Beyond The Book Covers By Amanda Struz

About Me

My photo
I am the Cover Designer exclusive to XoXo Publishing. All my Cover Designs are 100% Copyright-Free. Nothing "Pre-Made." I work with each and every author to create a cover they will be proud to show off, and one that I would be proud to stamp my name on. My posts are the REAL DEAL. If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen! I live the Truth, I speak the Truth, and I tell the Truth.



Today's post is based on some research I have been doing over the last little while.

According to my research, I have come to the conclusion that there is a slew of "new" e-Publishers, that seem to pop up out of nowhere. Mind you, this is becoming common today, since many of the "new" publishers of eBooks, are friends of friends, or former employees of publishers of eBooks, or they are rejected authors whom want to steal the thunder from a company who rejected them. I will not name any names, though I could do so very easily, but I have respect for myself.

It is fine if you come up with an idea all on your own, but as we all know, when you work for an eBook publisher, you must sign a contract. This contract is legal and binding, though some people seem to think they are above the law. HAHA, is all I have to say to them. Ignorance is NOT bliss, it is sheer STUPIDITY. When you sign the contract, you are compelled to follow the guidelines of that contract, and when you breach it, you are libel for any damages as a result of said breach.

After all is said and done, you have your own company. You then find yourself wondering what step to do next. So you ponder that thought for a moment, before realizing that hey, I was affiliated with a publisher, or I have friends with "ins" to a publisher, why not follow what they do? Hmm....can someone say plagiarism? Do they even know what that words means?

The only thing I can think of, is those that copy from someone else, not only means they have no creative ideas of their own, they can't think on their own, but also, whomever they take form is doing something they never thought of first, and by golly, it seems to be working!!

All I can say to those who copy word-for-word.....I hope you get caught! Stealing is against the law, and very frowned upon.

When the creative process hits a brick wall, you hire someone to help you, or you seriously find out for yourself what people really want, and what makes them tick. This will help you figure out what direction to take your company, or ideas in. Taking from others will only provide you the tools that someone else is already utilizing, it will not help you, and people will begin to notice that you have no clue what you are doing.

The end result being, loss of customers, loss of business, and starting from square one.

Ain't that the truth!



Ok, here is my post for this week. It should be a doozy of a post too!

Firstly, it was just brought to my attention, another blog, from an author I have designed several covers for. I like to think I do a great job on the covers I create, and here in this BLOG POST I was basically chastised for not having his covers done sooner than those he received from a unscrupulous new publisher.
Now, I can certainly understand an authors want for their covers, and what they will look like in the end, HOWEVER, I do not rush my work. I like to pretty much perfect each cover, otherwise, I DON'T stamp my name on it, (and based on the covers supplied by said other publisher) I can see why he got his other covers sooner. Like I stated above, if it is near perfect, I will not put my name to it. I stand by my work, and NOBODY, will rush me, I don't care how pissed off, or angry, or whiny people can get, you don't affect me one iota.
I do what I can to please each and every author, with every cover I complete, but there is only so much a person can handle when it comes to being bad-mouthed on the internet.

ALSO, another BLOG POST by same "blogger" (that is what we will call him) regarding the company I work for. Let me ask you this...if a person feels like we are working up to their standards, how fair of a go are we getting to begin with? Seriously people, what is this world coming to? To state "I have not heard from anyone" at that company since "whatever date" when we can clearly disprove this with several emails, would go to say that this person is misleading, would it not??

People will steal from us, copy us, berate us because they are less of a person, and simply act like a whiny baby, but we do not have to sit here and keep our mouth shut for the sake of not offending them. I am speaking out, because I have listened to that crap for the last time.

I have come across more attitude, defiance, sneakiness, and deviance than a person should in their lifetime, and now it has to STOP. Stop the whining, incessant-attitude, and lets get the ball rolling together and break into the publishing world!

Ok, should there be a need to further continue this blog post, I will post more to it later, until then, thank you all for reading my outbreak blog post this evening! :-)


Flip-PDF - It doesn't get any better than that!!

