Wednesday, July 1, 2020

IWSG: My Book Cover Designing Experience!

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IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!



Today, I'm sharing an adventure of book cover making--sorry, it's not a tutorial but a rough outline. After a painful learning curve with using an art program (it took me about a solid week of over 8 hours a day to learn it!), a lot of authorly graphic making stuff has become so easy for me!

My favorite art program to use is Medibang Paint Pro. I can cut and paste and duplicate and layer and edit photos.

Meet My Perfect Match: Ryan Greyson, all-star football player, lives a life of parties, kissing, and Friday night games. He believes all girls are made equal until his first blind date with Kimber who’s everything he’s not, and he can’t keep his mind off her. Will he lose his royal status with the team?

First, I decided on the concept art of the cover. Because it's a YA clean romance, I studied Amazon's book covers for that genre and the idea was born: A girl leaning into the boy as though in a kiss.

I next spent many hours searching through football pictures through Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash. I was very picky with the images I needed. I had to get a player all by himself. Like this:


Photo by Football Wife @ Pexels

Next, I needed to find a photo of a woman who faced "Ryan". I cut around her and pasted her onto his photo, but I had to adjust the lighting on her dress so that it matched the daylight of the field. It was no easy feat.

Photo by Allison Heine @ Unsplash






I found a separate photo of those red curls and carefully cut them out and pasted them. I inked in shade after matching the color between the two characters, the grass beneath her feet, and anything along her dress.






I used this template from Amazon for a 6x9 book cover (I was able to download it after setting up my other book, My Christmas Miracle) and placed it as the first layer and started playing around with font styles and lined them up.





I drew in my own flowers--not using any type of font. I can draw my own flowers, thank you!

My Perfect Match is book 3 of My Perfect Kiss Series--it's all still a work in progress. I'm not sure what prompted me to try doing the book covers out of order. Artist prerogative?


What cool stuff have you learned as an author?




Wednesday, June 3, 2020

What are Writing Secrets?

IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!




June 3 question - Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?



What? Secrets? Every writer has them? Where have I been!? lol

blue and black butterfly
Photo by Beckett Ruiz @ Unsplash.com
Okay, seriously, my secret is that I used to feel so left out of the loop of writerhood, I'd get frustrated at how other writers refused to share their "secrets" with me.

Secrets as in how did they learn how to format an ebook and a print book? How did they get marketing to work for them? Why didn't they ever let me join their critique circles? Why was I always so left out?

One day after that, I had a friend tell me that books are consumable--there is no such thing as really getting ahead of anywriter else. I agreed and yet, I was stuck in this loop where others refused to help.

blue butterfly on hand
Photo by  Christian Wiediger @ Unsplash.com
Fast forward 8 years and it seems as though everyone has realized the wisdom of the philosophy that books are consumable items and we all need each other!

I learned how to format a print and electronic book, there are writing communities now who are actually willing to share painful experiences as well as the mechanics of problems that arise (such as losing reviews on an existing book when all you want to do is update the cringy story text on Amazon).


Butterfly, Blue, Forest, Fantasy, Woods, Dream, Surreal
Photo by Stergo @ Pixabay.com













My "writing secret" is that I don't have any; I'm the kind of person who loves to share growing pains with others so that they won't have to suffer. The key is, getting them to actually talk to me--people are too busy being busy.

I know this is probably not what IWSG meant by writerly secrets but there you go.

What are your writing secrets?


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

When Dreams Fall Apart

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html
click on image to join other IWSG writers!
IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!





Sometimes the path we have set changes so suddenly, we lose ourselves especially when it shatters our dreams. A perfectly-not-so-perfect world is thrown off its axis and it becomes difficult to hang onto.

man leaning on wall

Without saying too much, something in my life has changed so drastically that I've lost my will to write, to create! I've been living in survival mode to the point that almost everything has lost its pleasure. I think of writing as something glorious I once enjoyed and yearn for those days of old (it was only earlier this year that I'd written something, so 2 months without writing is a lot for me).

Today, I decided to read a few children's stories to my 7 year old that I'd written several years ago and am feeling some small stirrings awaken.

Writing has always been a part of me--through thick and thin. It's my source of escapism, my place of sanity. Knowing this brings peace because I've always come back to it.

landscape photography of person's hand in front of sun
Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash.com

I find the best way to awaken my desire to get back into writing is by reading a few of my works for the fun of it. I will start there. I hope to bring it back to life.

woman wearing white and gray striped sleeveless dress smelling the air standing in the pink flower field at daytime
Photo by Johen Redman on Unsplash.com

As for the rest of me, I will be good to myself and appreciate the little things in life that have always brought a smile.


How do you get back to your writing after facing a crisis?








Wednesday, April 1, 2020

IWSG: Marketing

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html
click on image to join other IWSG writers!
IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!





As published authors living in 2020, much has changed since 2011. Back in the day when my first book, Darkspell, released, we did shoutouts and book launches on Facebook, Twitter, held blog tours, bloggers reviewed like crazy but now ... things aren't the same anymore!



woman wearing white and red blouse buying some veggies
Photo by Renate Vanaga @ Usplash


I'd taken a step back from publicity into my writerly cave for the past eight years and kept writing and writing and have since published a few more books. I've seen major changes from the way I used to market my book to now. They have drastically changed.



Business, Tree, Growth, Success, Team, Teamwork, Profit
photo by geralt @ Pixabay



Whether we are self- or traditionally published, no one will love our books as much as their creators, and we are still urged to market them even when done the traditional route.

Bearing this in mind, what strategies work or have worked for you? Where are your goto platforms? How do you keep the marketing alive for a book that released four months or later?








Wednesday, March 4, 2020

IWSG: Book Life after Life?

IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!




person stepping on garbabe
Photo by Quinten de Graaf on Unsplash.com


So, your rights revert back to you and you want to breathe new life into the old book. Maybe a new cover and a rewrite since you published it some odd years ago and it has a cringy feel.

How do you go about doing this without losing all the many existing reviews?

I know some update the book and save it as a minor change so as to keep the same ISBN and reviews. Others republish altogether but lose the preexisting reviews.

three pupas
Photo by Suzanne D. Williams @ Unsplash.com

Yes, I have a book I published a while back and I'm not happy with the cover any longer. I've rewritten the book, too. Made it tighter. Cleaner. Improved characterization. I've yet to format it. I'm still mulling over the new cover.

Have you encountered this dilemma? Is it best to put out a second edition with a different ISBN? Any thoughts? Suggestions? Help!