The cover image for Don Coyote De La Merika, by the fantastic Kit Foster, recently gained some very cool accolades that I had to share, from over at www.thebookdesigner.com: “JF: The very talented Kit Foster is an expert at combining illustration and typography, as in this cover in the same style as a companion book by the same author.”

Very cool! For the record, I must agree. I love those covers (for Coyote and Persephone)–and in particular, the striking cutout/silhouette effect, and the way in which the typography is so integrated with the illustration itself. The two elements combine to form a truly eye-catching whole. I also love the way Kit worked in the story elements of the wind turbines (as an aside: my husband suggested I call the story “tilting at wind turbines”, but I decided to take it in a different direction), as well as the two main characters, Silende and Coyote, with Coyote looming so enigmatically in the foreground.

I’ve ended up using these images extensively in my promotional materials (with Kit’s kind permission, of course!)–I’ve had cards and other giveaways printed with the Don Coyote image. The cards in particular have been useful as a promotional tool. They’re essentially business cards, and have my website, email, etc. But the main text, beside the Don Coyote image, says something like “Visit Smashwords to download your FREE copy!” When I’ve been chatting with people about my e-publishing ventures, it’s an easy sell to say “Oh, and I have a free novella for download–here’s my card with all the information!”. People have generally been happy to take it.

In my bolder moods, if I see someone on transit with an e-reader, I’ll tell them that I’m giving away a free novella, and then hand them the card. So far, everyone has taken the proffered card, and I see them discreetly tuck it away (as opposed to discreetly throwing them away–or at least, if that *is* what they’re doing, they wait till I won’t see). I still feel weird about this, but know that if someone came up to me with information about a free novella (regardless of genre), I’d be happy to take the card and check it out, so I do try to make myself follow through.

Bottom line, though, is that the cards, graced with Kit’s cover illustration, have been really useful.

I also had a gelaskin created for my phone, featuring the Persephone’s Library image on it, and have gotten quite a few positive comments about that–it’s a bit unusual, and a good conversation-starter, I find (which in turn can be a great lead-in to handing over the business card with the free download info for Don Coyote).