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Hello, forgive me for taking so long to get this together but I've been so busy editing and writing that I haven't had a chance to get the newsletter together. Thanks to everyone here at authorsden especially Matt, I think I'm ready. Thanks Matt.
So here it is: you're invited to subscribe to my newletters where I will offer contests that I will not repeat anywhere else, not even on my website. This will be the first place where I will announce anything new that is happening. It is also where I've decided to share personal information about myself and my family. So if you're interested, please join me.
Newsletter Dated: 8/6/2006 2:22:29 AM
Subject: What's New with Romance Author, Dyanne Davis
"Dyanne Davis" Date ó Issue # 1
I have some exciting news for you!
I've been getting lot of emails from readers asking me why itís taken so much time between my last book, The wedding gown and my newest release. Iím pleased to announce that the drought is over. LOL.
Genesis Press has went through many changes and in order have our books reach a wider audience it was necessary for them to team with a major distributor. Kensington. Due to this arraignment, books were not published for several months and many titles were pushed back.
My latest book, Misty Blue was released in May of 2006. But thatís just the tip of the iceberg. In November of this year I will have another interracial romance that will be published by Genesis Press, the title, Letís Get It On. In May and Oct of 2007 I will have two more interracial romances by Genesis Press. I donít have the covers for those yet. Two Sides to Every story is a story about a Hispanic police officer and an African American woman whoís brother has accused the Chicago Police of beating him. That is the May release. If the timing change I will let you know. In October, Many Shades of Gray will come out. Itís a story of a publisher and a writer. LOL. If you read my work you already know that I donít stick to romance rules. This book is a prime example. I do think you will be pleased with it.
That is just the beginning of the news. My agent and I have contracted with Parker Publishing for several novels. My first book for them will be released in the winter of 2007. The title is Forever And a Day is a romance that surrounds Hurricane Katrina. While telling of the romance, I delved into the bigotry of lighter shades African Americans against darker shades African American. I also told a little of the corruption and the meaning and privileges in a personís name. Hopefully the question that has been asked since Hurricane Katrina hit: Why didnít they leave, will be answered. Some true some fiction.
I have always been a longtime fan of vampires and of Anne Rice and most recently L. A. Banks. I had never planned to write my own vampire series but he whispered to me softly at first, then he shouted. And now we have Adam Omega vampire extraordinaire. I will be taking a pseudonym for this series and any paranormals that I will write. My name will be F.D. Davis. This will be done so that readers who pick up one of my books expecting romance will not pick up one of my vampire books expecting the same. And no it will not be a romance series. It will be strictly lighthearted horror. Adam does have a love, Eve. But he is first and foremost a VAMPIRE. So those of you who love the intrigue as much as I, I would love to have you join me on this journey.
In the coming months I will have different contest that will reflect on the books that will be coming out. Be sure and check my website or blog or this newsletter for up dates
Hope you find this Newsletter informative and enjoyable!
Please forward it to any of your friends you feel would be interested.
Until next month...
In This Issue:
ē Feature Article: [Article Headline]
ē Recommended Resources
ē Quote of the Week
ē Contact the Editor
1. Feature Article: [Chris Eslerócover designer.]
It never fails that at any workshop Iíve given Iím asked about he covers for the books and how much input the writer actually has. Iíve decided to go straight to the source and bring you the answers from a wonderful cover designer who has done all of my covers, Chris Esler. He consented to allow me to interview him. I hope you enjoy the interview and that you go to his website and check it out.
Hi Chris. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. Iíve admired your work not only on my own book covers but also on some of the other genesis authors. It is your work thatís seen first and itís that first impression that will get the reader interested in picking up the book. You are the first line as it were. Your work is a direct partnership with the author even if youíve never met them. And it is your work that the readers ask a lot of questions about.
Q: So tell me Chris How did you first get into this field?
A: I got into graphic design after realizing I didnít want to take accounting in college. I knew I loved computers, and yet I loved to draw. I was a sophomore and really didnít know what I wanted to do after changing my major. One day my father gave me a newsletter from his university (University of Eastern Washington) and there was an interview was with someone my father thought I might be interested in. The interview was with a fellow alum named Todd McFarlane. Some may not know him, but I was amazed. He was a talented comic book artist and writer who became extremely well known for doing Spiderman for Marvel Comics. The article was about him and his fellow comic artists starting their own comic book company called Image, and Toddís new comic hero was named Spawn (you might have seen the movie). Anyways, Mr. McFarlane also elaborated about how he studied Graphic Design. Immediately I knew that was what I wanted to do. At least the publishing part of it. And to be able to still draw was a plus too!
