Feet or Fins new cover, again.

I’ve been thinking about the book cover of my first book Feet or Fins for a while now. I have been humming and haring about whether I should go back to my old one. I thought that the old one looked better, so I went looking for it, but I couldn’t find it as I think it might have been on my old laptop. Anyway, I went and made up a new one and here it is.

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Save One is available

Misty-summer-mountain-hills-landscape.-613864370_3000x1926 (edited-Pixlr)Save One is out 🙂 It is 32,230 words long and it sits in the Young Adult and Dystopian genres. It can also be a little bit of a Coming of Age story as well.

It follows one individual Sauska Morin as she is accepted into the cryptanalyst school to become a code breaker. Her country has been at war with the South for the last few decades and she is needed to help break the codes. There she makes a close friend who is not having as good a time as her. During this time her younger brother is sent to army boot camp with the intention of becoming an infantryman. This does not bode well with Sauska because her two older brothers have died while in the army and as she experiences her life she begins to see that maybe her country isn’t as great as she thinks it is.

Screenshot_2I began Save One around July of ’17. While it took two years to complete, I was not actively working on it all the time. In fact, I would do a few drafts in close succession and then nothing for months on end. The reason this story took a while to come out was because of; burnout, other stories taking my time and, the fact that it was not my most prized story at the time. I was constantly suffering ‘Shiney New Idea Syndrome’ during this time and it took a bit of a backburner until I finally decided to finish it.

Beautiful-African-Woman-174795229_2560x3835_preview4largeAnother reason why it took so long was that I was a bit hesitant in putting out the story was because I made the main character black and I am white. I made her a different race simply because I’ve always written white characters and it was a bit boring. And the idea of having more diverse characters was starting to become a thing that needs to happen. I’m worried that it’ll come off wrong, but I’m not writing a contemporary story from the black experience. That’s why my first book cover was the black and white one. I changed it to the one above because I didn’t want to seem like I was using race to my advantage. Also, I like colour more than black and white and there is a forest scene near the end of the book.

 

New cover image for Save One

I’ve created a new book cover image for Save One. I changed because I wasn’t fully happy with the black and white one. I like colour and I think that it shows the tone of the book a little more. I’m also doing the eleventh edit and I’m hoping that this will be the last one 🙂

New book cover :)

I’ve been thinking of changing the book cover of The Things We Do for a long time. But it was a case where I didn’t have decent enough skills/knew what I was doing. When I first created the original image (the second one), I kinda knew that it wasn’t the best, but it was the best I could do at the time. Now I can do better and I did. The first image is what I’ve come up with.

The Witch’s Room: From start to finish

Thewitchsroom3I completed the seventh draft of my short story The Witch’s Room and I decided that it was ready to be released into the world wide web with my name attached to it. It is currently under review on Amazon and should be up within 72 hours. At the moment I am only putting it on KDP select as a means of trying to get as many people to read it. If all goes well in a few months I’ll put it up on Smashwords 🙂

This story started with the visuals of a character entering the Witch’s Room. I thought that the scene was awesome and I shouldn’t/couldn’t let it go. So I had to work out what needed to happen for this scene to occur in a story. So I wrote it down on my work notepad and when I got home I began working on it.

Looking back on the dates of my word documents, I had the first draft completed just before 5pm on the 15th of February. That’s less than a month ago! Since then I have drafted every 2-5 days. It only took me a few hours every time to draft because of how short it is (I was also working on other stories).

I think the most challenging thing about this process was picking the book cover image. I wanted to have a stone sculpture of a woman to portray the scene in the Witch’s Room. But I was very nitpicky about it. It had to be aged and not too ornate. But I couldn’t seem to find one that fit everything because a lot of stone sculptures of women from the past were of the Virgin Mary or Angels and had religious themes to it. You can see that I found an image as close as possible to what I wanted. It’s not how the statute looks in the story, but it’s the closest.

The Witch’s Room book cover

I just created the book cover I’m going to use for my short story. I’m trying to put forward a particular scene and when I was looking for female statues I keep getting only religious-themed ones. And I wasn’t looking for that. I just wanted a statue that was not too ornate and of a female from a medieval time period.

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Cover Image for Beyond Calico 85

The image I found for this novella was already sitting in one of my many iStock photo boards 🙂 I like the simplicity a lot (you know because I not much of a photo editor). But I think this book might be near completion by the end of this year or early next year 🙂

The cover was also easy to make. I just bought the image for a credit on iStock.com and using Pixlr.com put the text over it and made it the same yellow in the image. I then went into layer styles and picked outer glow. I made it black, chose a size that was like the other black lines and then merged all the layers down to one image. I then sized it to Smashwords book cover dimensions and voila!

 

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How I make my DIY book covers

As a character trait, I’m more than frugal, I’m a bit cheap. This bleeds over into my writing. I try to do as much as possible myself. Writing, editing, book covers.

So I’m going to write about my techniques for creating my book covers. While I have a creative flair for storytelling, it doesn’t necessarily cross over to design. I have practically zero graphic design training. Red flags when creating my own book cover right? Well, I employ the KISS method.

Keep It Simple, Stupid. 

Image:

Most times, before I even finish the first draft of my story, I’m on iStock looking at potential images to use. Things that I look for is that it is a representation of a theme or idea. This means I am not limiting the interpretation of my book. I can have anywhere from 20 images to over 200. The more I have in a folder, the more likely I haven’t found something I like yet.

Text:

I keep things simple because like I said before I don’t have much experience in graphic design. The program I’ve always used has been Pixlr.com. It’s a simple photoshop website. I’m sure there are more advanced features of the site, but I only how to use the simple things. I think eventually I might have to employ someone, but not until it is absolutely necessary.

Here are the book covers I have created myself in Pixlr.com.

 

Print copy of The Backup Girl

The Backup Girl is available in paperback from amazon now!

It’s just been put up and it’s a light read at 98 pages. I remember the most difficult thing about this setup was creating the book cover. The one I had set up for the individual book cover wasn’t big enough in terms of PDI. So I ended up using the unaltered image I got from iStock. It spreads over the back page as well.

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