self published very interesting book

LarikaLarika Bibliophile
edited December 2 in General Discussions
This self published book is very popular, so take heart self-publishers.

Girl, Taken - A True Story of Abduction, Captivity, and Survival 

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Comments

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    I cannot find it on Lulu, it is at the very least on Amazon, though, but how do you know it's self-published?

    https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Taken-Abduction-Captivity-Survival/dp/0988213869


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Thanks for that link. I think I already glanced at it, though :) It would be interesting to know how it was self-published. It seems to have two ISBNs and has a publisher's name associated with it. But one thing is obvious, she did a lot of promotional work for it, which would be all the public speaking she did, at least. It really proves that one cannot simply SP a book then sit back and wait. It also helps if one has a very newsworthy story, which it does seem to be. But not to my taste, so I won't be buying it. I may not even watch it when it becomes a film, as it no doubt will  :)
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 4
    The only publisher I found for the book was "Iliad books." I could not find on the internet a publisher called Iliad books. No I can see that this book isn't for everybody. It's about the kidnapping (though not specifically for sex) of a young person. She was, however trafficked and treated abomnably.
     I think when some people think of trafficking they think of cases like hers. This is what Lady Victoria  said when she defended Prince Andrew. She was   speaking about the Epstein case and the experiences of the young women.   "I think, to be honest, the word sex trafficking - that’s a very strong word and I don’t think that’s the correct word to use for this. When you think of sex trafficking, you think of a young person that’s kidnapped that’s chained in a cage. This is not the same thing."
    Of course Hervey and her kind live in a different world.
  • "Iliad Books" is either something the author invented or it was a service she used to format her book. The fact that there is no publisher credit within the book itself is a major indication that it was self-published.

    Just because it is something I naturally zero in on, one real clue to the book's self-published nature is the cover, which could not possibly be less appropriate (let alone poorly designed). A glamor portrait of the author?

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    The cover seems apt to me. It's a story about her, and there she is, and I would not call it glamourous. 
  • Would you ever guess in a million years what the book was about from the cover image alone? I mean, come on, it's about someone who was kidnapped, trafficked and abused. There is not one single hint of any of this in the cover art, which is nothing more than a pleasant-looking, professionally studio-posed portrait of the author. You have to read the subtitle, which is in script, for heaven's sake, in order to take away anything of what the book is about...and a cover should not depend on a subtitle or tagline.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 6
    Stolen by Keimach Elizabeth
    Ron my book is about an English girl stolen and married off to a rich Saudi man with several wives. Does the cover reflect the content of the book?
    I think it's important that the cover should  indicate to the reader what the book is about. I think Elena was not an artist and just used a photo of herself. I admit that had I not read the sub-title I would not have known the horrors the author endured.
  • Your comment---"had I not read the sub-title I would not have known the horrors the author endured"---hits the nail on the head.

    I like your cover, but I do think that perhaps it might be a little too subtle. I know where you are going with the blonde eyebrows and blue eyes, but you might want to think about trying to convey a little more of the girl's situation...which I take it is something she herself is not very happy about. As you suggested with the "Girl, Taken" cover, would just the cover art all by itself convey what your book is about, or what its theme or idea might be? It might be something as simple as making the girl's eyes shifted to the right or left, as if she were wary or looking out for something.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    Thank you Ron. I see what you mean. I'll play around with the image and try and make her look miserable. I think I captured her innocence but not her unhappiness. It's wise to hire a professional to do our covers if we can afford one but I love to "have a go" at all my own covers. I know you are a professional but you have been very helpful with advice to those of us who are attempting to design our own covers. 
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    It's called 'Girl Taken.' The subtitle is - 'A True Story of Abduction, Captivity and Survival.' There's little else to say, and there's a picture, perhaps not of the girl, but as her now. (Perhaps a photo of her as a girl may have been better?)
    If one wants to know more there's the blub on the back cover. If one wants to know even more there's the Preview. If one wants greater depth she can be searched for on line, even go to one of her seminars, or watch her on TV, etc. 
    https://www.girltaken.com/

    One fact that seems to get very small second billing is that it was co-written by an established writer, etc. https://www.amazon.com/Patrick-Quinlan/e/B001H6UBGO?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1575744428&sr=1-3

    As is keep being discussed, there's far more to marketing a book nowadays than just the cover art.
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 8
    Yes Kevun. I tried to find out if Patrick Quinlan  joined Elena after her initial self published book and then they rewrote the book. However I couldn't find out the details. I suspect that is what happened. I think his imput was very important and went a long way towards making the book a best seller. Mind you she had quite a story to tell. Yes I agree that there is more to marketing than just the cover, but the cover is an extremely important part of the whole marketing process. The first thing one looks at when glancing at books is the cover art. It is so very important.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited December 8

    You can pretty much discount the old "book covers aren't everything" argument, which I have replied to more times than I care to remember (let alone all the times I had to remind people that I never said that book covers were the be all and end all). They certainly aren't the sole marketing tool---but they are an immensely important one. For one thing, a book cover has a great many uses other than being a thumbnail in a catalog. They accompany reviews, they can be used as posters and in promotional materials...etc. etc. In way, they can become the book's outward identity, like a logo.

