Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Designing a cover is probably one of the most fun parts of being part of the development process with a small press publishing company.

I actually have some say so in the cover design. Ultimately, Frank, the owner of Phenomenal One Press has the final say, but he doesn’t make that decision alone. We actually poll teens throughout the variations of design. Is that an exact science? Not always, but it helps us gage whether someone would pick the book up when it’s smashed in there with tons of others.

Since Bandits takes place on a planet of a million islands, the colors we chose for the background reflected the world built within the novel. We still wanted the colors to be dynamic enough to catch a potential reader’s eye. The catch is, everyone is different.

Some of the samples we sent out to be reviewed, teens wanted brighter colors or more sinister combinations. However, the colors we chose gained the highest number of votes. Not an exact science, but what we found that works.

We decided to show the likeness of the three main characters in BANDITS. Since the characters are diverse in race and gender, we thought it would be cool to put all of them on the cover. Daniel, the main character is captured on the front cover. Faulk and Jade, his cohorts in the search for the stolen treasure, are captured on the back cover.

We found an awesome company with an artist that sketched each character. Stay tuned for a sneak peek of Faulk and Jade.

With the characters, we looked through hundreds of pictures with different poses and characteristics. We captured a few of each character and noted what we liked and didn’t like about them. Then we polled some teens to get their opinion of the attractiveness of each character and the pose.

Once we tallied the responses, the publisher made the final decision and the artist sketched the characters for us.

Covers are the last place you want to go cheap. Typically publishers spend anywhere between $700 to $5000 for a good cover, and that’s what Indie publishers have to compete with when trying to make their product attractive to readers. Let’s face it, if you don’t have a cover that will at least invoke someone to pick it up – then selling the book becomes even more difficult.

SO – what do you think?
What do you think of this sketch of Daniel? Do you want to know why he has that expression on his face? Do you want to know….his story?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


My MG debut novel, EXPLORER X-Alpha came out this Feb, 1st, 2010. GET A FREE COPY by following me below:


Follow Me below, and goto The Pack Party site and email me your info. "Sept. Prize Pack", CLICK ON 'The Pack' and email publisher your info. CLICK HERE: http://www.lmpreston.com/

BLOG: http://lmpreston.blogspot.com/
PARTY BLOG: http://bookpartylmpreston.blogspot.com
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/LM_Preston

For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BANDITS (Teaser) Spring 2011

The cover is still being worked on and the book is now in editing. However, I want you to check out the teaser of the back cover and the preliminary placing of the cover.

BANDITS – Back Cover Blurb

Daniel’s father has gotten himself killed. A thief and a mercenary, Daniel is now determined to find the treasure his father snatched. Being a Zukar is all he knows and wants for his future. Up until his father’s murder, his father’s faltering loyalties to the Zukar hung heavy as a rift between them. But now, with his father's blood on his hands, his time is running out to find his father’s killer, the missing treasure… and to save his world.

He wants to go alone to retrieve his father’s stolen treasure, but he is accompanied by his flight school dropout cousin Faulk, his best friend’s stubborn little sister Jade, and his own younger brother Nickel. Jade is off limits since her brother is his best friend, but unfortunately, Jade’s set on changing his mind. Daniel just can’t decide if she’s worth the beating he’ll get from his friend in order to have her.

They’re on the run from the king’s officials and an unknown killer. The king desires to kill any Zukar child who is unprotected and will stop at nothing to get them. Who’s more dangerous, Daniel doesn’t know. All he knows is someone is bent on killing him and taking the treasure he thinks his father died foolishly to protect.

Through the islands of Merwin to an unknown planet, they seek to find the treasure that changed his father’s life – all for a price that is too high. To claim the treasure, Daniel will have to test everything he knows and everything he is or will ever be in order to earn the right to save their lives and the home of those he loves.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Winner is....

