Guest post from Megan Cutler - the author of The Island of Lost Forevers

I am very pleased to host Megan Cutler on her Blog Tour!
Megan is the author of the Island of Lost Forevers, and a paperback version is now available. I've got my copy and I'll be reviewing it soon.  

Welcome Megan.


When I first decided to self-publish, my budget was extremely limited. My husband was new to his teaching career, we had a mortgage to pay and, since I wrote full time, I wasn't making any money. I knew I needed to find a way to create a cover, and I did have some artistic friends. But (and it's a big one), I didn't want to ask for free art. I know how important it is for artists to make money off their work, whether or not we're friends.

Luckily, one of said artistic friends was looking for help with her own self-publishing tasks in the form of editing and we were able to devise a trade. I described the concept I had in mind - a floating island featuring the book's iconic bathhouse perched atop it, based on old vector-style artwork. And my cover artist Beth created a gorgeous piece of artwork that expressed the idea far better than I even described. I adored it and happily showed it off.

One of the hardest lessons I learned in the early years of my self-publishing journey is that a book's cover is massively important - more than anyone probably wants to admit. People are going to judge your book by its cover, no matter how fantastic the story and its blurb are. And when I imagined the initial Island of Lost Forevers cover, I made a lot of rookie mistakes.

First and foremost was that the cover didn't fit my genre. I had chosen a faded, illustrated look in a genre that favors bright colors and vivid images. Strike one. Most fantasy covers on the market right now either feature extremely detailed paintings or photo manipulations rather than simple, stylistic artwork. Strike two. And most fantasy covers also include characters on the cover. Three strikes. Bad me.

None of this was Beth's fault, of course, because she was simply doing what I asked. By the time I finished writing all three books in the trilogy, it was obvious I was going to need to rebrand the covers. After a lot of feedback from more knowledgeable authors, and a lot of sifting through the covers of popular books in the fantasy genre, I came up with a new concept. Having recently discovered stock photo sites that could be used to create commercial images, I was ready to create the book's new look.

But I will admit that I don't have as much photoshop skill as I would like. In swooped Beth to my rescue, once again executing my concept on a level that I never could have reached on my own. I probably owe her the soul of my first born, at this point. Especially after a discussion in which I asked for brightness when I actually wanted saturation - because I am a real design dummy. But after some stern lessons on stress points and text movement, Beth created the masterpiece you see here and I couldn't love it more!


Is the island paradise or does a nightmare lurk beneath the surface?

When a mysterious island appears off the coast of San Francisco, two intrepid academics risk everything to discover its secrets. Catilen Taylor has struggled all her life with the ability to sense others' emotions. Damian Cooke studies an ancient art he calls 'magic.'

The island boasts an idyllic retreat, ruled by the enigmatic Sentomoru, who invites them to share the wonders of his bathhouse. But as the travelers strive to unravel the island's secrets, Catilen senses danger stalking their steps.

Neither Catilen nor Damian know how long the island will remain on Earth. If they can't solve its riddles quickly, they may be trapped wherever it goes when it vanishes.

Would you like the chance to win a free signed copy of the Island of Lost Forevers? 
Follow the link to enter - Giveaway

Megan grew up in a small town in central Pennsylvania where books offered an easy escape from the mundane life of a rural highway town. In 2003 she married the love of her life and moved to Canada. Megan started writing full-time in 2011 and has since published four novels and several short stories, including the Mystical Island Trilogy. Her characters keep her up late and wake her up early, but she loves them anyway. 
Learn more at megancutler.net, or connect to Megan via Facebook and Twitter 


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