    As I have said many times before, a book cover is packaging, in exactly the same way that the label on a can of peas is, or the design of a box of frozen pizza. It needs to attract attention among hundreds of similar products and it needs to convey, in a glance, something informative about its contents.

    While a subtitle/tagline or a blurb can inform a potential reader about the nature of a book, they need to want to get that far first. That's perhaps the major goal for the cover. If it has managed to catch the potential reader's eye and suggested something significant enough about the book to make the reader want to look further, then it will have done its job.

    The thing is that everything needs to contribute to selling a book: the title, typography, blurb, synopsis, cover art...everything. Each element needs to carry its full weight because there may be---probably will be---only one chance to attract attention before a potential reader moves on. So everything needs to work together.

    By the way, I think that the art you create for your books is really nice! But since a book cover has such a specific purpose and because every detail counts, there are things to be aware of that might not occur to you otherwise. For instance, making the foreground girl look more worried or frightened. This is really just fine-tuning and no reflection on your art!


    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 8
     
    This is the sort of art I was doing at college. Our art lecturer encouraged this kind of work as did the examiner. As you see the figures are not realistic, so to design book covers was a big jump but I loved it. I then started to paint more realistic figures and enjoyed that too.  I also painted faeries and made a website for children, some of the images I turned into cards and sold them in shops in my county and on the internet. 
     http://www.angelfire.com/art2/elizabethkeimach/
     (I don't do either of these things any more)   I could never be a professional designer like you Ron, but I love to dabble in the world of design for my own books. Thank you for your kind words.
    PS Maybe I should go through all my sites and tell viewers that I'm not selling cards any more. (if I can remember how I did the HTML.) It was such a long time ago.
  • That's a very nice piece! Actually, there is no particularly compelling reason for book cover art to be realistically rendered. It depends entirely on the nature and subject of the book. I've done covers in any number of styles, depending entirely on what was required...

    Here are a few examples of what I mean. You can probably easily imagine how the type of painting you did might very well fit the right kind of book!

    Just FYI: Nights at the Circus was a linoleum block print, Typee a pen and ink drawing, The Painted Bird was done with inks and colored dyes and Madame Butterfly (which was actually done for a poster) was watercolors. The remaining two were drawn digitally.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 9
    I see what you mean Ron,  I particularly like your woodcut cover for "A Night at the Circus",  Lucifer, is of course falling from heeaven. I found a quotation from the book describing Fevvers the arialist, a rebel, "Like Lucifer, I fell. Down, down, down I tumbled being with a bump on the Persian rug below me…” [pg. 30]   I am also intrigued by the cover of "The painted Bird" I shall seek it out on Amazon.


  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 9

    The Painted Bird review – savage, searing three-hour tour of hell   

    • Apparently there is a film made this year based on the book, the headline above refers to the film. Your cover Ron does suggest a bad situation involving death of something or someone who is different.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited December 9
    Larika said:

    The Painted Bird review – savage, searing three-hour tour of hell   

    • Apparently there is a film made this year based on the book, the headline above refers to the film. Your cover Ron does suggest a bad situation involving death of something or someone who is different.


    Had no idea there was a film! It's almost hard to imagine how one could be done! It's an astonishing book (one of my favorites), but pretty grim and pretty unrelenting. (The "painted bird" of the title refers to the description of a bird that is painted so that it doesn't resemble its companions, who then peck it to death because it is different.)

