Owen & Makayla 3: Cover Reveal

Seventy-Two Hours Too Long--Buy Now

Cover Reveal! So, Valentine’s Day is not my favorite day. Even though I write love stories. Romance to me is not about being obligated to buy your loved one a card or chocolates (although those things are nice), it’s about how you feel and show your feelings to that loved one throughout the year for as long as you’re together, especially through the hard times.

So I feel like this reveal is apropos. “Seventy-Two Hours Too Long” follows Owen and Makayla as they make their relationship work through Owen’s impending trial. But Devon, silent yet annoying business partner, wants Owen locked away for good. With the trial date getting closer, will Devon pressure Owen into confessing? Can Owen and Makayla’s relationship survive the pressure? And what is Veronica doing here after all these years?

It’s love story at its core, but it’s love swirling in a dark and sinister cloud. Perfect for Valentine’s Day. *wink* AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW, RELEASE DATE 2/26/2019

Available for pre-order at most eBook retailers. Check back here if you don’t see your retailer today. Some take 72 hours (no pun intended!) to make available.

Get a Sneak Peek at My Novel Cover!

After several times back and forth with some beta cover critiquers–some of whom are blog subscribers! Yay!–I decided to scrap my ideas and come up with a new concept. I’m now trying to decide between some fonts.

You can get a sneak peek of my novel cover AND have a part in helping to finalize its design, just by voting HERE! Win, Win!

THIS POLL IS CLOSED.

Writer’s Insight, Q1’18-Indie Publishing Part 1-Covers and Prep (aka editing)

In 2017 after several rejections and the desire to get this novel out there so I can move on to Novel Two, I decided to self-publish my first novel (also the first in a trilogy). For the first 3 months of this year, I’ve been learning about, signing up for, and immersing myself in the technical aspects of publishing and marketing a book. It’s hard. It’s a lot of parts. It requires help.

And I knew I would need help with editing. I’ve said countless times here that I have an eye for editing. And I do. But being as close as I am to this manuscript, and just having been through 2 sets of rewrites–one before beta reading, one after beta reading–I was getting “blind” to my mistakes. However, even if I wasn’t, I would have gotten a professional edit. It pays to have someone else go over your manuscript. They have a different perspective and can see things objectively that you may miss. This was a no-brainer, and it has worked out well for me so far. Thanks, Suanne!

With my eStory “Twenty Four Hours of Freedom” last year, I wanted to test the waters, see if I could format and self-publish at least on a digital platform.  I learned a lot from that process, mainly that I knew almost nothing about graphics, book covers, and what appeals to people. I also learned that publishing is a lot like construction–there are a lot of little tasks to be completed that require checking and re-checking before they can go out to the public. While you can revise digital publications, it’s best to do it right the first time. That first impression is all-important here.

Because of my limitations with graphics, I knew I wanted to get a professional photographer for this novel. However, I thought I could at least design the cover myself. After my original photographer’s scheduling conflict, a photo shoot that wasn’t ideal, money spent, a harrowing Fivver gig, money lost, and days manipulating the nuances of fonts, colors, and hues, my “test audience” picked a cover that I threw together from a test pic that I shot on a whim because I thought it would be a cool graphic for an ad. Go figure. This tells me that next time, I’m going to get a professional to not only create the image but fully design the cover. Maybe even read the novel and provide some alternative concepts.  I already have a concept in mind for the next novel, of course. But since my concept this time turned out not to interest the audience, maybe I need help with everything book cover-related.

Next step in this process is internal formatting, book printing, and implementing my marketing plan. Stay tuned. 😉

Writing Insight-January 2017: Don’t Judge a Book by its Author-created cover

Creating the cover for my first published story was a challenge I hadn’t anticipated. I had a picture in my head of how I wanted the cover to look, but because I am not a graphic designer or much of a photographer (I luck upon a good shot every now and then), I tried to use what little I had to create a cover.

This was akin to light torture. When creating the cover, I never knew how much font would play a role in how a cover is perceived. I was so focused on creating the correct image (which took forever with the limited free clip art that’s available), that I didn’t even think about the font until my “focus group” (my awesome friends) said that they did not like it.

So then I changed the font, then the font color, then the image – because it wasn’t reading what I thought it was reading- and it was getting further away from what I had in my head.

From start to finish (left to right): 4 of the almost 20 variations on the cover for my eBook.
From start to finish (left to right): 4 of the almost 20 variations on the cover for my eBook.

The cover I settled on met most of my priorities: It doesn’t feature faces prominently (so readers can create the couple in the story in their own minds), it has a real photo (which reads professional and contemporary to me), and it’s slightly abstract.

On top of the actual creative issues, there are technical limitations I had to consider. Cover size for most eBook platforms has to be a ratio of 1:1.5 or 1:1.6 (Kindle). Pixels for covers have a minimum. Covers can’t have prices on them or profanity. Covers have to be colored in RGB format. For web versions, the dpi has to be lower than print versions. And so on. These were not foreign concepts, but I don’t work with these things daily.  Creating a cover is harder than you’d think.

Lesson Learned: For indie authors, get a professional to create your book covers. Just because you can create a story, does not mean you can create a visual companion to that story. Readers, even ones who read the synopsis, are attracted by a cover. If you don’t have a following, or are trying to attract new readers, a book’s cover can help you do that. You need that cover to help you stand out from the millions of books out there when you don’t have that cache a “J. K. Rowling” or “James Patterson” name carries. So, why not make it as great as possible?

Even though I have taken a stab at my cover for Living Between Dreams: A Novel, I am shopping around for a professional. I’ve already gotten some complaints about the font. 🙂

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“Twenty-Four Hours of Freedom” is available now  for pre-order on: