Posted in Artists, author, Books, H. S. Contino, Reading, updates, Writing, Writing Advice

Feedback, please: Cover Options– Round 2

Good morning!

First, I’d like to thank everyone that responded to my blog post earlier this week (through any of my social media accounts) to provide feedback on the cover options for my new novel. I really appreciate all of you taking the time to look through the options and provide constructive feedback. Thank you!!

The following is the vote tally:

Option #1: 5

Option #2: 2

Option #3: 2

Option #4: 6

Option #5: 2

Option #6: 2

As you can see, #1 and #4 were the favorites. But, in both cases, I received suggestions for improving them. 

For example, one reader suggested trying different font colors for option #1. Originally, the title was yellow/gold. I sent her 3 more options: black, pale blue, and purple. We agreed that purple was the best choice. What do you think?

Option #1– Font Color Choices:

With Option #4, several people suggested that I recreate the image using the broken mirror. I created this cover last year– before I brave enough to sacrifice the mirror in the pursuit of art. (It’s such a pretty mirror that I hesitated to break it!). Oh– and before I could recreate the photograph, I had to reassemble the broken mirror. LOL

Since some time had passed, I wasn’t able to position the objects in the photo exactly the same as before but I tried. I used 2 slightly different photos.

Oh! I also decided to play with different fonts. At the moment, these two are my favorites.

Cover Option #4– With and Without Broken Mirror

What do you think?

And, me being me, I did some more playing around with both the cover options I shared earlier this week plus a few more. I also added “a novel by” to each of the cover options. So, in addition to #1 and #4 above, there are the following options:

Cover Option #2: I added “a novel by”

Cover Option #3: I adjusted the author name so it’s at the same angle as the book title and added “a novel by”

New Options:

Cover Option #7: Just playing with different photograph and background choices. This one also has a wider feathering effect on the edge.

Cover Option #8: For this one, I went with a simpler approach. There’s a plain white background and no feathering effect on the edge of the photograph.

And, last but not least–

Cover Option #9: This one uses the same photograph as #7, but a different filter. I also used different fonts and colors. The photograph is also smaller, so the emphasis is on the text.


So, what do you think?  I know it’s a lot of options… but, it’s good to have choices, right? 

Thanks again for all of your help. I really appreciate it. 

Now to get back to editing the manuscript that goes with these cover choices…

~ H. S. Contino

Posted in author, Books, H. S. Contino, Reading, updates, Writing, Writing Advice

Feedback, please– Cover Options

Good afternoon,

I apologize for not writing any new blog posts lately. I’ve been busy with projects– including editing my latest novel, “The Other Mae.” I’m making progress, and I plan to self-publish it later this year. But, I’m not feeling confident enough to set a release date yet.

I’m currently between drafts, so I thought I’d spend a few days working on the book cover design. I shared a few options last year, but I didn’t love any of them. So I’ve been playing with additional designs, fonts, font colors, and background images.

The following are my current favorites. What do you think? I’d love some feedback!

Option #1: I love the swirling font on this one, but I’m worried that it might be too hard to read. 

Cover Option #2: I played with placing the title text on top of the mirror in this one. I might adjust the font size and spacing some more. 

Cover Option #3: For this one, I played with placing the title of the book on top of the journal (which plays a role in the story). I also zoomed in on the background image, so you can’t see the other items as clearly. I was hoping that added some mystery. Each item is relevant to the story.

Cover Option #4: This one is from the batch of covers I made last year. I used a feathering effect on the photo edges to make it look a little bit like a watercolor. Overall, I think this cover looks elegant and fits well into the women’s literature genre. 

Cover Option #5: This one is similar to some of the other options. I used a feathering effect on the image, but this time I didn’t zoom in. Instead, I framed the text around the image. 

The last cover option (#6) is more experimental, and I’m not sure what I think of it. I was playing with the mirror and distorted images. What do you think?