Hey Everyone,

This is a must see, if you want to view your pdf books in a new light! A program I would highly recommend is PDF-Flip. It can be found here! It is a program that turns your pdf documents, or book into a  flip book that has some really neat features! You can turn the pages yourself, and it gives you the feel of reading an actual book or magazine. How cool is that?
For more on this really cool program, you can check them out through this link. It is an awesome program, for an awesome price! Don't delay, buy it today!

Flip PDF


An awesome program!! A-PDF is a Must check it out!

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to let you all know of a program, which I have used, and totally love from It is called PDF Creator! I truly believe that this is one of the easiest program out there, and I would highly recommend this company to anyone! They offer more programs, all with the same ease of use features, than I have ever seen another company offer. When you need that one certain something to help finish your project, or homework, or for any reason at all, go on and check them out HERE! I am 100% happy with what they have to offer me. I can get everything I need all from one online store, how much more simple could it get?


Latest Releases @ XoXo Publishing...

Latest Reases from XoXo Publishing...

The Eternal Search - Larriane Wills
--In sending him from the future to a burnt out wasteland, they meant to kill him, in a cruel and sadistic way. Their calculations were off. Garth landed in a mountain forest only a few feet from Judith, a woman who only existed and wished for death even before the war had killed billions. She had one emotion left, curiosity. Wanting to know who he was, where he came from, and how, she took him home. With Garth she learned to live again. When they came and took him back, they learned that revenge for an eternal knew no time limits.

The Empress of Tridon - James L. Hatch
--Eve, the Empress of Tridon, discovers God/Marid is a reasoning machine with 5.6 trillion years of experience, and treachery abounds as mind games between the two most brilliant beings in all universes plays out for nearly 1,500 years. Eve tackles the most daunting tasks imaginable as encounters with Marid force her to addresses fundamental concepts of creation, individual existence in infinity, and the domain of thought. The war between the two oozes with deceit and surprise endings as Eve learns the true cost of cornering ultimate power.

Memories of a Forgotten Slumber - Biola Olatunde
--With more than 30 years experience as a scriptwriter and producer, Biola has written more than 200 stories for both radio and television. She is an alumnus of the Dramatic Arts department Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria. She is a professionally trained newscaster; who went independent some 23 years ago. Biola got involved in intervention drama to help change attitudes towards adolescents and their sexuality. She created a series for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on teenage reproductive health, I NEED TO KNOW. It was so successful that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) got involved and had it adapted into radio as well as in two of the major languages. It was shown on national, state and private television and radio in the country as well as on a satellite television.

To see more fantastic book available @ XoXo Publishing...visit:


My FIRST Blog Interview - Everyone Welcome Author - Kristal McKerrington!

