Visit just about any author website or book purchasing site and you’ll be able to find an excerpt. But how many have illustrated excerpts?
I know: writers create pictures from words. But there’s nothing wrong with posting a few sketches to accent your novel’s most powerful scenes. Plus, you can cross-purpose your illustrations on Pinterest, where you’ll find lots of book-buying women.
The Bella and Bootlicker Pinterest board, titled “Novel Sketches,” is here.
You don’t need to pay a fortune to get great work. Find an up-and-comer at the local community college, or at the local street festival. Maybe you’ll get lucky like I did and find one in the family.
The wonderfully talented Jon Haeffner did all the sketches for Bella and Bootlicker. I also turned two of his illustrations into bookmarks. Folks at readings and signings seem to love getting a custom bookmark when they buy the novels.
The idea of illustrations is also fun because it marries two ancient forms of communication – storytelling and drawing – with technology and applications that were unimaginable less than a decade ago.
Jon’s illustrations capture the essence of Bootlicker, the story of a man poised to become South Carolina’s first black congressman since the Civil War, and his tie to the state’s racist U.S. senator. I feel these sketches will also pique reader interest.
Has anyone else tried illustrating excerpts, and what kind of response have you had?