Late in 1999, I had a disagreement with my business partner and I decided to part ways. I took a new job that was strictly web oriented. I thought I would be ok without doing books. But I really did not know how much I would miss it.
After a couple of years of being away, I called Genesis again to see if there was any overflow work that I could possibly help with. As fate would have it, they did need help, and this is what I consider to be the truly defining start of my book designing career. Most of the books that I have done from this point in time have been some of the best work Iíve ever done. Part of it has to be that I had grown in skills with designing with the computer, but another part was the fact that I realized that this was something I loved, and I put all my passion into it and was able to produce some amazing covers. The feeling of being able to go to a book store and see something that you did, or to even get letters from the authors thanking me for making their cover really did make it a dream come true.
The work has grown to such a level, that my wife has become a key player in helping me keeping up with things by scheduling, researching, and doing basic administration of what has become our small family book design business that we call Dibolmi. In case you are wondering, Dibolmi is the internet name of my wife that I knew when we had first met online 7 years ago. It stands for her full name, Diana Teresa Bolivar Millan. That was a mouthful, so she came up with Dibolmi. But I digress.
So I would say yes, book design was a lifelong dream, but it took me a little bit of time to realize it. I donít want to ever step away from it again. I would like to be designing books fulltime, and slowly I am creeping my way towards being able to fulfill that dream.
Q: Can you name some of the other books that you have designed covers for? Of course I know that youíve done, The Color of Trouble, The Wedding Gown, Misty Blue and my next book, Letís Get it On.
A: I have designed probably close to 200 books. I canít really name them all. One of my favorites though is of course my first book Lasting Valor, for sentimental reasons. Probably some of the newer covers Iíve done for mass market paperbacks have been pretty good. Iíve done covers for Gwynne Forster, Donna Hill, Beverly Clark, and of course Dyanne Davis.
Q: Chris, can you tell us if the author has any input at all on the covers?
A: Well it depends. If it is a reasonable request that wonít have a terrible impact on the marketability of a cover, I would say the publisher will consider an authors request. However, if for some reason the request is whimsical and not entirely relevant to the story or characters, the publisher may pull rank and say no. Iíve seen it go both ways.
Personally, I like to get some feedback from the author because it helps me capture the essence of their book. Obviously I have to design a cover that will sell, but I also want to make the soul of the book apparent. The old adage of ďdonít judge a book by its coverĒ holds no merit in this day and age
Q: What do you use for your inspiration for covers? Do you use back cover blurb or marketing information?
A: I generally get a tip sheet that has basic information about the book. I tend to pull most inspiration through lots of research and gut feeling. My wife and myself sit down and take the name of the book and dissect it. Writing out many synonyms for the title as well as reading the synopsis and writing out synonyms for the basic plot of the story. We use these as our keywords and begin a massive search for images on all the various image libraries. Most of the time Iíll know when I see an image that it is the one. But sometimes a image will only be good for part of my vision so I have to use more images to develop the cover into a collage. And there is the occasional moment where I actually do a full blown illustration.
There are times though where I canít seem to get the cover. This is definitely where I get in touch with the author to help lead me out of my block by helping me understand their characters and the situations they are in.
Q. Iíve visited your website just to get an idea of what else youíre working on. Could you tell the readers what it is that youíre working on and what they can expect to see when they visit your website?
A: Well I have two websites actually. I have my personal website (http://www.chrisesler.com) which is more of a reflection of my thoughts regarding work in the internet field as well as book design. Not much in the way of photos unless they are of my adorable two year old daughter Isabella.
My new site that I am pushing for my design work as a book designer and illustrator is called Dibolmi (http://www.dibolmi.com). To get an idea of what Iíve done and what Iím doing is to check out the Portfolio section. I am currently adding all the books Iíve ever done there. So far Iím on 1999 with some 2003. I plan to have them all uploaded soon so you can see what Iím working on.
The Dibolmi website will have a lot more information about the services I offer and news about my covers. I think the biggest new lately is that one of my covers was going to be featured at Book Expo of America by Kensington Publishing Group.
