Initially, I was going to post a link to the Cyber Monday sale on Kindle Unlimited, figuring that maybe some of you are so fed up with the emails that you’re just deleting them all without looking. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was important for me to talk about what I’m getting out of KU myself.
With a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can check out as many as 10 books at a time from a library of the books that are enrolled in the program. Is every book available? No, especially not in M/M. This is because Amazon demands exclusivity from smaller publishers to participate in the program, and many of us prefer to have our titles available more widely available.
So, if you prefer to read primarily M/M, it’s best to look at whether you would find enough titles you’re interested in to make the subscription fee worth your while.
I tend to read more broadly. I read a lot of urban fantasy and thrillers. So, for me, Kindle Unlimited is a big deal. A few things I’ve read and enjoyed include:
The Paper Magician
These were all Whispersynch titles, which meant I could flow back and forth between reading them and playing them as audios. I absolutely love this flexibility.
And as a publisher, I placed some of my ebook titles on Kindle unlimited to test the waters.
I'm a slow reader. I've subscribed to ebook services before and never felt I was getting my $8-$10 worth out of the deal every month. But KU has enough variety and format to actually increase the amount of fiction I enjoy and I easily get my money's worth, and more.
As far as I know, this deal—up to 40% off—is only available in the United States, and only today. Check it out here.
Today I took a trip to the library to see if I could clarify some ideas for a couple of covers I'll be working on in the near future. I don't even know exactly where to look. One cover needs to look sexy and paranormal but a bit wry, and the other one maybe dreamier and slightly sci fi but not with aliens or Godzillas or anything. Yeah, I know, it would be a lot easier if I just wrote in an obvious genre.
Here's some of the stuff that caught my eye today, and why.
We can start with a weird typographical thing I noticed. I snapped a pic of this book with my phone then came home and found a better image on GR. But the typography was rearranged so that the very thing I really liked about it was stripped away. So I dug deeper and...
Phew, there it is. I liked the way two sans-serif fonts were not only used together but layered so cleverly. It wouldn't have occurred to me to do that with with the fonts. I also loved the way "Lear's" was so fat and bold that it could be ghosted in more subtly.
I can't help but wonder why they un-stacked them for most of the editions. It was perfectly legible stacked together. It was COOL that way. I feel like so many things get dumbed down and made unspecial for public consumption, and that's a shame.
In City of Savages I was intrigued by the interplay of the foreground trees, background trees and typography. I wonder if the 45° angles are part of the font or if the designer altered the typography. It looks like pieces were sliced off, which I like.
I'm intrigued by diagonal type. I did some with my Channeling Morpheus box sets. I liked the diagonal in Archetype, and the simplicity.
I really liked the subtlety in City of Stairs. It's like, I expected there to be literal stairs on the cover and I was glad there weren't. I love the layers of clouds and particle, the monochrome treatment with the hint of peachy yellow warmth against gray, and the arc of light separating the city from the heavens. that transition from lower third to upper two-thirds is really well done. Different.
For A Local Habitation I was looking for a way to handle the typography that didn't take itself too seriously. I don't know how successful it is here. It's a slightly playful type on a grim/dour background. And I don't think the author name typeface works well with the title typeface. I also don't understand why the author name and title are aligned the way they are, neither centered. The title would need to be smaller to be a flush-left balancing a flush right of the author name. Things that are almost-centered (but not quite) look like mistakes to me.
Layering, layering, layering! I loved all the layers and the light in Traitor's Heir. I'll bet the size of that photoshop file is massive. This probably looks really sharp at thumbnail size with those vibrant reds, yellows and blacks.
The reds in Everneath were more vibrant in the paperback. I liked that the font wasn't super fussy, and I loved the swash connecting the E and the R. Then I saw the dress was turning to smoke and very nearly took it home. (But I don't have time to read it...but I want to now.)
More typography, I liked that a fairly round sans serif had some fanciness going on. I like the idea of taking a plain, bold, round sans and altering a character.
I loved all the textures in the Lovegrove Legacy books. I'm a sucker for smoke and particles. I'm not sure how I feel about the font, it feels too widely kerned for my taste. I think maybe I don't like the extra fiddliness in the characters either. I liked the way the bottoms scoop to black so you can really see the author name.
I didn't necessarily think Fearscape was a successful cover. The model layer wasn't altered enough for my taste, plus I like more textures. But I thought it was interesting use of smoke as a framing element. I also like the altered S character in the middle of the title.
I wish I was this good with typography. I'm interested in the notion of splitting longer words without hyphens. Maybe that's a more literary thing?
I didn't notice the score-marks in Nil Unlocked until I got home. I liked the way the visual lines all pulled my eye to the word Nil. I loved the colors. The content was secondary to me (I'm really unlikely to read anything set in a place with palm trees. You may notice it's shitting down sleet and snow in practically every one of my books. I grew up in the snow belt.) I thought using a distressed, hand-drawn type for the author name was an odd choice. I don't think it works here because of the "nn" in Lynne. It's too obvious they're not really hand-drawn when you see the duplicated characters side by side.
So if you look at all the O-characters in this title, they're all different. They invested in someone to actually hand letter it.
It's hard to lay your title over the entire photo and still have it make sense. I think this one works. I'm also really interested in black and white with red lately.
What's your favorite cover among these? What do you think is the element that draws you to it? Is it a genre you typically read?
This weekend I had a little romp with friends in Milwaukee. It's not far from Madison but there's a LOT more people there and apparently all of them were out celebrating the last day of summer.
We started at a modern art exhibit, Van Gogh to Pollock, Modern Rebels at the Milwaukee Art Museum and it was so jam-packed you couldn't have jammed another person in there with a shoehorn. This is really exciting to me. I did my very expensive Bachelor's and Masters at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and found myself wondering lately how relevant fine art really is. Seeing this crowd in a blue collar city for an art exhibit rather than a football game makes me reconsider my perception of what the general public values.
We then had a dandy time tasting vinegars. If the thought gives you yucky-face, like it did me, I'm here to tell you OMG NO THEY'RE FAB. It was hard to pick just one. I went with the lemon white balsamic (with which I'm making a little chicken stir fry later) but the cranberry pear was also stunning.
Later on I was so moved by a relief print at a street fair I almost wrestled my friend for it. (May have been a little tipsy at that point.) Luckily they had two and we each got a copy. It's a portrait of Milwaukee's four beer barons, Pabst, Blatz, Miller and Schlitz, and instead of carving wood or linoleum, the artist used historic yellow Milwaukee brick.
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