Blog Tour Post: Strength - Carrie Butler

Good day everyone!

I'm here today as part of Carrie Butler's blog tour for her d├ębut novel, STRENGTH, a new adult paranormal romance published by Sapphire Star Publishing.

I've been intrigued by Carrie's book ever since I heard about it last year, and when the cover was revealed I was doubly sold. Not least of all because Carrie designed it herself. As a bit of a Photoshop novice, I'm obsessed with cover design and what elements go into a great cover. Carrie's cover for STRENGTH is excellent - and not just because of the hot shirtless guy on the front (although it helps)!

I've invited Carrie here today to discuss five elements that make a great cover. 

5 Elements of a Great Cover

Thank you for having me over, Clare! As you know, I design (and am obsessed with) book covers. So, today, I thought it would be fun to discuss the elements of a great one. :)

5. Great covers use distinctive, legible fonts. This is part of your book branding, so choose a font that complements your genre and is easy to read. Remember, your book cover is going to be tiny on most retailers' websites. 

4. Great covers don't look like they were 'Shopped in MS Paint. You've seen a bad cover. I know you have. So, why would you do that to your own book? You've worked hard to make this happen. Don't cut corners now.

3. Great covers use quality stock photos or professional artwork. Please, please work with images that have a decent resolution. Otherwise, it's going to fuzz/pixelate, and I shudder just thinking about that...

2. Great covers have easily identifiable genres. Take Alex J Cavanaugh's Cassastar, for example. Is there any question that it's a science fiction novel? Of course not. The imagery, the fonts, the affects, the color scheme—they're all consistent with the genre and give the reader an instant feel for the story. Which brings me to my next point.

1. Great covers are true to the story within. Think of it this way: If you bought a box of Girl Scout cookies and found crackers inside, wouldn't you be angry? You might like crackers, but the packaging set you up for something else—something you did not receive.

Similarly, you wouldn't want to take your adult suspense and dress it up like a YA contemporary. You'll give your readers the wrong expectations, and they will be very vocal about their disappointment.

Excellent tips, Carrie. Thanks for including me in your tour, and sharing your cover designing tips with us today! I can certainly see how these five combined would give a great jumping off point for any cover, and you've worked them together seamlessly for STRENGTH. 


Series: Mark of Nexus - Book 1
Sapphire Star Publishing
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)
Release Date: March 07, 2013
E-Book & Paperback
Paperback ISBN
: 9781938404351
E-book ISBN
: 9781938404368

Long Synopsis:

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.




“Carrie Butler is now on my must read list.” ~Lynn Rush, author of Violet Midnight

"I carried Strength with me everywhere. Grocery shopping, the dinner table, you name it. The storyline was addictive, and the characters were hilarious. I couldn't put it down." ~Jessica Therrien, author of Oppression

"...Carrie Butler’s debut novel is brilliant, riveting, imaginative and seamlessly written." ~Lisa Regan, author of Finding Claire Fletcher

“This is definitely one to buy for the bookshelf.” - All's Fair with Pen and Paper

“I love that Carrie took so much time in building the relationship between them. Yay for no instalove!” - Read It, Reviewed It

“I freaking loved every last word on every page.” - Scelest's Journal

“I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who's interested in reading a bloody good book. :)” - The Life of a Total Book Nerd

“I devoured this book in two days - staying up until the early hours because I didn't want to stop reading!” - Kyra Lennon, author of Game On

“I love when a ‘bad guy’ has me feeling unsure about his ‘bad guy’ status. I won't say more, as to not give anything away, but Butler does a fabulous job walking this line.” - Kelley Lynn, author of Fraction of Stone

About the Author:

Carrie daydreamed her way through college—until they thrust a marketing degree into her hands, slapped a summa cum laude seal on the corner, and booted her out into a less-than-stellar job market. Instead of panicking at the prospect of unemployment, she used her Midwestern logic to steer into the skid and point her life in the direction she really wanted to go: writing out those daydreams.



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  1. And for people like me, if the cover doesn't do all of that right, I'll never even read the back cover synopsis.
    Thanks for the compliment on my cover, Carrie! I've been pleased with the covers for all three of my books.

    1. Me too! I'm very visual. :)

      And you're welcome, Alex. I think they're great!

  2. Some more great cover tips. Thanks, Carrie :)

  3. Not only can she write like a uber-talented fiend, she knows her covers. Great post!

  4. Excellent advice...again. I think I missed the mark with my second cover. Or maybe I have looked at it too long.

    1. I would venture to say you've looked at it too long. :P Thanks, Elizabeth!

  5. Great advice and big CONGRATs to Carrie! Best of luck.

  6. Thanks again for having me, Clare! <3

    1. It was my pleasure, thank you for including me on your tour! <3

  7. Covers are essential. I've seen great covers, bad covers and covers that have nothing to do with the story. Your cover's awesome Carrie and I'm glad it is.

  8. I think there is an element of suspense or mood too. And that's why your cover is so appealing. It makes the reader sweat just looking at him. LOL. I'm late--sorry!

  9. Nice blog tour post. I truly like your ideas on what makes a great cover, and I do agree!

    BTW, I'm having a giveaway to celebrate 100 followers on my blog.

  10. Such a great book. I REALLY enjoyed it.


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