Saturday, November 19, 2016

You think your dating life is tough...

The third book in my series, Dating in the Apocalypse: Bridgette: "The Narcissist", is now available! If you haven't read the first two in the series, don't despair, both are available FOR FREE on amazonkindle from November 19-23, 2016. Book one in the series, Sarah: "The One", received the "Five Star Seal" from Readers' Favorite, so I think you'll like it.

You think your dating life is tough; Tom Collins is looking for the love of his life in the middle of an apocalypse! If he can overcome murderous clans, a slave-based economy, and a meddlesome mother who designs deadly dresses for women, he might just find “the one.”

A novelette.
Approx. 18,000 words
Book one in the series.
FREE 11/19 - 11/23 

Tom Collins, the dooms day dater, just made a harrowing escape from the marauder-laden 33rd street mall, but now he has to go back to save Jenny. The attempt gets him into trouble with Midtown Clan’s leader, Murray, and Tom starts to realize that being Jenny’s savior isn’t easy. Later, Tom has to give tactical handgun training to a former cheerleading squad, hunt down a serial killer loose in his apartment building, and keep his eye on a Pomeranian named Peaches.

A novelette
Approx: 16,000 words
Book two in the series.
FREE 11/19 - 11/23

Tom Collins, the last day’s lothario, teams up with Bridgette from the popular ham radio show The Daily After. They find a note in Marty’s office that pinpoints the location of a secret military black market. To get the scoop on the story, they need to get to Fort Tilden, so Tom calls on the help of his old friend and cabdriver Eddie. Their surreptitious journey through the dystopian city is complicated by Bridgette’s narcissistic need for celebrity.

A novelette
Approx: 17,000 words
Book three in the series.
Only .99c

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Book Cover Design Aspect Ratio 8:5 or 1.6

When you’re uploading your cover on Amazon.kdp, you’ll notice they require that your cover’s ratio be 1.6.: 


Requirements for the size of your cover art must have an ideal height/width ratio of at least 8:5 (1.6), meaning:

• A minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side 
• For best quality, your image should be 2500 pixels on the longest side 

Important: We cannot accept any images larger than 10,000 pixels on the longest side." 

Put more succinctly, it means that the height of the image is 1.6 times the width. For example, if the width is 1500 then the height must be 2400. (1500 x 1.6 = 2400.) The obvious reason for this requirement is that most computer screens, tablets, and smart phones have an aspect ratio of 16:10 A.K.A 8:5, which means that these screens have a width 1.6 times their height. Interestingly, the 2014 Kindle Fire Tablet screen size was 1280 x 800 (1.6), and the xtra large Kindle Fire was 2560 x 600 (1,6), but the 2015 large size was 1024 x 600 (1.7).

The way the guideline is worded, there doesn't seem to be much leeway, but I like to think that 1.6 is only a recommendation. A quick search on the web will show that 1.5 is preferred by many graphic artists and cover designers, myself included. Why? As much as I like the golden ratio (1.618), for a book cover I find it too narrow. Many Tradeback books are 1.5. 

The popular 6 x 9 size is 1.5.  

5 ½ x 8.25 is 1.5. 

On the other hand, Mass Market books, the ones you find in grocery stores, are 4.25 x 7, which comes to a ratio of 1.64. 

It’s really a matter of taste.

One important thing to consider: if your covers are all 1.5 or 1.6, regardless of their size, you won’t have a problem making them uniform when you re-size them. For instance, when you're uploading them onto your website, or when Amazon automatically re-sizes them on your author central page, if they're all the same ratio, they'll line up like tin soldiers. Notice that my covers on this blog's sidebar all appear uniform, despite the fact they're different sizes. 

Here's a side by side comparison. 1.6, 1.5, and 1.4 (1.37 to be exact). It's just my personal preference, but I like 1.5 best.

Remember the ratio!