Q: Of course, I know that youíre a genius with the romance book covers. Are there any other romance publishers you work with?
A: Only recently have things gotten to a point where I am pushing to do this full time. I currently only work with Genesis Press. I work with Kensington Publishing Group, but with them I am still work on Genesis Press booksÖjust their mass market books.
Iím really looking to get my name out there as much as possible among the publishers to be able to get more covers to work on. Maybe I can become the next Chipp KiddÖhehe. Or at least reach some level of notoriety (hopefully good) that I can work with many many publishers. Know of any other publishers that might need some book design help? ;)
Q: Are you working on any other genre, --non-fiction, sci fi, paranormal?
A: The primary genre I deal with is romance due in part to Genesis Press who focuses mostly on romance. But I have done and still do some general fiction, autobiographies, anthologies, Christian and lately scifi.
Q. Chris , Iím jut curious and you donít have to say romance (smile) what are your favorite covers and what covers make you cringe?
A: Thatís a tough one. I donít think there is any particular genre that is better than others. Its more about the design. Iím an artsy person, so I like things to be different. I like some things that are busy and some things that are simple. Handling of color and typography is very important as well as knowing what sort of media you are going to be printing on.
Probably the genre though with the least attractive covers are self-help books Ė think ďBooks for DummiesĒ. A great designer that I aspire to his level is Chipp Kidd who works for Random House Ė There are a couple of books out now that actually chronicle his work over the past 10 years.
Q: There are a lot of self published authors and Iím sure theyíre going to want to know if they can get you to do covers for them. Is that a possibility?
A: Give me a call, shoot me an email. Iíd be happy to design their book covers. You can reach me at my agency website http://www.dibolmi.com or at my personal website http://www.chrisesler.com
Q: Do you read any of the books before you design the cover?
A: I used to read them more when I was typesetting the books as well as the cover. But not so much anymore. But I do look through the insides when I get my copy, and if it peaks my interest I have read them.
Q: Would you take an authorís idea for a cover? Example: landscape and make a cover from that?
A: maybe. If it is explained poorly, maybe not. But if there is some well thought out explanation of what they would like, itís a good possibility because now I have a better understanding of the story. Someone who says they want a cover with a field of grass and blue sky and thatís all they say will probably not get my ear. But if someone states that the grass and blue sky have some sort of meaning on the story like the main character always finds peace by thinking of a blue sky with green grass. Sure, I am more inclined to listen to their wants.
Q: What works best for you when youíre conceiving a cover-do you like images-general concepts, specifies-as in specific colorsÖ?
A: The best inspiration for me is a well thought out title with maybe a paragraph or two of the story. Of course I need to know about the characters and general appearance. I donít like specific colors, because that limits me a lot and can cause me to freeze up on a design. I like generalities such as locations, maybe income level or occupation, and general appearance. That gives me enough information most of the time for my own imagination to take control and I can see in my head what I want for the design.
Q: What type of cover do you like doing-cartoon, illustration, photoÖ
Do you have a favorite style? And if so do you think a particular style is more effective?
A: Lately Iíve been trying to do more illustration, but the drawings are based off photos. But I still deal mostly with photography. That is where my strengths are in photoshop. Iíve used that program since version 2, so Iíve gotten it down pretty good. I use it to merge photos and change peoples races or take someoneís face and put it on anotherís body.
Q: Does the author have the option of using an abstract covers and then putting pictures on the first inside page?
A: Hrm. That probably is up to the publisher, but Iíve never seen that really.
Chris, I want to thank you again and wish you continued success. You are truly gifted. you again. Please if there is anything at all youíd like to leave the reader with that wasnít asked in this interview go ahead and tell us.
Where can readers reach you? And what other sites can they view samples of your work?
Iím putting up all the examples of my book covers and web designs on http://www.dibolmi.com/portfolio/index.php
They should all be up there in the next couple of days.
I can be reached a variety of ways.
Website: http://www.dibolmi.com & http://www.chrisesler.com
Skype Phone #: 425-296-6590
MSN Messenger: chrisesler2
Yahoo Messenger: chrisesler_2000
I would give my address, but we are about to move to about 30 minutes north of Seattle.
2. Recommended Resources
3. Quote of the Week
"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude."
- Denis Waitley
4. Contact the Author
Copyright © 2006 by Dyanne Davis - All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Dyanne Davis
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