I want to welcome Kristal McKerrington as the first author I have the pleasure of interviewing! Here we get some insight and a look into her world as a writer.
What inspired you to write your first book? Do you have a specific writing style?
I was inspired by my life being stuck in the Hospital.  When I started out as a Child I was writing fan fiction before I started to write other styles, when I grew up. 
Is there a message in any of your novels that you want readers to grasp? How much of the book is realistic?
In Freedom Is Earned the only message of 'Freedom Is Rarely Enough For Everyone' we have this message, because for Street Dancers sometimes it not enough and even street performers back us up with that saying now. 
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A lot of what I write is based on my life, but not all of it has happened to me. Sometimes its based on friends who are no longer with me. 
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not at all. It was the book that gave me hope and strength back. 
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I have six series on the go at the moment with a couple of single stand alone books. I have out at the moment 'Freedom Is Earned', which is a first since it combines both Hip Hop and Parkour in a battle of survival.  I have 'The Highlander With The Ink', which apart of the 'Tattoo Anthology Volume 1'.  Both are the first books for their series. 
The Highlander With The Ink kick starts 'The Highlander Norse God Series'
Freedom Is Earned kick starts 'Amber's Diaries and The Free Series', which is two series that are entwined within each other.
Coming soon we have 'Shetlands Immortal Series', which is started with the first book called 'Shetlands Immortals: Against My First Love'.  There is Highlanders and magic in this one.
We have a Time Traveling Highlander Series, which is about a 'Highlander' family who are from different times all being thrown together in tense and testing situations. 
We have another first here with 'A Different Life Series', which is my Contemporary Romance Series for Young Adults and its started off with a Christmas tale called 'A Different Life: A Christmas Tale Of Two Hearts', which will be a part of the Christmas Anthology.
We also have 'Tina and Fernier's' Series that also starts in the Christmas Anthology book.  That is called 'Leather Bound Hearts'.  This is a spin off from the 'The Highlander God Series'.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find my biggest challenge the grammar and spelling since am Dyslexic it makes it hard for me to get it right so a lot of people can judge me wrong on that. 
Who is (are) your favorite author(s) and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Catherine Cookson, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Rachel Caine and Drea are my biggest inspirations at the moment along with a new writer I have recently started to read called 'Karen Marie Moning'. 
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I haven't traveled yet due to the books, but I would if the readers called for me to be at Conferences or asked me to do a book tour!
Who designed the covers? (For any of your books)
Amanda the lovely lady who is hosting me today, she does an amazing job on all my books. I did have a lot of 'Freedom Is Earned' done by my friend Eddie who did as a Street Cover for me.  He was able to capture what we see on a day to day basis on the Streets. 
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I get distracted easily and I think focus is sometimes the hardest thing for me. 
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Never give up, because sometimes the break you need is just around the corner. 
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep your head up and keep believing. 
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope that you will let me know what you think of my books that are out and would love to see you all on the 17th of November at my “Live Interaction” with you all. You can find me on Ustream TV! It will be a lot of fun and we have prizes too! So I hope to see that and if you need the link ask either of myself or Amanda.
I would like to thank Amanda for having me here today and to thank her for the awesome book covers. I hope she will have me back for the Release of 'Shetlands Immortals: Against My First Love'!
*     *    *    *    
I want to personally thank Kristal for taking the time to take part in my blog interview. I look forward to reading many of your books for a long time to come! Thank you also, for giving us a look into the world of you, as a writer.


Today's Post! - STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES...Part II

As a sequel to my earlier post today, I wish to say a few ranting words about author's as well. As the cover designer for a publishing company, it is fair to say, that I come across many types of author's, be it in their writing style, genre, etc, but what gets em the most, is the attitudes of some authors (not saying which company they are with - keeping names out of it to be professional about it). It baffles me beyond belief that a company would have enough faith in them, and their writing, to offer a contract and wish to publish their works.
A company signs them on, then after going through the editing process, they then decide, "oops, sorry, wish to take my work elsewhere; I got a better offer." Well good for them is all I have to say, it is the author's choice as to where they wish to publish, however, this kind of undermined attitude and nonprofessional manner, will only land them in the same place they were before, "unpublished." It is people such as this, that seek to destroy others with unfounded accusations, illegitimate proof, and wildly imaginative causes. Maybe they should be writers after all??? One could only guess.
If a person does not investigate a company prior to submission, then what valid reason do they have to complain when things don't go their way? The answer is simple..they DON'T. Instead, they go off on their own, bash and slander to their hearts content, and then try to gain sympathy from those who have been in the same situation, though many of "those" people were probably truly taken advantage of, so in turn, those who do the bashing, are nothing short of "bully's, back-stabbers, thieves, and ultimately, unpublished in the end.
If people only lived by one simple rule: "Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you", maybe then, the publishing world will be a better place to write and publish in. Can't we all just get along, and be civil about things anymore? For some, then answer is NO! Why we wonder? It is because they do not seek the help, they seek to destroy, for their own self-preservation.
The world is full of competition, it is time that the bully's get it through their thick skulls, and learn that in a world of competition, nothing is fair, nothing is guaranteed, but working together, working hard at what we love, we will all, in the end, SUCCEED!