Friday, November 18, 2016

The Importance of a GREAT Book Cover

HES Vol 3 Planet Water: Janet Beasley: YA Fantasy

What draws your attention to a book on a shelf? Is it the colors? The font? The cover illustration? The blurb? The author bio? Awards the author/story have won? Reviews? Or a combination of any or all of these?

If your front cover (or the spine) catches a potential buyer's eye, you have about 3 seconds--yeah, that's all--before he/she turns the book over and looks at the back cover. If you lose him/her in that first 3 seconds, your chances of making a sale are pretty slim. But don't give up all hope yet; you still have a chance if the material on the back cover is intriguing enough to pique the person's interest. 

I'm sure you've heard the expressions, "Different strokes for different folks," and "You can't please all of the people all of the time." Truer words were never spoken. That's why it's so important to make sure your book cover is attractive to a wide variety of people--if you want to attract their attention to it so you can make sales.

Earlier this year we covered the art of writing an author bio. If your potential reader can identify with you, you have a much better chance to make the sale. Your blurb (which we'll cover in a couple of weeks) is of utmost importance in snagging a buyer. At any rate, you have to make sure a person cannot possibly leave the bookstore without your book. 

Image result for images of bad book covers
Each printing company has a list of requirements which they call "Guidelines" for setting up your cover. They are not usually in a common vernacular, so it's much easier if you hire a graphic artist to do the setup/layout for you. I have seen far too many really good authors place their books on the market with covers that appear amateurish. And quite frankly, people avoid those books. After all, if the cover doesn't appear professional, how can the interior of the book be any better? 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak Chapter 20

Janet & Don Beasley
Welcome back! We've returned and are ready to bring you more awesome chapters to our FREE blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." So let's get started and pick back up where we left off....

...Hello and welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where you'll find an array of creative features from a hand-picked group of creative geniuses. 

Wednesdays on the JLB Creatives Blog are set aside for our blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley, and her husband, Don, have been kayaking for nearly 10 years. Together they are excited to share with you, their awesome experiences that they have encountered. In this Wednesday feature you'll find kayaking stories, scenic nature photography from their outings, and some helpful tips when it comes to maneuvering your "butt sleds" (aka kayaks) on your journeys.

So if this is a topic that interests you, you'll want to be sure and become a follower of the JLB Creatives Blog, and stop in on Wednesdays each week for the latest chapter in Don & Janet Beasley's adventure blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." 

Previous chapters can be found in our blog archives.

We began the series on June 1, 2016.


From the Nose of Our Kayak
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 20: A Beautiful Day...What Can We Say

The reason you either live or travel to Michigan's U.P. is to experience days such as these. The sky was bluer than any we'd ever seen, the cloud formations were unique, and the wildlife was plenty. 

We launched our kayak into the Tahquamenon River once again. We took our time flowing downriver, paddling only when we wanted to as we wanted the day to last forever. 

Our first glance from the nose of our kayak on the river was awesome. The water had no was actually a mirror.

The brackish water was clear, and the sights beneath its crystal top were as beautiful as the sky. The vegetation laid in the direction of the water's flow. Lilly pads came into view and we stopped to gaze upon their serenity. 

As we coasted a bit farther down river we began to see flocks of one of our favorite birds, cedar waxwings. Something about their striking appearance, perched among the red berries of the ash trees, against the blue sky.  

The cedar waxwings were flying in and out of the trees above. The air was thick with these amazing winged creatures. 

Cedar waxwings are plentiful year around in Michigan's U.P. Their diet consists of berries that the either perch, pick and swallow whole, or snag as they hover, fluttering in flight. Their coloring is distinct, and a treat for any birder when they spot them through their binoculars. The are a tannish color with vibrant outlines in black, yellow, and red. Their tufted crests are similar to that of a cardinal's. The black "mask" across their eyes gives them away at a closer glance. They normally flock, and will nest in woodland areas. 

Next up we came across teal wing ducks. Floating quietly down a river has its advantages as we came upon a flock of ducks swimming their way across the river. One, most likely papa duck, brought up the rear and we were able to snap a shot of him and his brilliant coloring on his wing.

Once the ducks had made their way across we looked up, only to find a sky filled with clouds that change shapes in a hurry. We kept snapping the camera to capture all of the wondrous shapes and patterns that continued to change with every bend in the river. HINT: We've added all of our cloud photos below.

