20 Days of blog posts: Day 12

Saturday, 11th November ’17

I gave up trying to finish writing my sci-fi book. Instead, I’m editing  Save One for the third time. I found that the first chapter to be pretty decent and I can tell that I’m improving. I’ve been fixated on this story for the last few days, almost like an obsession. I made the book cover for it and I’m hoping to have this draft done by Tuesday. I want it out by March next year.

I also made Feet or Fins and The Backup Girl available in print copy. They should be ready in a few days 🙂 I spent so much time on the creating a cover for them. For The Backup Girl I used the entire stock image on the entire front and back cover. I just couldn’t get the image right for a single page, the DPI was too small. For Feet or Fins I went and remade the book cover because of the DPI. The easier part of the setup was creating the interior book. I used the 5×8 template because those two books are novellas and I was worried that they’d turn out too thin.

Save One book cover

I went and finally created the cover image for Save One. I had this particular image in the back of my head for such a long time now. I experimented with other images, but my mind kept going back to this one. I really think that it’s a decent representation of my story.

The main character is a black teenager and given that the story is a dystopian set in a military state, I didn’t really find any images that embodied that environment. So naturally, I went and found something that I think represents the main character. And since I know almost nothing about image manipulation I kept it simple 🙂

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My Cousin Megan Bookcover issues

I just uploaded my second book – My Cousin Megan. Amazon seems to have accepted the book cover image I submitted but Smashwords did not. So I had to go back and make a second one that wasn’t as good as the first one. It was the pixel issue. The image I used was a medium-sized one I got from iStock.com, but the sizing was out of whack I guess. You can’t tell really. So I downloaded the large size, which made all the fonts in Pixlr seem too small, even after I changed the image sizing down the the 2400 pix wide they require.

This the final image I wanted to use.

mycousinmegamediumimage

And here is the second I had to make up on the fly 😦 It’s not as good.

iStock_000071740281_smashwordsversion

Damn you smashwords, why you so difficult sometimes?

But I seemed to have had a smaple download within the first minute. So the image is luring people in I think 🙂

Second book cover image :)

I finally got around to buying a designing my book cover image for my short story 🙂 I originally bought the large image, but it was too big for the text I wanted to use, so i got the medium. By the looks of how it uploaded onto my blog it looks like the picture will be big enough for smashwords 🙂

mycousinmegamediumimage

Trying to find the right YA book cover image

My novella Mental Notes is feeling pretty good, maybe only a few more drafts away from completion, and so I’m looking for a cover image that’ll suit it. Which by the way can be pretty difficult. I’m not designer. I can’t take decent photos for shit and I’d probably frustrate any photographer that I’m too poor and cheap to never hire. But I can use Pixlr.com to put text over an already decent image I would have gotten from iStockphoto.com. Good enough 🙂

Currently I have a bunch of images saved in a folder sitting there waiting to be chosen for this task. But the problem is that some are decent pictures in their own context of implying young adult themes. Others are prefered by me subjectively, while objectively others might be better.

While looking online for advice on the best image for my book. I came across this little gem of an article. It talks about all the jobs an image and author has to do to convey what the book is about.

I’ve also put a list of sites that would help (or confuse) someone in regards to YA book covers.

Feet or Fins cover image

I’ve found my book cover image AND I’ve turned it into a book cover 🙂

And it has taken me long enough to do so. For at least 18 months I have been looking around for the perfect picture.Something that I thought represented my story the best. I wasn’t keen on getting a designer to make one because I figured ‘why pay for something I can try myself?’ and when it comes down to it a cover image is just a picture and text. And if that didn’t work out then I’d go to someone. It hadn’t even been until recently that I had been in a position to consider paying someone.

In the meantime I just cruised around some photo stock websites browsing for images I thought were decent for what was inside the book. At first I was going to go with Getty, but then they upped the prices and there was no way I was even going to consider it.

Hello!? I was a student and students have no money.

I remember being pissed that the ‘perfect’ image I had picked had been under $50, but then it was over $200. In my anger I just decided that I was going somewhere else. And I’ve forgotten what that ‘perfect’ image even looked like now. Ironically I ended up with iStock, which is owned by Getty but images cost less. Yay? (How does that work?)

So I created a lightbox (overly fancy word for folder) and began adding images. Soon I had around 70, but while I liked the images and thought they held sway with the book, they weren’t quite perfect. At the time I stayed off buying because while they were cheaper, I was still living on a student income. Instead I just browsed the internet for info on book covers. Then a few weeks ago I came across this article ‘Book Cover Design and the Problem of Symbolism‘. Reading it just seemed to make my brain click and I began looking for more images, this time with a slightly different angle. I found some I liked and bingo!

I found one that seemed to address the main issue in the book.

I copied the watermarked image onto my computer and began playing around with it on both Pixlr.com and Paint.net. Within a few days I had something I liked and then I bought the large version earlier today 🙂 While it does take a bit of getting used to two different editing programs I think I made something pretty sufficient. I’ve been checking out publisher websites and while some of their book covers are way out of my skill set, others are quite simple (not meant in a negative way).

I pretty much like the image as it is so I’ve it and I’ve just laid text over it. I made sure to make the words are large so that they are easily readable as a thumbnail image. And here is the final product.

Feet or Fins ebook cover