (Shirtless heroes? Flowers? An ornate font, or a simple one? Big, bold block letters on a red background, for a thriller?) Copy the links to your favorite covers. You’ll want to share them with your designer.
4. Define the effect you want to achieve. Your cover is your brand. Even if you only have one book out there now, you’ll want a “look” that people identify with your style. A good designer excels in translating “feelings” into art. This is the direction I gave my own designer (Robin Ludwig): “I want a simple, tasteful, intelligent cover (no half-naked heroes!) Something that still says ‘romance,’ but not ‘embarrassing.’ The books are funny, playful, sexy, and occasionally tearjerking. Not completely frothy, a serious story in there too. I want to convey that–plus ‘exotic New Zealand locale.’”
I also had three books, with more to come, so I needed to tie the covers together. The designer achieved that with the use of color and layout.
5. Research stock art. You’ll get better results and help your designer if you take the time to find stock imagery that conveys the look you’re going for. I used Dreamstime. The designer used the images I found for Just This Once and Just for Fun, but found different (better!) images for the other books.
6. Work the design, and get feedback. After you get the designer’s first pass, ask people who have read your book for their reactions, then evaluate the feedback and give ONE response to the designer. If it isn’t quite right, keep working. (It took me three or four rounds to get it right.) Don’t give the designer specific direction (“could you put the title under the picture?”) Instead, try to explain the “feeling” that isn’t quite right (“It doesn’t look playful enough”).
7. Admire your beautiful book cover! I hope it sells great!
Rosalind James is the author of the Kindle-bestselling "Escape to New Zealand" series (currently five titles strong), as well as the new U.S.-based "Kincaids" series. Her first book,"Just This Once," has sold tens of thousands of copies in the year since it was published, eventually reaching #85 in the Amazon store. A marketing professional and publishing industry veteran, Rosalind has lived all over the United States and in a number of other countries, traveling with her civil engineer husband. Most recently, she spent several years in Australia and New Zealand, where she fell in love with the people, the landscape, and the culture of both countries. She loves trying new things in her writing, most recently the mystery and suspense in "Nothing Personal."
Rosalind credits her rapid success to the fact that “lots of people would like to escape to New Zealand! I know I did!”