Want to be interviewed? Open call to authors!

 
 

I'm starting a new series on the LV Book Design blog, author interviews. If you are interested in getting more information about you and work out there, then please fill out the questionnaire! You can be traditionally, indie or self-published to participate. Right now, they will be scheduled for one interview a month, but if there is a lot of response, I may do them more frequently.

UPDATE!

Due to an overwhelming response, I'll be scheduling TWO interviews a month and currently have enough interviews to last me through all of 2017. Thank you, all for your support and participation! 

Click the button below to start your interview! And THANKS!

Writing Prompt /// Coffee Break /// July 2016

Each month, I post a writing prompt that you take 10 minutes to write. Just 10 minutes to give yourself a break from what you are working on now but keep you in the flow of working. It may be a topic to write about, or it may be a way of writing that you don't normally use. I am going to try to mix things up so your brain doesn't get bored.

For July, the writing prompt is:

Your Muse.

What inspires you? Take that inspiration to the meta-level and write directly about your muse!


If you post your "Coffee Break" responses anywhere online, I'd love to read them! Share your link in the comments!

LV Book Design is on Instagram

Did you know that LV Book Design is on Instagram? If you are on Instagram, too, you should follow me! I post inspiration, behind the scenes and other goodies on my stream. Leave me a comment if your on!

FREE Editing Checklist

 
 

So, you've made it through your first draft! Congratulations! Take a break and come back to your manuscript in at least two weeks with fresh eyes and this FREE EDITING CHECKLIST. There are actually two lists in this PDF; one for copyediting and another for story editing. You could even enlist the help of a friend or fellow author and give them a copy to help them as they proof your manuscript.

Free-Editing-Checklist

Writing Prompt /// Coffee Break /// June 2016

 
 

Each month, I post a writing prompt that you take 10 minutes to write. Just 10 minutes to give yourself a break from what you are working on now but keep you in the flow of working. It may be a topic to write about, or it may be a way of writing that you don't normally use. I am going to try to mix things up so your brain doesn't get bored.

For June, the writing prompt is:

A day in the life.

Pick someone, they can be alive, dead or even fictional, and write about a typical day in his/her life. Don't be afraid to embrace the mundane and push yourself to make it beautiful.


If you post your "Coffee Break" responses anywhere online, I'd love to read them! Share your link in the comments!

Writing Prompt /// Coffee Break /// May 2016

 
 

Each month, I post a writing prompt that you take 10 minutes to write. Just 10 minutes to give yourself a break from what you are working on now but keep you in the flow of working. It may be a topic to write about, or it may be a way of writing that you don't normally use. I am going to try to mix things up so your brain doesn't get bored.

For May, the writing prompt is:

It was all a dream.

Recall a dream that felt so real and expand upon it. What would reality be like if your dream was real?


If you post your "Coffee Break" responses anywhere online, I'd love to read them! Share your link in the comments!

Writing Prompt /// Coffee Break /// April 2016

 
 

Each month, I'll post a writing prompt that you take 10 minutes to write. Just 10 minutes to give yourself a break from what you are working on now but keep you in the flow of working. It may be a topic to write about, or it may be a way of writing that you don't normally use. I am going to try to mix things up so your brain doesn't get bored.

For April, the writing prompt is:

Dragon

Picture a dragon, now what do you do with it? Do you fight? Is it friendly? Write about it!


If you post your "Coffee Break" responses anywhere online, I'd love to read them! Share your link in the comments!

 

New in April!

Here's a look at the new covers available for sale in the shop this month! Remember, once a cover design is purchased, that cover will no longer be available. So don't miss out!

Writing Prompt /// Coffee Break /// March 2016

 
 

Sometimes, you need to get out of your mind space, and step away from your current project. I've found that mixing things up can really help when I'm frustrated with a project and help me remember why I love my craft in the first place. With that in mind, I decided to start a new monthly segment, "Coffee Break" to help you give your mind a fresh jolt!

Each month, I'll post a writing prompt that you take 10 minutes to write. Just 10 minutes to give yourself a break from what you are working on now but keep you in the flow of working. It may be a topic to write about, or it may be a way of writing that you don't normally use. I am going to try to mix things up so your brain doesn't get bored.