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited December 9
    I saw a trailer of The Painted Bird on youtube. The director Václav Marhoul, chose to make the film in Interslavic language. I watched the trailer  with English sub-titles. By the way did you know the author of the book Jerzy Kozinski commited suicide,
    You may be interested in this review of the film https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/sep/03/the-painted-bird-review-vaclav-mahoul
  • No...I didn't know that about Kozinsky.
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  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    Kevin I too think the book will be made into a film. I would love to see how faithful they are to the book. I often watch films of books that I have read some are just awful
  • Well, Hollywood did a wonderful job with "Being There," which was based on Kosinksi's novel of the same name.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    You can pretty much discount the old "book covers aren't everything" argument, 

    You certainly cannot, and it baffles me why you still do in this full-on media age. Think of an old school bookshop, and some do still exist. All you see are the spines. Lines and lines of spines (Not all publishers can afford, or are willing to pay for, a big launch display in the window.) Thankfully categorised in subjects, so you do at least know you will be looking at SF spines in the SF section and cooking in that section. So, a title may draw the eye, and or the author's name will, if you are already aware of them and know they are good. Then you may pull the book from the shelf and see the cover then read the blurb and put it back if the blurb does not appeal, then perhaps a page or two if it does. If it still does not grab you, you put it back, regardless of the cover, which did not attract you in the first place because you could not see it. Much harder in some secondhand bookshops because they may not be arranged in an type at all or even alphabetically, and still, all you can see are the spines ...

     And what do you see on line where most books are now bought. Just as I said in my previous post here. Just about everything, including often 100s of opinions under it. What's that saying? You cannot tell a book by its cover? Even more so now, there's no need to, which is often just as well.

    Example >>   https://www.amazon.co.uk/Westwind-classic-thriller-Ian-Rankin/dp/1409196046/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=tom+clancy&qid=1575991237&s=books&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyVVlFVDk4TUVKNzVYJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNjg1ODgwMUwySjBQT1REREQ0RiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzU0NTQ2MUFVNDY1SEFZR0xGWiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    Ron's cover sold me "The Painted Bird." I am very interested in how people are treated when they are different and it was clear from Ron's cover that the painted bird was different and was killed because of its difference. I think we all agree it's not the only factor in sales but initially the cover can often catch the eye and sell a book
  • There is absolutely no point in arguing with Kevin.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/

  •  And what do you see on line where most books are now bought. Just as I said in my previous post here. Just about everything, including often 100s of opinions under it. What's that saying? You cannot tell a book by its cover? Even more so now, there's no need to, which is often just as well.



    Type in any book subject or genre in Amazon and what do you get? An endless stream of well-displayed book covers. In fact, do this with any online book retailer and you get exactly the same thing: a display of covers. One catches your attention and you look to see what reviews it might have or what its blurb might be.

    Unless you are suggesting that it would be just as effective to get a bare list of titles...and nothing else?

    Besides, as I have said repeatedly, a book cover serves many more purposes than just being on the front of the physical book. It appears with reviews, it can be used as a marketing tool and in advertising, etc. Even the self-publisher can take advantage of their cover in a similar way: for instance, having postcards printed with the cover on one side and a description of the book on the other, or the cover blown up as a poster for display during signings or at book fairs.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Larika said:
    Ron's cover sold me "The Painted Bird." I am very interested in how people are treated when they are different and it was clear from Ron's cover that the painted bird was different and was killed because of its difference. I think we all agree it's not the only factor in sales but initially the cover can often catch the eye and sell a book


    You are absolutely right. The cover is an important marketing tool but it is not the only one.

    I just finished a cover for a traditional publisher (a large house that specializes in science fiction) and a good deal of time was spent in making sure that the cover conveyed exactly the right impression about the book, so that it both attracted and informed the potential reader.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    Just A Couch
    Kevin I bought this book from you because I was intrigued by the cover. 
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Type in any book subject or genre in Amazon and what do you get? An endless stream of well-displayed book covers. In fact, do this with any online book retailer and you get exactly the same thing: a display of covers. 

    First of all you get this >>  https://www.amazon.co.uk/books-used-books-textbooks/b?node=266239

    Then you click on the categories down a few levels. So far the example covers are random.

    Next click on a precise type, Steam Punk in this instance. Bringing up 9,000 results. Down many more pages, I have heard of most of the writers, and the star rating is displayed, also. (It is a bit odd that Jane Austin is listed as Steam Punk though!)

    One catches your attention and you look to see what reviews it might have or what its blurb might be.

    And you are suggesting that people wade down, just as that one example, 9,000 books to find one they like the cover of?  Which surely is a bit shallow. Or, do they already have a name in mind and search directly for it? Because they already like what that writer writes, or they have heard of the book via some media? Perhaps they subscribe to sites like this one >>   http://www.philip-pullman.com/  Are emailed when a new book is published, or he's doing a signing somewhere?


    It could be a generation thing, though, perhaps? You buy a book because you like the cover. Other generations may subscribe to here >>  https://www.goodreads.com/ who have 12,000,000 members. Or the countless reading and promoting groups on Facebook. 

    https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=books&epa=SEARCH_BOX

    Or even twitter. 

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    edited December 11
    Kevin I bought this book from you because I was intrigued by the cover.

    However, you already knew me ...


    You also knew Ron ...

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