Monday, April 30, 2012

The Reader's Voice: Book Covers

        A book cover is one of the most valuable aspects of a book. This outer material design never speaks however it is the voice and selling point of any book. A readers first encounter is with a cover and therefore must lure a reader into wanting to read this story line and take its journey with the author. In a world where there are numerous choices many authors start to question what do reader's want? What do reader's look for in a book cover that will make them flock to the novel without even reading the books description. It's a game authors must play when designing a book cover and it's called "look at me."

        They say never judge a book by its cover but let's be honest we still do. Readers have the tendency to stare down a cover and wonder if it's worth their time, wonder if the design on the cover which captures the eye is a good representation of what the storyline would be.  Elesha Martinez admitted that she is definitely guilty for judging a book by its cover. Martinez said, "If a cover stands out I usually want to grab the book, read the back and see what it is about." When it comes to a cover it is just as important as the story itself, the two go hand and hand, without a good cover its story won't be read. Denise Gilliam, 44, said if a cover does not catch her eye she won't want the book.

       However within the urban fiction genre there are large amounts of covers with woman posing provocatively. It raises eye brows as to whether or not readers agree with these cover styles since readers are the ones carrying around these books. Terri Linnear, 32, says it really doesn't matter to her whether a book is dressed provocatively on the cover of a novel or not. However Gilliam made it known that she does not agree with the style. "It's not a good look to me. I think you should give a man a reason to want you with your clothes on. I'm against that on book cover really" Gilliam said. While on the flip side, Martinez is not against the covers but she does believe there are other ways to go when selecting a cover. "Women dressing provocatively is bound to get attention, that's a give in, I really don't have a problem with it but I don't think it's always necessary. You can make an attention grabbing cover without always having to exploit women," Martinez explains.

        So what are good, eye, catching covers that readers want? According to these women they do not want to see a cheap looking cover. "I feel if you don't put enough into the presentation the story probably won't be as good either," Linnear voiced. Reader's want a cover that has something to do with the stories topic, they don't want to see animals, nudity, and compromising sexual positions gracing the covers of their read. Originality and thinking outside the box will always give a author points and have them automatically stand out from the pack of authors by doing something never done. Readers also believe it would be nice that if a author has a person on their cover the model  resembles the characters described in the book. It never hurts to make the book come across as more realistic by giving the reader a visual.

         Creating covers is not an easy task, but there are some authors who always get it right. Linnear, Gilliam, and Martinez says authors Ashley and Jaquavis, Wahida Clark, and Kiki Swinson always supplies their audience with great covers. When readers are waiting for a new release they are not only waiting for the storyline but the cover. Readers like to get a glimpse into the authors mind and get an idea of how they envision their novel coming to life through the cover. Covers are more than what you think, it's a huge part of the novels personality. So authors when you're writing a novel remember, readers do judge a book by its cover.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Chyna Dahl

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Conversation with Sabrina Eubanks.

         There are veterans and there are newbies. Veterans paid their dues, work hard, and spit out bestsellers like there nothing. And then you have the newbies, green to the game, hungry and ready to take the book world by storm. The pen game is deadly in the urban fiction world and competition is far from nada so if you want a chance at surviving and obtaining longevity in this business you must first be a student. Sit back and watch how it's done, observe the vets at work. And since I am not a stranger to taking my own advice, I decided to sit down with one of the veterans in the urban fiction literary world, Sabrina Eubanks. She just released her fifth novel Booster's and believe it or not, she is just warming up. So newbies, prepared to get educated and read about someone who is where you're trying to be.
Brandie: Sabrina Eubanks, tell us who is Sabrina outside of the pen and paper?

Sabrina Eubanks: I am just a regular person, who happens to write books. I'm the mother of a precious 7 year old little boy, I love to cook, I love to read, and I love music. I'm an avid people watcher, and I am enamored of every corner around the city I live in which is NYC. I see stories yet to be told everywhere I look. I'm a great empathizer. I care very deeply about a lot of things, and I care about people. I've been through my fair share of heartache, turmoil, and pain, just like everybody else, but I've found that laughter is the best medicine- and faith. Faith will pull you through anything.

Brandie: At what moment did you discover writing was what you should be doing?

Sabrina Eubanks: I've been writing stories since I was 8 years old, but I never took it seriously. It was always something I just did. I was coming out of a very difficult relationship that left me feeling very drained, when I started using writing as a catharsis. I was in the middle of the first chapter when I had the epiphany that this was what I should be doing.

Brandie: The first novel you written was Karma, take us through the writing process. How did it come about and when did you know it was meant to be a trilogy?

Sabrina Eubanks: Well, I was coming out of something unhappy, and I decided I wanted to write a love story. Not a fairy tale love story that was all hearts and flowers, where the beautiful couple rides off into the sunset together to live out a perfect life. Life doesn't always have a happy ending. I wanted to tell a story about perfect love gone horribly wrong to the tenth power, and I think I managed it. I didn't know starting out that Karma would turn out to be a trilogy, but the characters were so complex and their stories were so crazy, they have to be told. I'm gonna try to wrap it up in Rock Stars.

Brandie: Booster's is your fifth novel, what makes it different from Karma 1-3, and Chasing Bliss? How does it even differ from you short story Fame and Low Lo. Why is Booster's a must read?