For March, the writing prompt is:

Coffee or Tea?

You probably drink or both of these beverages, but at the very least know someone who enjoys one. Write about it!


If you post your "Coffee Break" responses anywhere online, I'd love to read them! Share your link in the comments!

Pre-made Book Covers VS. Custom Designed Covers

Speaking from the design-perspective, there is a bit of a stigma attached to pre-made design products. While they are more budget-friendly, especially to someone going the self-published route, they can also look cheap. They may not fit the book's story, or feature a person that looks nothing like any of the main characters. Some pre-made products available on the market are created by amateur or beginner designers who are not practiced in informational hierarchy and are not polished in their work.

Most veteran designers encourage their clients to go the custom route, which allows for a cover that, most of the time, can better represent the story within its pages. The artwork isn't stock, the end product is polished and professional, and the client also is able to have a lot of input in the final product. However, the price point will always be higher than that of a pre-made cover.

The goal of LV Book Design is to help all authors, self-published or traditional/publisher based, reach a final product that not only they love but their readers will love as well. No matter the budget. With that in mind, I came to decision to offer high quality, pre-made covers. I didn't feel like I was offering all I could to self-published authors. Having seen first-hand the self-publishing process, and the costs that accumulate, I wanted to be able to help provide my veteran expertise to those who don't have the budget to hire a designer to create a cover for them from scratch.

There are cover artists out there who have low prices–but the old saying "You get what you pay for" holds it weight in most of these cases. I have been a designer for over ten years, and worked in publishing of one sort or the other for all them. I started LV Book Design to focus on my favorite form of publishing: the book. I wanted to offer my professionalism, my dedication to the craft, my enthusiasm for the art of writing and my many years of polished experience to self-publishing authors every where. So I sat down, and approached this project with the mindset of designing covers that I would personally be interested in picking up and reading. Normally, I have my clients fill out a questionnaire that helps me reach the right audience with the right message and the author's vision. With creating pre-made covers, I had imagine what story each cover was telling the world. Whether or not it fits with the product it eventually will go on doesn't matter to me. What I hope is that an author will see one of these designs and go "That one is perfect for my book!" Another hope is that perhaps an author or aspiring author will just be browsing and one of my covers will be inspired to tell its story.

I'll be updating the shop each month with new designs, and just know this: once a cover is sold, it will no longer be for sale. I want to help my clients as much as possible, and no one wants to share a cover!

As always, I wish you all the best and happy writing!

 

Getting To Know Your Designer: 10 Facts About LV

1. How did my childhood prepare me for this job?
Growing up, my world was filled with books. I began reading on my own at an early age and my family strongly encouraged my passion for reading as well as my passion for art. I had a point in my life when I was trying to decide if I wanted to become a writer or an artist; and even though design and art won out, I've never stopped loving books and have a strong respect for the craft of writing.

2. Favorite piece of art I own:
This is a tough one to answer, especially since my husband and I love to buy art every chance we get. I supposed I'd have to say that, at the moment, my favorite piece of art is a print by Sasha Yosselani that my husband got me for my birthday this year.

3. Did you know:
I've actually illustrated a children's book, Allen The Alligator Counts Through New Orleans. I also illustrate a bi-annual children's page in New Orlean's alternative weekly, Gambit, for their KIDS issues called WhoDat and WhoDon't.

4. Guilty pleasure:
Binge watching T.V. shows on Netflix and Hulu.

5. What am I currently reading:
I just finished The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima and I'm about to start Wicked Temper by Randy Thornhorn.

6. Did you know:
I have a personal blog as well, called Lazy Lady. Over there you will find more personal interests like tabletop gaming, my book club, and more.

7. Favorite part of this job:
Helping writers see their works come to life through my cover (and interior) designs. And, getting to read more books, if I'm totally honest. 

8. First book to make an impact on my life:
It's really a series. The Chronicles of Narnia.

IMG_0162.JPG

9. Did you know:
I was one of the judges for the 2014 National Beard and Moustache Finals (picture proof to the right). It was one of the weirdest and greatest opportunities I've had the pleasure of having come my way. It was a blast and I'd do it again in a heart beat!