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I really appreciate it!

~ H. S. Contino

Posted in Artists, author, Books, crafting, H. S. Contino, markets, Oregon history, promotion, sale, updates, Writing

Sale Announcement!

Good afternoon,

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I’m having a big sale in my online Etsy shop, Reprieve’s Corner. I love making stuff, and I usually sell both online and at craft fairs and farmers markets through out the year. But with all of the pandemic cancellations over the past few years, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands to make stuff and not a lot of market opportunities. This has led to a surplus of inventory. I’d rather sell it at a discounted price then continue to store it. Besides, selling my work gives me an excuse to make new stuff!

Handmade Craft Liquidation Sale!

I’ve marked down almost all of my handmade crafts and crafting supplies to 50% off! 

Autographed Book Sale!

Autographed copies of all of my published books are 30% off!

Free Shipping on Orders of $35 or more (US only)!

The sale prices are currently set to expire at the end of March, but I may extend the date. 

My books on display at the Pony Village Mall Winter Farmers Market, 2021.


Have a great weekend!

 ~ H. S. Contino 

Posted in Artists, author, Book Reviews, Bookaholic, Books, H. S. Contino, Inspirational, motivation, pets, promotion, Reading, Writing

Fan Mail Friday!

Good morning!

Can you believe that we’re approaching the end of 2021? Time sure does fly by!

For this month’s Fan Mail Friday, I’m sharing another older review. This one is for a collection of pet and animal stories that I published back in 2013. I self-published the book so I could easily donate a portion of the sales to a local animal shelter. I initially chose Pacific Cove Humane Society because they were fund raising to build a new local shelter. Eventually, the organization re-reviewed their priorities after realizing that there was no longer a need to build a second shelter. Since then, I’ve been making donations to the Coos County Animal Shelter.

“Paw Prints” was a lot of fun to write! It’s a bit of a memoir since it includes numerous stories about myself, my childhood, and the pets that I’ve had over the years. I also invited a few friends to contribute stories to the collection– including my mother and sister-in-law.

The best part? The photo on the cover is Loki, my black Labrador Retriever. She’s a puppy in the photograph, but she’ll be 10 in February 2022. Like I said earlier, time flies by!

I hope you all have a great weekend! 

~ H. S. Contino

Posted in author, Books, H. S. Contino, markets, Oregon coast, promotion, Reading, sale, updates, Writing

Welcome Fall!

 Good morning,

Here on the Oregon coast we’ve transitioned into the time of year where it’s necessary to wear layers. It tends to be chilly in the mornings, warm up to t-shirt weather during the afternoons, then get overcast and chilly again overnight. The result is a bunch of people constantly adding and removing layers of clothing as needed. (LOL)

Nature’s Fall Color Show…

It’s also the time of year that I start planning my holiday shopping. I’ve always been an introvert and large crowds give me anxiety, so I like to shop early. It’s also always a relief to have the shopping done ahead of time.

Since I’m sure I’m not the only one that takes this approach to gift shopping, I like to start running early sales and other promotional offers in my online Etsy shop, Reprieve’s Corner. Beginning October 1st, I’ve marked everything in my shop 30% off. This includes everything— my hand painted signs, hand made jewelry, hand sewn plush toys, autographed copies of my books, and even my new clay art!

Save 30% Shop Wide!

I’ve also been lining up fall and winter in-person markets. As everyone knows, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, so it won’t be a normal holiday shopping season. Some events have already been cancelled. Others are still being planned with plenty of restrictions in place to try to keep everyone healthy.

I’ll be posting more in the next few weeks as I line up in-person markets. If you’re local (southern Oregon coast) and here about an upcoming market, please feel free to send me a message. I’m always open to suggestions!

Meanwhile, I hope everyone is enjoying watching the leaves change colors and having an excuse to sip more warm beverages while snuggling in our warmest sweaters!

Happy reading!

~ H. S. Contino