Sabrina Eubanks: The Karma series id the on going tale of two first grade narcotics detectives that take down major criminals and have tumultuous love lives. In Boosters, Quinn, Lonzo, and Fitzi are on the other side of the law. Larceny is their motivation. Booster's is different from Chasing Bliss because Chasing Bliss is a love story, even though the main character is a serial killer of sorts, but Chase Brown is a complicated character who-if he were real-probably wouldn't see himself that way. The characters in Booster's are different from Fame and Low Lo because, even though Fame and Low Lo start out as thieves themselves, they switch to dealing drugs and that situation brings about their downfall.

        Booster's is a must read. It's a coming of age tale where three young black males grows into manhood, propelled by their own greed, lust and secrets. Quinn Whitaker is a diabolical mastermind who makes the impossible possible, Lonzo will will whoever stands in the way of their cash flow, and Fitzi... is the weak link. It's a roller coaster ride fueled by larceny, with a crazy twist at the end that you didn't see coming... or maybe you did.

Brandie: What is there that you always wanted to tell your readers but never got the chance too?

Sabrina Eubanks: I always try to let my readers know how much they are appreciated, it I would tell them how happy it really makes me to have someone truly love something that I've written. I love it when they're emotional and verbal about what I wrote. Writer are absolutely nothing without the people who love and cherish their stories, I would tell them how much I love and cherish them for allowing me to do it.

Brandie: Urban Fiction has taken libraries by storm. What are your thought on the genre being a hit in libraries?

Sabrina Eubanks: I'm glad that urban fiction is a hit in libraries. A lot of people believe that black people don't like to read. The thing is a lot of black people like to read stories that they can relate to, and sometimes people don't have the money to drop on a book. I can relate to that. Libraries make the genre easily accessible.

Brandie: Do you predict paperback and hard cover books will soon be a thing of the past with ebooks ow in the picture?

Sabrina Eubanks: I don't think that paperbacks and hard covers will be a thing of the past any time i the near future, but maybe, in the not so near future. I can see the difference in my own sales. Ebooks sales are doing really well, but the paperback sales are dragging badly.

Brandie: What is the greatest lesson you learned while being in the writing game?

Sabrina Eubanks: I'm actually laughing at that one! Boy, if I could have had a crystal ball.. anyway, I learned the hard way that all that glitters is not gold. I'm not into using public forums to sling arrows, so that's all I'm gonna say on that one.

Brandie: What is the one review a readers gave you that you can never forget and why does it stay with you?

Sabrina Eubanks: There are two of them, actually. The first one was one of the first ones that I received for Karma. The reviewer ripped my book apart and gave it two stars. I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that review stung because it seemed to have been done with malicious intent. You can't figure out why people do the things they go, thought, and I wasn't the only author she did that too. I just let it go. The other one is the first one I got from Booster's! They called me the New Queen of Urban Lit. I almost fainted, Who me?

Brandie: What are three things you would like for each of your readers to possess?

Sabrina Eubanks: A vivid imagination, the ability to get totally lost in a story, and empathy.

Brandie: Do you have a motto that you live by?

Sabrina Eubanks: Pay it forward. If someone helps you, help someone else.

Brandie: What advise would you give aspiring authors?

Sabrina Eubanks: Don't try to fit in, or conform to a cookie-cutter mold of genre you write. Keep your stuff new and fresh. Most of all, do you homework when it comes publishing and getting signed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Porn Stars By Matthew Ramsey and Fabiola Joseph Review

            Porn is an underworld many people look down on and try to avoid. But it's out there; lurking in the night waiting for you come out so that it grabs you by your hidden desires and pulls you into its world filled with, sex, money, and deception. Porn Stars is wrapped in pleasure, painted with tears and splashed with rage. Read at your own risk, because this novel takes erotica to a place where friendships are tested, love hurts, and deceit is the game of choice.

           Porn Stars opens the doors to the everyday lives of main characters Jasmine and Jamar. You will be entertained beyond words as you read about the struggles the two encounters while trying to live normal life's as porn stars. Jasmine is a girl looking for a quick buck and walks into the world of porn which she now can't get out of, it treats her too well or so she thinks. And then there's Jamar a homosexual young man who wanted in this business and after years of succeeding slowly learns no one stays on top forever. Love, money, and pure jealousy starts tearing away at these individuals forcing them to turn to one another if they want a chance at surviving in the world of porn.

          This novel will keep you guessing and have you watch as characters transforms into the unrecognizable. If you are looking for a novel where sex, money and mayhem is present then this novel is for you! Porn Stars is Rated X and should not be read by children. It's an after dark HBO movie in the form of a book and you won't stop reading until all your questions are answered. This novel is for the open minded and steps into a world that only exists when the lights go out. The authors are descriptive with their writing so readers don't worry about their being a dull, blank canvas. These two have taken their pens and drew a picture you can't help but to observe. What Matthew and Fabiola created is edgy, out of the norm, suspenseful and will have you holding your breathe. This is not your average read, this is not the lives of the shy and weak, this ladies and gentlemen is

                                  Porn Stars.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Payback Ain't Enough by Wahida Clark First Chapter

Want to read the first chapter of Payback Ain't Enough by Wahida Clark?
    Hit this link

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Corruption Officer by Gary Heyward

                                   Do you own this must read?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sneek Peak of Dopeman:Memoirs of a Snitch by Jaquavis Coleman

                   Want to read the first two chapters of Jaquavis Coleman's Dopeman: Memoirs of a Snitch? Check it out.