10. My family is:
Full and happy with my husband and our little zoo (our big cat Mei-Mei, our dog Bigby and our turtle Paul).

The Obstacle and The Path: Facing Creative Challenges & 10 Ways to Overcome Them

LV Book Design Overcome Challenges

All creatives face challenges when we create our art. Whether you are a writer, designer or some other creative, there seems to be a familiar thread to what we all face and struggle against when we make our art.

We struggle with self-doubt, feeling uninspired, not knowing what to do/write next, procrastination, perfectionism, and the list goes on. But what can we do to overcome these hurdles that the creative process can throw at us? Here are just a few suggestions from one creative to another:

1. Change the atmosphere

Whether this means adding some new art to your work space or getting up and working somewhere completely different and new, sometimes a change of scenery is all we need to get new ideas flowing.

2. Don't be afraid to walk away
(for a little while)

Sometimes, we need to give ourselves some time away from our projects. New experiences, time spent with loved ones and even simple self-care can refresh our minds and put us in a better place to do more and create more...not to mention create better.

3. Change your medium

Sometimes we can get stifled by our art. Spend some time playing and experimenting with a new medium. If you are faced with a challenge in your writing, try drawing out the scene/character/setting to get a different perspective.

4. Always have a notebook/journal/sketchbook on hand

As you pull yourself away to go grab a cup of coffee or just go sit in a park for awhile, make sure you have something with you to just record ideas, notes about the world around you, or musings and errant thoughts that pass through your head. This will help your mind get back in the groove and perhaps give you just the inspiration you've been looking for.

5. Sleep on it

Like many creatives, we all get sleep deprived when we are working on a project. Our minds need sleep, however, to help with problem solving. Sometimes, a long nap or a good night's sleep is all we really need to get back on our A-Game.

6. Schedule it

If the obstacle holding you back is procrastination or a busy work load that prevents you from "finding time" to work on your project, then you may need to pencil it in. Putting time aside in your schedule means that it is important enough to warrant your undivided attention (which it is!). Also, if your project feels daunting, having a block of time with a start and an end can help you not feel so overwhelmed. When the time is up, if you want to stop, you have given yourself permission to do so!

7. Make a playlist

Sometimes, I need to set the mood for myself when I'm creating. I'll make a playlist that has the right tone for what I'm working on, throw on my sound-cancelling headphones and jam out. It keeps my active brain in the right mindset by having music that matches what I'm working on.

8. Redefine your problem

If that scene you are writing is causing you to pull your hair out because you just can't get "it" right, think about it differently. Change the question in your head from "how do I write this scene" to "how would C.S. Lewis (or any other person) write this scene?" Giving the problem an unfamiliar spin will help get your brain thinking about it differently.

9. Do something else that you are "the best" at doing

When we start to feel inferior because of a creative block, sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is go do something else that we know we are going to kick-ass at doing. Do you make the best chili? Go make some! Are you a good runner? Go for a run! Do something that will get you feeling accomplished and good about yourself again so that your self-doubts won't hold you back.

10. Always finish what you start

Finally, finish what you start! Ok, this may sound like one of those "easier said than done" solutions, but what I mean is that sometimes you just have to get it done. Just get to a conclusion or an end point and call it finished. Move on, and come back later to the parts that gave you trouble before. Don't let one road block stop you on your journey. Remember, you can always go back and edit and first drafts are rarely perfect.

FREE Workbook to help you write a novel in 2016

 
LV-Book-Design-Writing-Workbook
 

Did "write a novel" make it onto your 2016 resolutions list? If so, you might be struggling with how to even get started with your writing. Taking on big projects, especially ones that are as personal and as vulnerable as writing a book, can be daunting. Sometimes, we just need help getting the ball rolling. 

To help you get started, I built an extensive workbook, filled with worksheets, timelines, charts, etc. all designed to help you flush out your ideas and keep track of your story as you write.

Inside you'll find sheets to help you build your characters, develop your plot, scene creation help and much more. Sign up to receive your free copy TODAY!

And remember, you'll never finish if you never begin.

Best wishes and happy writing!