Loving Your Cover – Pamela C. Rice

When you put your heart and soul into writing a book, it seems to scrimp on you packaging, (your COVER)—— is short-changing your efforts.

I see numerous first-time authors and others for go the importance of good cover illustration in particular.

I took on the challenge of creating a book cover contest to help and assist authors on their presentation. I’ve posted a number of great illustrators on KidsShelf Books FaceBook page and given weekly tips on various typeface styles. One source of typefaces (MyFont.com) gives illustrators and authors an opportunity to type in, select from thousands of fonts, choices of colors, and see how their title could appear.

Occasionally, I will offer support to authors with their covers with FREE layout tips and suggestions.

Too many authors think there is some magical software that will aid them in creating a book or cover.  However, it is not the software. It is only a tool.

When an author has spent time writing a great story, it should be supported by professional services. Many writers will attempt to hire a friend who ‘draws’ or dabbles on the computer. Cartoonish renderings and hand-drawn titles is not the direction that should be taken, if the work is to be taken seriously.

Take a look at some of the books that line the shelves in stores. The question authors should ask is, will my cover be visually competitive?

Does my cover have great composition? Is the cover clear and precise? Is there a good contrast with the background? Titles should not compete with the graphics or background. The illustration or photograph should not compete with the title. The author’s name should not compete with the title. Is the illustrator’s name on the cover? It should not compete with the author, background or graphics.

Pay as much attention to your packaging as you did with your story and that will be your solution to a successful cover.

If your are having difficulties finding an illustrator, consider checking on Social Media. Do some homework. This will give you an opportunity to view styles of various illustrators.

If you have a tight budget you can consider a few things. Wait until you get the money to pay for a professional illustrator. Most artists will work with you…OR you can call a local art school or college. All schools have Student Work Studies Programs, where they post jobs for students. Be up front with the student, let them know you have a limited budget. There are many art students who would love to illustrate a children’s book, knowing it is going to be published. What a great piece for their portfolio!

Find a book you like and use it as a guide, and a template for composition and give it to your artist as direction for what you are looking for.


So do your homework. If you’ve completed writing your book. Plan ahead and don’t rush your packaging.



Incorporate title within cover graphics is a design option.



Illustrator: Adrienne Barman                        


Are  you an author, cover artist, agent, editor, publisher or lover of books?  Have something you wish to share with others in the field? Send your article or article idea to mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com to get featured on ACNBooks.com

From One Artist to Another

Pam Rice is a frequent contribute to ACN Books and we simply adore how she helps fellow authors with their cover art.  In her latest installment she shows how the most simplest of changes can make or break your book in the eye of the reader.  Especially when that reader is a 5 year old in love with a raccoon!



KidsShelf Books specializes in diverse children’s books. There is quarterly book cover contests for children’s books.

Many covers are submitted and one of the offerings for ‘Honorable Mention’ winners is a critique.

“Promoting great design for great children’s books.

Does your book have that visual appeal that makes 

your work stand apart from the rest?”

Kathy Perry has given us permission to make suggestions on her cover. (The cover above)

Perry’s copy The series heading (Bandana Acres) is bold, but could be smaller to allow the actual title “Rascal’s Trip” to be more prominent.

The illustration could be much larger to put more focus on ‘Rascal’. It’s okay to bleed the graphics off the cover…and it is okay to overlap the heading over the illustration…. as you can see it just adds more drama’.  (the image below)





As you can see Pam Rice doesn’t go overboard in changes, but a few simple adjustments make the world of difference in showcasing the entire story!


We thank Pam Rice and Kidshelf Books for showing us that one small step, can be that giant leap into getting an audiences attention.  And we congratulate author Kathy Perry on her honorable mention award in 2018 for Bandana Acres-Rascal’s Trip cover art! You’ll can find everything that happens at Bandana Acres on Amazon.


If you are an author, reader, or person in the industry and would like to contribute a feature piece to ACNBooks please submit your topic idea to: mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com


2019 Resolutions

2019 holds a vast amount of new prospects for ACN.  Between the release of book 3: Another Word for Ledge sometime in the spring, other writing projects, and our office’s never ending wish list, we have decided to put EVERYTHING on hold and make sure all our ducks are in a row.

Our goal is to be a center for authors-a place for not only readers to discover their new favorite book, but a hub for authors on any publishing platform to connect.  To learn.  And to grow from one another.

In order to do this we have put the Indie Beginning Podcast on the back burner-not gone-just on hiatus for the time being.  For the long list of authors who have submitted to Indie Beginning we thank you for your continued patience, and promise the changes would be beneficial to all of us.

With all this being said-we want to hear from you-authors and readers.  What would you like to see come to ACN?  How about a bulletin board where you can find an editor, a graphic designer, cover artist, or BETA reader?  Or a cafe where we tell you what coffee or wine pairs best with the excerpt you are about to read from a new author?  Book club? Author interview? Author take over? More articles from the people who are sitting in the same seat you are now with their own pieces?  How about a discussion-a place to throw a clip out there to the world and get feedback from readers and writers alike?  Or a virtual library?

In the final days of 2018 we would love to hear from you-and if you could have anything from us; what would it be?  What would ACNBooks look like for you next year?



Who Couldn’t Use A Step-By-Step Guide?

28377611_1689300727800938_4579988130821354517_n(4)Our incredibly talented friend Carmilla Voiez has taken her website into the realms of ‘how to’ with blog posts about the steps to writing a novel.  We at ACN adore everything the author of the Starblood Trilogy, Broken Mirror, and other erotic horrors so why wouldn’t we hook you up with links to her thoughts on content, writer’s block, finding an ending, and editing?


