Category Archives: For Writer’s

How to Create a Book Cover Concept

Every author wants the perfect cover for their book.

A cover that will sell copies!

And that’s the frame of mind you need to have when it comes to your book cover design concept.

What is a concept in graphic design?

Although the answer to this question may seem pretty straight forward, it’s not. Your cover design concept is how you show the world what they can expect from your book. What you need is a plan that integrates images, fonts, content, and context. Content is the value your readers will derive from the book. Context is the circumstances of your book, its environment, and its genre.

What won’t sell copies?

There are a lot of things a designer will tell you that you shouldn’t do in concept design. But the three following things will get you by to start.

A scene from your book:

Although it can be seriously tempting to want to use a great scene from your book as the cover design, it will not translate to the viewer. You want to communicate through your design what the reader will get out of the book. Your cover should express your genre and what the book delivers.

Too much information:

You might think that in order to communicate your story to the reader, you will need several different images put together in one busy design. Bad idea! Too much for the eyes and mind to absorb in a flash of a second is distracting. You want to keep it simple.

A lack of cohesion:

Fonts matter. Don’t use common fonts that come with Word. That’s a design no-no. Go get some custom fonts. Use the same font and size for your author name on every book and place your name in the same spot on every book. Don’t use more than three fonts. Make sure the first and second fonts don’t clash. They should be in the same family of fonts. And it goes without question that you shouldn’t use custom fonts that will clash with your genre. If you are working on a series of books, you should follow a common theme and use the same fonts on all of them. Until you’re famous, you may want to steer clear of unique cover designs and instead go with the feel of your genre.

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Where to start?

The best place to start is on Amazon. Go research books in your genre that are selling and see what the popular cover styles are.

  • What do they have in common?
  • What mood do they convey?
  • Can you clearly discern the genre of the books?
  • What types of fonts are they using?
  • What is the focal point of these designs? (a person, an object, etc.)
  • What is the design layout?
  • What are the color pallets? (notice that no covers will use pure black or pure white)
  • How do the covers make use of light and shadow?
  • What does all of the above tell you about each book?

This might seem like cheating, and no one wants to look like everyone else out there. However, your cover is the first chance you get to sell your book. Your first chance to capture the readers’ attention. If the cover catches their eye and the blurb is good, it’s a sale.

Now get busy!

So, for those just starting out in their publishing careers, go with what’s working for others. Your cover will still maintain its own uniqueness but will be clearly recognizable in its genre.

Make sure your cover has a 1/8-inch bleed.

Don’t buy any images until you are happy with one of your concepts. Just right click on stock photos and save them with the watermark. These will work fine for the concept. Just remember where you found them.

When you’re ready to put together the final designs, purchase your images and fonts. Keep a word file with thumbnails of your images and paste the copyright information below them. You’ll need all that copyright info from your images and fonts to show on the copyright page of your book.

Keep your original images and use copies for designing in case you screw up.

Make sure you save your final design in CYMK so the colors remain true when printed.

CMYK stands for Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black. It is a term most often used in printing as these colors are mixed in the printing process to create the colors of a document. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. Both RGB and CMYK are modes for mixing color in graphic design. As a quick reference, the RGB color model is best for digital work, while CMYK is used for print products.

Good luck and have fun!

If you liked this post please leave me a note in the comments below!

This Cover Designer Will Be One to Watch

I’m Your Cover Designer…

I know it’s been a while, and I’m so excited to be back.

I have the use of my right arm again, the maker of art, finally!

I’m back to designing book covers and recently finished illustrating another children’s book. And here I am, writing again. Thanks to my followers for sticking around for the best is yet to come, seriously. I have so missed being a part of the conversation, discussing your posts and what you are up to. Catching up is going to be the highlight of my days.

…Or Hope to Be

Thanks to all you new folks for stopping by. I’ve been busy designing book covers for indie authors and writing or working at writing, since 2012 on WordPress. These have been some of the best times of my life, I’ve met some amazingly talented people over the years.

You should subscribe or follow me for all these reasons:

      • This is going to be a great year for writer’s and their teams.
      • I love to promote your work.
      • You can guest blog with me.
      • I have tons of info that I know you will find useful.
      • I’m an artist, so there will be pretty pictures.
      • I have contests and give away free custom-designed graphics.

What am I so excited about?

Well, everything!

Because of the world’s current events, many of us are getting some time to get back to what we love. For me, it’s getting back to work with all of you, diving deep into my art, and writing again. So, here’s a list of what I have planned so far!

Coming this year:

      • First of all, lots of catching up with what you are all up to!
      • I have ten new articles planned to write from the gate. Tons of cool topics!
      • I will be announcing the first FREE CUSTOM GRAPHICS contest with a winner announced in April!
      • I want to work harder to help you authors get noticed! Talk to me, what can I do!
      • Lots of new cover designs to share!
      • Publishing my new book!
          • Setting up my launch team – goals, prizes, and tons of fun!
      • Illustrating a new children’s book!
      • Celebrating my newfound voice and your talented voices as well!

Let’s chat!

Hey, if you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to leave them below. Better yet, leave me a link to your blog so I can come exploring!

Don’t forget to subscribe!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!

Michelle Rene

How to Write Flash Fiction

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WHAT IS FLASH FICTION?

Flash fiction is a short-short story told in 2000 words or less. It is my current area of interest because I’m wanting to enter a few pieces in a flash fiction contest, the one I blogged about last week.

