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Random Shifter Romance Story Generator

Just for fun, I coded a random story generator that produces shifter romance story seeds. Visit it at http://www.scarlettebooks.com/shifter-romance/ Examples of stories it’s produced: The plot of this romance starts when Natalie, a shy woman, meets Isaiah, fixer and alpha badger shifter. Significant scenes occur onstage and in the woods. Featured tropes include Hero and Heroine Alternate Rescue/Protection, Organized Crime, and Professional Rivals. The plot of this team romance starts when Caroline, a waitress, meets Frank, football player and cave bear shifter. Significant scenes occur on a wilderness adventure tour. Featured tropes include Family Strife, One Last Fling, Plain Jane Gets the Hottie, and Sex with Clothes On. The plot of this romance starts when Tiffany, a child care professional, meets Emmanuel, fisherman and alpha stag shifter. Significant scenes occur while mountain climbing and on a cruise ship. Featured tropes include Different Worlds, Masquerade, and Sex in Vehicles. The plot of this romance starts when Alexandra, a veterinarian, meets Carlos, billionaire venture capitalist and alpha grizzly bear shifter. Significant scenes occur at a crime scene. Featured tropes include Alpha Challenge, Beauty and the Beast, and Runaway Bride/Groom. Give it a spin and see what you come up with!
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Links

Here’s an article on avoiding bad stock photos. It’s aimed at web designers, but is useful for anyone who uses stock photos. The same site also has advice on how to ask for design feedback so you get useful responses, not simply “Yeah, that’s nice,” as well as good advice on fonts that works for any design project, not just websites.  
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Designing a Series Look: Zoe Chant Part II

In last week’s post, I talked about being commissioned to create a cover template for Zoe Chant’s paranormal shifter romances, her requirements, and researching her genre. As a prolific writer, she would be using several designers to create her covers, and needed a template that she could give to each designer to make sure that all her books looked like Zoe Chant books. While researching the tropes in paranormal shifter romance cover design, I also noticed that a lot of covers in this genre put the author name on a dark background, and proposed that we put Zoe’s name on a light background, to make her covers stand out a bit from the general run while still looking like they belonged in that genre. Zoe agreed. I set these cover standards: The cover would be made of composited stock photos. The cover would feature a sexy man (or more, if it was a ménage book), with his head partially off the edge of the book. Zoe’s name would be placed at the bottom using a free font that all designers would be able to use, in all-caps, on a lighter part of the background. The title of the book would occupy […]
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Designing a Series Look: Zoe Chant, Part I

If you’re publishing a series, you want readers to identify books at a glance as belonging to that series. This is a bit easier to do if you’ve got one designer doing all the covers, but what if you’ve got more than one? Zoe Chant is a prolific writer, putting out about one story a week. Before Zoe started publishing she contacted me and explained that while she was asking different designers to do her covers, she wanted the covers to all have a single look, and asked if I’d come up with that look and create a template that she could supply to the other designers. The stories Zoe writes are m/f paranormal romances focusing on animal shifters, and tend to be lighter in tone, without much angst, so the covers all needed to show this. The covers also had to be obviously Zoe Chant books when displayed as thumbnails in Amazon search results lists. We both felt pretty strongly about having her name readable at the thumbnail size. 1 Most importantly, we had to make sure that the covers signaled “paranormal shifter romance” when someone was scanning through the Amazon results list. So I researched the genre by going […]
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Links: “The Art and Business of Book Covers”

Today the Longreads Blog features seven articles about book covers. Some of the pieces focus on design: “Judge This: The Power of First Impressions,” by Chip Kidd: “How to Judge the Cover of a Book,” by Kylie Boelte Another looks at cover differences between books marketed to men and those aimed at women : “The Second Shelf: On the Rules of Literary Fiction for Men and Women,” by Meg Wolitzer The others are more thinky pieces about design: “The Decline and Fall of the Book Cover,” by Tim Kreider “They Become What They Behold, or, How Pretty Should a Book Be?” by Emily Keeler “Judging Books By Their Covers,” by Mary Borkowski “Hack the Cover,” by Craig Mod
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