After the clouds came a turtle...resting like none we'd ever seen! As we zoomed in with the camera we soon realized he was balancing on his under-shell atop a piece of wood protruding from the water.

The day lingered, but not nearly long enough for us. But the good news is, we made it back to the dock before dark, and were able to load up with ease. 

On the way home we were even graced with a beautiful sunset that showed-off some rain clouds we couldn't believe even existed on that awesome day.


Kayak Tip of the Week: Always keep a pair of binoculars in your dry bag. You never know what you may find in the distance that deserves a closer look. 


Monday, November 14, 2016

Excerpt Extravaganza! and...BeaslePunk and the World of Steampunk

Hello blog fans! So glad you stopped by today. 

We will soon be changing up the Monday posts to bring you news that has to do with our BeaslePunk division. For a few weeks we'll be sharing all kinds of cool news from a sub-culture that is sweeping the globe with its stunning fashion, weaponry, and stories.

So get ready...starting next Monday we will begin to share the splendid-ness of this creative world.

Your steampunk blog hosts for this segment will be BeaslePunk's foudners/owners and award-winning steampunk artists, Don and Janet Beasley. 

We look forward to seeing you here!

In the's this week's excerpt. It comes from the Hidden Earth Series. Janet Beasley's third volume released on November 4th, 2016. So here it is...straight from Volume 3 Planet Water ~ Draugar of the Abyss.

“Here it comes!” shouted Meilí. Arrowanna looked up as he and Torleik threw a large empty basket over the edge; it was tied to a heavy rope. Arrowanna felt her hair swish from the breeze of the dropping basket. It came to an abrupt halt just below Sidra.   

Arrowanna shouted, “You need to raise it a bit. I can’t get her into it down there.” The basket swung and banged into the side of the ship as her twin brothers pulled it upward. The wind blew the cold waters of the deep even worse as the tall ship rose and fell through the massive swells. Arrowanna feared the basket would hit Sidra and knock her from the rope ladder. Arrowanna shouted to her brothers, “Hold it there. That’s a good height.” She turned her focus to Sidra and lowered her voice to a soothing volume. “Now, we’re going to play the game we used to play back home with Poppie’s seaweed baskets. You’re going to step into this magic basket and make a wish, and see if it comes true.” Arrowanna held Sidra’s hand so tight it was turning white. She hated seeing the rope burns around Sidra’s wrists and ankles where she had been tangled up and thought, That must sting something awful. Arrowanna watched Sidra put one leg over the basket’s edge.

Sidra said, “Sis, it’s too big, I can’t get my leg in it. I can’t touch the bottom! Can I just make my wish now?”

“Oh, Sidra, sweetheart. You have to climb into the basket, or your wish won’t come true.”

“But we don't have any flower petals either.”

Arrowanna thought quickly and answered, “We can sacrifice a couple of things and your wish will still come true. I’ll come and lift you in, and we’ll use imaginary flower petals. I’m not going to let you miss a chance to make a wish.” Arrowanna struggled against the violent movements of the rope ladder while still holding Sidra’s tiny outstretched hand in her clutches.

Sidra screamed.

Arrowanna felt Sidra lose her footing; she now dangled by one arm.  Arrowanna’s adrenaline surged. She yanked Sidra closer to her, relieved that she had not let her baby sister fall into the depths. In one more swift move Arrowanna lifted Sidra into the basket.

“You did it Sis! I’m in the magic basket. Can I make a wish now?”

Crying through a hint of laughter, Arrowanna said, “Wait, we need to sprinkle you with the imaginary petals!” Arrowanna made quick movements and said, “Já, now you can make your wish.”

“I wish...” Sidra did not finish her wish, but rather screamed at the top of her lungs along with Meilí and Torleik as a wave caught the rope ladder just so, sending Arrowanna plummeting into the icy water. Arrowanna heard Sidra’s screams, and between the fifteen-foot swells, she saw her baby sister in the basket being raised to safety by her twin brothers. Now all they have to do is save me, she thought. She felt herself rise again and be pushed forward from the force of a wave, and the wave behind it came crashing over her.

Arrowanna disappeared.
To discover more about this author and the Hidden Earth Series click here.

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JLB Creatives Blog Hosts
JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)