Tag Archives: Featured

Update! Check Out My Progress!

As most of you may know, I was out of commission for over a year with a neck injury and it put my work and my writing on hold. The doctors said I had bone spurs and degenerative disc disease. The pain came on suddenly and was debilitating. I couldn’t work at all, I was devastated.

Over a period of ten months, they tried all sorts of things to give me relief, but nothing worked. Nothing even touched on relieving the pain and my right arm, my dominant arm, was useless. It was the most boring ten months of my life! I missed my clients and my online friends.

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I have since had neck surgery which made all the difference in the world. Slowly I regained the use of my right arm and finally, I’m back to doing what I love.

Check out my new work in progress!

I’m excited now because I have finally finished the first draft of my new book for independent authors!

This book was meant to be complete and published two years ago, but now I’m a third of the way into the rewrite since my recovery, and aiming for publishing in July! I’ll be offering it for free on the first day of publication!

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In this book, I”m excited to be giving you the real secrets behind professional graphic designs and creating amazing book covers.

Other cover design “how-to” books aren’t sharing what it really takes to create those great designs.

There’s a lot to know when it comes to designing book covers and my goal is to address what you’ll need in a way that you can easily digest, understand, and put to use.

I’ve included plenty of illustrations throughout the book for those who gravitate toward visual learning.

I know where you can get the perfect images, all designers do, but no-one is sharing this info. Pssst…I will!

I will also give you links to the great design platforms, even free alternatives, that will allow you to design like the pros.

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Do you design your own book covers?

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Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

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Wednesdays Visual Writing Promptline orange

Visual writing prompts are an excellent method to spark your creativity. They are a means of exploration into your journey as a writer. Taking part in writing prompts can lead you into depths of writing discovery that may have otherwise eluded you.

Taking twenty minutes to participate in prompts like this on a regular basis can unlock your true potential as a writer.

Good Luck!

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The Challenge

Use this prompt to think outside the box, to go somewhere with your writing that you had never dared go before. See what kind of magic you can work with that brilliant mind of yours.

  • Use this prompt to add a scene to the current book you are writing.
  • Start a short story that you can give away for free to subscribers of your blog.
  • Or just practice your skills.

It’s true that a picture like this can spark ideas you may never have considered!

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Please post a link to your writing in the comments section 🙂

I look forward to reading your writing.

Have Fun!

Enter to Win: Free Book Cover Design May 1st, 2020

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Giving Makes Me Smile 🙂

I am excited to be getting the word out about the upcoming drawing I’ve scheduled for this May 1st, 2020.

I started this drawing as a way of giving back to the Indie Author Community: I consider myself blessed because I get to do what I love within the publishing industry and I just want to pay it forward.

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Everyone is welcome to enter for a prize of a free design package that includes: Trade Paperback Cover (front-back-spine) and eBook cover, two 3D Covers, and a Book Teaser.

  • Trade Paperback Cover (front-back-spine) and eBook Cover
  • Two 3D Covers
  • A Book Teaser

Winners also receive an invitation to be interviewed on this blog for their upcoming book release.

All winners will be announced and listed on the ‘Winning Authors’ page along with their new cover design and a link to the book’s point of sale.

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There are no hidden fees!


Enter today! This drawing takes place on May 1st, 2020 and the prizes can be claimed anytime.

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Send me an email telling me a little about yourself and your book to enter.

If your name is drawn as the winner, I’ll contact you via email with the happy news.


Enter To Win Below

Good Luck!

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Don’t Make These 10 Cover Design Mistakes

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When it comes to designing your own book covers, getting it right matters.

But you can do it on your own.

You don’t have to hire a professional designer.

In this article, you’ll learn the ten basic things you should avoid when creating your own book cover. No big words, no fancy descriptions, what you’ll find here is direct and to the point, so you don’t need a design degree to understand and get started quickly.

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ONE

When designing your own book cover the last thing you want is for your cover to look like you did it yourself or had a family member do it for you.

It may sound harsh, but too many authors write amazing work only to have it unsuitably represented to the market. They might be great writers but their DIY book covers discourage sales.

TWO

When it comes to graphic design, your own personal preference should not weigh in. It doesn’t matter that purple is your favorite color, it may not go with a cover that’s meant to communicate the overall message of your book, a cover that should generate sales. There is little to no room for subjectivity in graphic design.