A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Novel, Part One – Introduction

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Novel, Part Two – The Blank Page

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Novel, Part Three – Content and Themes

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Novel, Part Four – Style

Step-by-Step Guide to writing a novel-Part 5 How to Keep Going







With each article release we will place them here together for quick reference, if you have any questions or additions by all means leave a comment!

Not Letting Your Disability Get in the Way-A Moment With Author LS Beadle



It all began when I moved to Manchester with my husband Len.  I had gotten a job on the ICU at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where I worked for a year before moving on to the High Dependency Unit. 

51-Ay3zFWjL._SX307_BO1,204,203,200_It was around this same time that I decided to learn to drive; I booked a lesson but the instructor wouldn’t let me get behind the wheel until she was satisfied that my eyesight was up to standard.  It wasn’t.  I couldn’t see the number plate from the required distance. 

From there I had my eyes tested at Boots, where I was referred to the Manchester eye hospital.  I underwent a number of tests and after two years I was diagnosed with Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy, this is an inherited optic nerve disorder.

GARD (Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center) explains that Autosomal Dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) is an inherited optic nerve disorder characterized by degeneration of the optic nerves. Affected people usually develop moderate visual loss and color vision defects. The severity varies and visual acuity can range from normal to legal blindness. There is currently no way to prevent or cure ADOA.

By the time I was diagnosed I had moved onto the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.

Six years after qualifying I remained a D grade while all my friends where going up to C and B and completing their IV course so they could administer medications intravenously. I knew, by this time, that I would never be able to pass the IV course because I couldn’t see the writing on the IV vials.

I am now on the partially sighted register and have been for 12 years. I have a retired Guide Dog called Ceris who I qualified with in August 2009. My current Guide Dog, Roxy, is a 2 year old golden retriever and is full of energy. I qualified with her in August 2017.

As for being an author and being partially sighted. Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy hasn’t really stopped me from writing books. 

It has stopped me from reading some books with small print. I then require my strong magnifier; but it’s not a long term solution. Eventually it gives me a headache and I feel nauseous. I sometimes find this while I am researching the art of writing or marketing and promoting. If it’s a paperback book, the writing is sometimes far too small to read.

I normally find that when I wake up in the morning, I like to read for an hour, so I will use my Kindle because I can increase the font size. At the moment I have about 100 books waiting to be read. After reading I sit down and do my research on marketing and promoting often following the advice of an author.

In writing, I will handwrite my first and second draft of a book, then the third draft is where I add and take away things and develop the story by describing places and characters. I normally find that in a typical day I can write from 5000 to 10000 words.

I am one of those authors who feels the need to get their manuscripts edited lots of times. I can’t always tell if I’ve made a spelling mistake. When I read through what I’ve written, even though there may be a wavy line under a word, I can’t always see it.

41Kj2Ut59kL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_When creating characters for my book, I try to make sure they don’t have abnormalities. I escape my problem through my characters. Also my two main characters in my two recent releases are based on my children and I am hoping and praying that they don’t become afflicted with ADOA, although there is a 50% chance if this occurring

To answer how has ADOA affected my writing career?  Well, I have three books out there which I managed to self-publish.  As long as I can increase the font size on the computer screen then I haven’t encountered any problems so far.

For anybody out there reading this post who thinks ‘I can’t be an author, my disability would make it impossible’. Please take stock, because I’m telling you, anything is possible. If you really want to achieve something then just go for it.  I write for the love of it, and if I manage to earn money from my writing then that’s just a bonus.

You can find Leanne’s books on Amazon and B&N .


If you are an author, reader, or person in the industry and would like to contribute a feature piece to ACNBooks please submit your topic idea to: mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com

A Moment With Author Leanne Sally Beadle

IMG_-vuabhjLeanne Sally Beadle is a 43 year old stay at home mum and aspiring author. She lives in Keyingham, a small village near Hull in the UK with her husband Len, her two children, William 14 and Sophia 11 and a small menagerie of animals; Ceris, her 11 year old retired Guide Dog and Roxy her two year old current Guide Dog, also Mittens and Whiskers their two adorable black cats.

Leanne studied the Higher Diploma of Nursing (child) at the University of Leeds and upon qualifying she interviewed for a post on the ICU at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital which she got.  She worked on ICU for a year, moving on to High Dependency, then the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. Eventually, she interviewed for ward six at Booth Hall Children’s Hospital which was orthopedics and trauma.

In 2001 Leanna received a huge blow when she was diagnosed with Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy.  She was registered as partially sighted and eventually had to give up working as a nurse.

51iExLxbrkL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_She wrote her first book ‘My Naughty Little Guide Dog’ in February 2016. Nine books sold mostly to friends and family. Her second book ‘William’s Wonderful World of Gaming’ was inspired by her son’s love of Gaming in particular Xbox and PC. Her third and current offering ‘ Sophia’s Wonderful World of Gymnastics was inspired by her daughter’s love of gymnastics. She is currently working on ‘Jet and the Great Snoozy Heist’


Next week we will take a look into Leanne’s world; one where she doesn’t let Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy hinder or discourage her from a career in writing.  In fact, in speaking to her she never gave it a chance to hold her back in any way.

Leanne Sally Beadle can be contacted on email at: leannebeadle@sky.com. Her author page can be viewed on her author page



If you are an author, reader, or person in the industry and would like to contribute a feature piece to ACNBooks please submit your topic idea to: mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com