Show Notes: The Making of Book Covers — Indie Vs. Traditional Publishing (April 2016)

First Draught is back from spring break, and happy to be diving right into talking about everything writing!

This month Alexis did a big rebrand of her The Storm Inside books and Julia got covers from her publisher for her Governess series. We thought that was the perfect chance to talk about book covers and the differences between indie and traditional publishing. We sipped on some John J. Bowman Single Batch whiskey and a little Kung Fu Girl Riesling while doing so (see the Drink of the Month page for details).

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Listen now:

We talked a lot about the look of book covers in the show. Here’s Alexis’ brand-new covers for The Storm Inside series including her not yet released Never Let Go:

And here’s a peek at Julia’s Governess series which will be coming out this fall:

Julia also held up a bunch of books during the video recording of the podcast which isn’t really helpful when you’re listening to audio (sorry about that, guys). Here’s what those books look like in order they’re mentioned:

We didn’t mention this in the podcast, but if you’re looking to build your own covers give this blog post by Courtney Milan a look. She talks about typography—mostly really bad typography—and how it can make a huge difference to the look of your book cover.

Also, you might have noticed that this show is a little shorter than our previous hour-long episodes. We want to give our listeners and viewers as much bang for their buck as possible, so we’ve decided to trim topics down to a half hour.

If you’d like more First Draught, you watch all of our back episodes in our video archive. Also be on the look out for a newsletter sign up! You’ll never miss another episode of First Draught (plus you’ll be the first to get news from the First Draught team).

Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s website, click here:

Show Notes: Books That Have Inspired Us

We had a fantastic, thoughtful discussion with Laura von Holt Tuesday about the books that have inspired us from novels to non-fiction.

It’s a long First Draught, but well worth it because there’s some great advice in there from Laura who’s currently leading a free series in New York City about how to get creatively unstuck.

Now that the show has wrapped, we want to know what books have inspired you over the years (and continue to inspire you)! You can leave a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter.

If you’d like more First Draught, you watch all of our back episodes in our video archive. Also, don’t forget that you can get our podcast feed on iTunes or Soundcloud. Subscribe to listen to all of our shows!

Show Notes: Decoding Social Media

Technology is an imperfect science, and we’ve often found that sometimes it loves us and sometimes it really hates us.

We ran into some technological difficulties with our audio this week on First Draught, but we still think that the conversation about social media was fantastic, in particular Julie Valerie’s incredible social calendar chock-full of reminders.

Alexis was able to edit the podcast so you should be good to go if you’re listening instead. That podcast feed is on iTunes or Soundcloud. And don’t forget to subscribe to listen to our entire audio archive!

We want to once again thank our guests Molly O’Keefe, Codi Gary, and Julie Valerie!

We’ll see you again on the first Tuesday of October!

Show Notes: Hooking Readers with Gripping First Chapters

We had a fantastic First Draught yesterday night talking about hooking readers with gripping first chapters. Alyssa Cole and Lindsay Emory shared their techniques and thoughts about emotional impact, tone, and characterization. We also broke down the beginnings of their books Radio Silence and Sisterhood is Deadly, respectively.

Here’s the full video of the show:

About midway through, we mentioned the Tom Hiddleston, Cookie Monster, delayed gratification video while giggling a lot. If you’re curious, here it is in all its glory:

(Confession: Julia actually had to stop and rewatch this as she was writing up these show notes)

The show is also available as a podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud. Please take a moment and leave us a rating or review on the podcast as it helps other writers find us!

Curious about some of the books we mentioned during the show? You can click on the covers below to find out more details.

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Show Notes: How to Write the Best Pitches, Blurbs, and Synopses

We had a great discussion Tuesday night with Shari Slade and T.J. Kline about writing pitches, blurbs, and synopses as well as selling your book in person. If you missed it, you can check out the whole video right here or by clicking through and subscribing to our YouTube channel.

The show is also available as a podcast:



Please take a moment to leaving us a rating or review on the podcast as it helps other writers find us!

Here are some of the books we talked about during the show (just click to follow the Amazon links!):


And don’t forget to follow our amazing guests!

Shari Slade

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T.J. Kline 

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First Draught is a Podcast!

Podcast coverIf you’re like us, you love podcasts. That’s why we couldn’t be happier to let you guys know that First Draught is now available to download as a podcast on a couple different platforms!



You can also find all of our podcasts on the sidebar of this website if you’d rather stream and listen.

Alexis is hard at work converting all of our back episodes into fully downloadable shows, so be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any past or future shows!

And don’t forget to like this site for the very latest updates on First Draught including announcements about future guests and show topics.