Natasha Davis!!! She got a free 3 night hotel stay at Wyndham Bonnet Creek, right next to Disney World Orlando just by pre-purchasing THE PACK through Amazon.com and sending in her scanned receipt. Her name was basically picked out of a hat by Frank, the publisher and her adventure is set!

Yay! I love give-aways. Stay tuned for the next give away like this when Bandits releases next spring.

Also, next month we are giving away a t-shirt. Tune in weekly for news and updates on prizes. Teasers for Bandits will be posted also and glimpse of the cover in the making :-D.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Excited About Radio Interview with Biz Mommy

I'll be on Biz Mommy this Monday, August 9th at 1:30pm (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bizmommy). Biz Mommy is an Internet Radio and blog devoted to Busy Mommies and I must admit I'm one. I'll be talking about THE PACK series about my hero Shamira who's blindness and apparent weakness is her strength. Also, the fact that I prefer to write about parents that love and support their kids even if it appears unorthodox to do so in most YA.

Also, stay tuned so I can tell you a tidbit about my upcoming release next spring of Bandits. About a boy named Daniel who struggles with is contempt with his father to save his world.

Lastly, stay tuned for the announcement of the winner of the hotel stay to Orlando or Williamsburg. It'll be announced on this blog later this week.

To read some of the pack, go to my website at www.lmpreston.com and check out all the books coming out.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

V.J. CHAMBERS Spotlight Party Guest

Well my party is winding down, but why does it have to? No reason, let's party on! V.J. Chambers has stopped by the party and I can't wait for you to hear about her books that garnered some great reviews. Please give a warm welcome to V.J. Chambers.

How you diggin the party?

Cheers! I'm diggin' it. :P

Tell me about yourself?

I'm an indie author, and I make a living teaching high school. I'm also fond of snakes, cheesecake, my boyfriend Aaron, Stephen King books, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and corduroy pants (although not exactly in that order).

Are you in the book business? What do you do?

I've written and published six books on my website and in ebook form. Four of those books are also available in print. My store: http://vjchambers.com/store.html

I like to write books about people in unbelievably difficult (often supernatural) situations and their struggle to free themselves, find love, and make their way in the world. Four of my books are for an older young adult audience (I'd say 16 and over) and two are aimed at adult audiences.

Have you read any of LM Preston’s books? Say something smashingly great about LM Preston or her books.

LM Preston is without a doubt driven. I admire her desire to work with young writers in a workshop atmosphere. As a teacher myself, I think interacting with youth is tremendously important. Furthermore, she's worked in IT, which is awesome. I think everyone reading this should be buying at least four of five copies of all of her books, because this lady has got it going on!

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I'm working on the revisions for the first book in a sequel trilogy to my trilogy about Jason and Azazel, who are my most popular characters.

I also have a work in progress about a group of kids in their late teens/early twenties who are possessed by the spirits of Arthurian legend.

Big things in your future?

The final chapters of Death Girl are being serialized currently. For more on Death Girl, a young adult horror-suspense novel, you can check this out: http://vjchambers.com/deathgirl.html. I have a book trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_71dXCgSt0

And as soon as my revisions are complete, I'll have The Stillness in the Air, book one of the Jason and Azazel: Apocalypse Trilogy, available for sale, and it will begin serializing on my site. I don't have specific dates yet, but it will be sometime in the fall.

How to Find Valerie:

WANT TO GO TO THE PARTY? Go to the PARTY BLOG click here.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Release day was on Sunday, August 1st and the publisher is estactic with the number of pre-orders that came in. Those that purchased the book and emailed their purchase receipt information in will be announced as the winners for the $25 itunes gift card and the Hotel stay in Williamsburg or Orlando. Keep your fingers crossed!

Tons of others got free books, posters, magnents and other goodies.

Thanks for participating in the Virtual Launch Party.


Tune in weekly for tidbits on upcoming projects and to find out what the prize offering is for September. Hopefully you can have your name in the new book Bandits.