Which Cover Do You Like Best?

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  • February 17, 2014
  • The new year has gotten off to a bustling start. A couple of projects popped up for me in January with quick turn-around deadlines, a couple of potential projects dropped in my lap that I had to bid on, and of course, there was the looming goal of finishing the third draft of The Need […]

    The new year has gotten off to a bustling start. A couple of projects popped up for me in January with quick turn-around deadlines, a couple of potential projects dropped in my lap that I had to bid on, and of course, there was the looming goal of finishing the third draft of The Need so I could get my two trusty editors working.

    Sweating bullets that I was already a few weeks behind, head filling up with the typical doubts, like “I have to change everything,” and trying to pry my fingers away from the keyboard before I changed everything, I finished the latest draft of The Need on February 7th. With writing off my plate for at least a couple of weeks, I set off on a mission to create some cover art.

    I read statistics like this all the time: 80% of whether your book gets reviewed and ultimately sells is determined by your cover art and your synopsis. No joke. So basically, all that effort we spend on building great story and great characters can go right out the window if we have a not-so-impressive cover and lackluster synopsis. As much as I dislike that statistic, I have to admit I am part of that 80%. If I blindly walk into a book store not looking for anything specific, I pick up books with covers that grab my attention, and then I flip to the back of the book. If I read something that sparks my interest, I will then open the book, skim through a few paragraphs, and make my “buy” decision.

    I went back and forth on hiring a book cover designer. While I love the idea of working with a pro, I have also turned into a design geek the last few years and really like coming up with ideas of my own. Plus I now have years of experience when it comes to publishing blunders, and that has only helped me hone in on my craft. So…I decided to give myself the first shot at a potential cover for The Need.

    What do you think? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6? All feedback is greatly appreciated, even if it’s feedback like, “go hire a pro.”

     

    The Need Places First in 2013 Golden Palm Contest

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  • December 10, 2013
  • The Need Places First in 2013 Golden Palm Contest, Manuscript May Be Too Hot To Handle Indie author Dorota Skrzypek, also writing as S.L. Hannah, submits entry into New Adult Romance Category of the 2013 Golden Palm Contest, beats out the competition, but agent judging the category is not interested in reading entire manuscript. Los […]

    The Need Places First in 2013 Golden Palm Contest, Manuscript May Be Too Hot To Handle

    Indie author Dorota Skrzypek, also writing as S.L. Hannah, submits entry into New Adult Romance Category of the 2013 Golden Palm Contest, beats out the competition, but agent judging the category is not interested in reading entire manuscript.

    Los Angeles/California/USA – WEBWIRE – Thursday, December 05, 2013

     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    The Need Places First in 2013 Golden Palm Contest, Manuscript May Be Too Hot To Handle

    LOS ANGELES, California (December 4, 2013) – Indie author Dorota Skrzypek, also writing as S.L. Hannah, submits entry into New Adult Romance Category of the 2013 Golden Palm Contest, beats out the competition, but agent judging the category is not interested in reading entire manuscript.

    “The win is exciting, but the response a little surprising,” says author Skrzypek. “The contest doesn’t guarantee anything, but I really thought winning would mean getting through the sludge pile of a literary agency. Maybe this is just a sign of the times.” Big publishers having to compete against online giant Amazon and its record number of self-published authors are being more cautious than ever about investing in new talent and that’s affecting how agents screen their work. “The impression traditional publishers have left over the last few years is: prove yourself as an author on your own first, and then we’ll be happy to help you. Or maybe the story is just too ‘hot, hot, hot’ as per the judges score sheet,” adds Skrzypek.

    In October of this year, Amazon, Kobo, and other e-book retailers cracked down on erotica by removing titles of works that depicted incest, rape and child pornography. Following in similar footsteps, the UK is banning pornography depicting rape and many authors fear books may be the next target. Even Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines video has been banned at over 20 Universities over fears the song glamorizes rape and its lyrics are sexist. While Skrzypek’s manuscript, The Need, does address some of these controversial topics the author argues there is a big difference between gratuitous sex in books written for shock value, and books exploring the psychological factors behind forced sex fantasies, the Madonna-Whore complex, and other studied sexual behavior.

    Dorota Skrzypek, also writing as S.L. Hannah, is author of the Sex, Life, & Hannah book series. Her latest book, The Need, about a college-aged girl that falls in love with the woman holding her captive, is set for release in early 2014. With initial reviewers calling the book “one powerful piece of writing; well-told, honest and creepy as hell,” Skrzypek is anticipating the book to make a dent in at least one best-seller list. The Need is based on a screenplay written by Scott Frazelle. To find out more, please visit www.sexlifeandhannah.com.

    Click here for the original Press Release.

    The Need Finals in The Golden Palm

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  • November 15, 2013
  • This August I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I decided to throw the dice and enter The Need into four writing contests. I did this for a couple of reasons. One, I wanted feedback from people that didn’t know me and were not familiar with my writing, and two, I wanted to […]

    This August I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I decided to throw the dice and enter The Need into four writing contests. I did this for a couple of reasons. One, I wanted feedback from people that didn’t know me and were not familiar with my writing, and two, I wanted to see if The Need was compelling enough to win.

    Towards the end of September the results started coming in, and they were mixed. Some judges loved The Need, some didn’t care for it at all, most had complimentary and critical things to say about it. It reminded me a lot of the feedback I was getting from my beta readers, and it made sense. Not everyone is going to love what you write, that’s just a fact, but what you hope for as a writer is that your writing will stir something in people, whether good of bad, and they’ll get passionate about sharing whatever has stirred within them with their friends.

    On October 21st I got an email:

    Congratulations! The preliminary round of judging has been completed for the Florida Romance Writers 2013 Golden Palm Contest. I am happy to announce that your entry was a Finalist in the New Adult Romance Category.

    Apparently I had stirred something, and this means a lot to me. Especially as I sit here, in New York City for the weekend, working on the third draft of The Need. Wish me luck, lovelies. I’m excited to get this book out to you.

    Here are my favorite judge comments from all the contests I entered:

    This is an extremely well written book by a very talented writer. You have an excellent voice and wonderful word choice and imagery. Definitely as good (or better) than many of the published works I’ve read. You should be extremely proud.

     

    I think the female-female scene was unpredictable in a really awesome way. I usually don’t read scenes like this, but loved it just the same. Great stuff.

     

    This is one powerful piece of writing. This story is well-told, honest and creepy as hell. You do a brilliant job of portraying the prey and the predator. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything that made me so uncomfortable! Which means it’s very, very good. Excellent, in fact.

     

    The author does a wonderful job of showing the inner conflicts and emotions of a woman who is unsure of herself and her place in the world.

     

    The story is well paced, and it is very suspenseful, packing fine dramatic tension throughout the sample. High marks for originality, and highly intriguing, if not exactly appealing in the conventional sense. Dialogue is often strange, but remains plausible.

     

    I must say I wanted to keep reading THE NEED when I hit the end of the excerpt. That says a lot. Once the story got going it really kept my interest.

     

    Excellent title! Your characters showed various levels and types of need so the title is very apropos.

     

    I applaud you for writing in first person. It’s challenging and not easy to avoid an over use of pronouns for sentence beginnings all the while keeping the flow going.