Another example of subjectivity is a desire to put a specific scene from your book on the cover. This is a book cover disaster. You will understand the message because you know your book inside and out. A prospective buyer will not understand the context of the scene and will probably overlook the book altogether. If your cover does not clearly communicate its overall message, the chances of getting a reader to buy your book at first glance are lost. Remember, the cover is the first impression that makes the reader dig further and eventually buy.

THREE

That first glance intake should also communicate the genre of your book. If it doesn’t, you’re not sending a clear message.

When a reader is searching through mounds of books for something to read that looks interesting, the genre always plays a role in their choice. If you miscommunicate the genre of your book the chances of it attracting the right readers will mostly slip by.

FOUR

A cover that is too simplistic doesn’t have a great potential to catch a reader’s eye and make them want to dig deeper. Simplicity in design might work for well-known authors, but the chances of that style capturing an audience for a new or upcoming author is not likely.

To see the truth in this you can do your own search in different genres and see what cover styles are selling with mostly unknown authors. The styles you see in that search are typically the styles that are working to help generate sales.

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FIVE

Swinging to the other end of the spectrum is just as bad if not worse than simplicity. A book cover that is too busy can be viewed as distracting and unworthy of further investigation. With these types of covers, there is just too much going on.

You only have about one second to grab the reader’s attention visually. A cover that is too full of design elements might just come off as if you puked it out, repelling a potential reader.

SIX

One way you can usually tell that a book cover is homemade is through the imagery. Low-quality images are not worth the money you are spending for the license to use them. Most times, higher quality images or photos come at the same cost. Shop around.

When you are searching for digital art or photos to use on your cover, try a different method of searching to find the right images. What keywords are you using, maybe you should try other keywords that are relevant to the theme of your book, and definitely relevant to its genre.

You don’t need to find a ready-made cover that’s just lacking text. The software programs available for graphic design make you capable of much more. You can choose a photo of a model, add them to the appropriate backdrop, and add other simple elements, like flowers or guns, etc.

SEVEN

Purchasing the license to use a photo, vector, or illustration is typically pretty straight forward. But there are certain types of images that are not allowed to be used. You need to know what copyright your images are subject to. Below is a link you should check out to be sure you know the basics of what can’t be used on your cover. You might be surprised.

http://www.digitalmedialicensing.org/specialrelease.shtml

EIGHT

There is such a thing as using too many fonts on your graphic design. Up to three is okay. One specific custom font for the title. One generic, yet custom font for the subtitle, and a custom font that brands your author name. You don’t want to make your author name look too fancy, it should not stand out above the title of your book. You should also use the same font and style for your author name on all of your books unless you are publishing in different genres.

 

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NINE

Speaking of fonts, a weak hierarchy of the text on your book can miscommunicate your message and confuse potential readers. This hierarchy is not just found in different pieces of text but throughout all of the design elements on your cover.

Hierarchy is a term for what carries visual weight from the heaviest element to the lightest in your design. This hierarchy will dictate the viewer’s eye as they take in what’s to be seen. With their gaze flowing from the heaviest elements to the lightest. This is how they absorb your message, through a “sentence” of visual hierarchy.

TEN

When you think you’ve got a great concept layout, always check to see if the cover is clear in thumbnail size. No matter how great you think your design might be, if it isn’t clearly communicating in thumbnail size, it won’t grab attention on a book sales platform.

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Communicating what the reader can expect to get out of reading your book is your most important objective in cover design.

If you stick to these ten rules of what not to do in cover design, you will be well on your way to creating a great book cover.

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If you like what you’ve read or if you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Your feedback matters!

 

Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

01

Wednesdays Visual Writing Promptline orange

Visual writing prompts are an excellent method to spark your creativity. They are a means of exploration into your journey as a writer. Taking part in writing prompts can lead you into depths of writing discovery that may have otherwise eluded you.

Taking twenty minutes to participate in prompts like this on a regular basis can unlock your true potential as a writer.

Good Luck!

line orange

The Challenge

Use this prompt to think outside the box, to go somewhere with your writing that you had never dared go before. See what kind of magic you can work with that brilliant mind of yours.

  • Use this prompt to add a scene to the current book you are writing.
  • Start a short story that you can give away for free to subscribers of your blog.
  • Or just practice your skills.

It’s true that a picture like this can spark ideas you may never have considered!

line orange

Please post a link to your writing in the comments section 🙂

I look forward to reading your writing.

Have Fun!