So here I sit asking myself where to begin, and my best bet is to learn a few things about what goes into writing a great piece of flash fiction.

At first thought, writer’s who are unfamiliar with these short shorts might think it seems like a fairly easy task to undertake. But considering the limited amount of space that you have to get your story to work its magic, I’m assuming it might actually be a bit more difficult than expected.

Creating just the right setting, only the necessary dialogue – in fact, the perfect dialogue, creating an atmosphere that begs to be explored further, all of this could be a bit of a struggle in the few words available within flash fiction.

WHERE TO BEGIN?

  • With short shorts you need to start in the action, so choose a flashpoint to begin your story.
  • Plot matters less than mood and the details of the telling.
  • What is left out is just as important as what’s included in the writing.
  • Pick one theme.
  • Pay close attention to language.
  • Opt for understated elegance.
  • Subtlety is key.

From the research I’ve done, it’s my understanding that you what to pick a portion of your scene and build on it, let the small focal point tell the story. Keep your readers engrossed with the story that scene tells with all its details and then hit them with an unexpected twist at the end, leaving them wanting more.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

  1. Be concise without strangling your plot and characters.
  2. Remember to deliver your message.  No one likes empty envelopes.
  3. Make your prose intense. You can’t burn the reader.
  4. Learn from the birds. Tweet, tweet, tweet(er).
  5. Use prompts to hone your skills.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T DO

  1. Don’t go in circles. You don’t have room for that.
  2. Don’t try to wear many hats. Flash has space only for one or two.
  3. Don’t mince words. You are writing a flash and not making hamburger patties.
  4. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You don’t want to repeat what others have written.
  5. Don’t forget that flash is a story and not a poem or essay.

Wish me luck! I would love to write piles and piles of flash fiction – tons of small stories sounds like a rewarding endeavor.

Please let me know in the comments section below if you have any more tips for me or for fellow readers.

Writing to Make a Difference

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To all the writers I know and have met through social media, I want to say that I believe in you.

I believe that what you have to say can have an impact on the world around you. I believe that you are special and talented and I stand in awe of what most of you have accomplished already. I applaud all of your efforts, especially the time and care you’ve put into creating your works of art.

I hope that I can serve as some sort of inspiration by working tirelessly to compile resources and information to make your entire writing and authoring experience easier and more enjoyable.

As a graphic designer, I am currently writing a book that will help you understand how to go about creating all of the images you will need to successfully brand yourself as an author, publish your book, and market your book and your author platform.

This is something I’ve been working on for a while now. I have come to understand that there are so many of you out there who have something amazing to share but just don’t have the financial resources to get the graphics you need that would most likely serve to launch your successful writing career.

Visual imagery attracts the eye, it draws the viewer into what you’re attempting to promote. If you don’t have great graphics to support what you are trying to sell, the chances of you reaching the audience that’s available to you are substantially reduced. You are more than qualified to do the writing that people will enjoy. But you could benefit by having imagery that lives up to what you have to offer and attracts as many new readers to you as possible.

I hope you will find the information I have to share as a helpful resource as you continue along your journey. I want to make creating the graphics you need fun, easy, and affordable. I’m including templates and examples as well as free resources to help you get the graphic design work done on your own. I think you will not only enjoy the process of creating your own imagery, you’ll see the results in your growing network and book sales.

If you have any suggestions for information you’d like me to include, please let me know in the comments section 🙂

All my best,

Michelle Rene


Coming Soon!

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If you need help with your book cover or author graphics right away, I’m here to serve you…

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A Writer’s Perspective

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You Have a Unique Perspective That’s Worth Sharing

It’s in there, your voice. Your voice is your unique take on the world at large. It’s your very own special twist on things. It’s how you make your writing shine. It’s what will draw the reader’s to you, and keep them coming back for more. It’s something that only you have, and that’s pretty awesome.

You might be way ahead of me in this department, and if you are then my hats off to you. I’ve been writing for years, but I’m still struggling to find my voice. It’s because I haven’t invested the time and effort into my writing that I should.

I know you know what I’m talking about when I say voice. There are several parts of your character or personality that should be consistent in your writing style. If you’re not beginning to see some common traits of yours that shine through in your writing, then chances are you’re not writing enough.

When you find that unique voice, you might not even be able to explain how it came about – let alone describe what it is. That’s the beauty of writing and discovering as you write. Sometimes the best things just happen naturally.

Making the Commitment

Some of us just struggle to carve out the time to devote to our writing. It’s okay, I totally get it, I’m guilty of it too. I should be writing every day, learning more about what kind of writer I’m becoming, because even after a few years at this I don’t feel like I’m quite there yet.

Make a promise to yourself, to work on your writing. I’ll make that promise to myself as well. I will get up an hour earlier every day to focus at least 45 minutes on my writing. Can you do the same, carve out some time every single day to see where your writing can take you? You’re worth it.

(if you’ve had a hard time finding your voice, check out the article below by Jeff Goines, he’s got some really great tips)

Now go kick some ass, it’s Monday 😉



An exercise for finding your voice

“If you struggle with getting people to read your writing or with staying consistent in your craft, you need to stop chasing numbers and productivity and reboot. It’s time to start finding and developing that voice of yours.” – Jeff Goins



Get a Stunning Book Cover Design or Illustration from an Award Winning Artist 

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