I’m jumping from SF/F to cozies, just to give you the range of covers, because I can’t imagine a more different style than those two.
Before we go any further, let me explain cozies, because I found out when I asked for recommendations some time ago that in these days when we don’t have to bother submitting to gatekeepers, people have either never heard of (only they have to, because there’s searches for it on amazon) or completely forgotten what cozies are.
Sorry, today I’m not doing my installment of how to do covers. We’re traveling out of town come Thursday, not back till Monday, and it’s one of those events where there will be pictures, so I need to be decently dressed. We start with this part of how writers see — or don’t see — themselves. I normally work alone in my tiny office, overlooking 400 acres of trees and nothing, so the only things that go by are wild turkeys and eagles, neither of which gives a hang about what I wear. I tend to dress by the engineer method: are all relevant portions covered?
Now, face with being in public with a bunch of strangers, in the aftermath of losing 40 some pounds, I’m having to hem, pull in, etc. a bunch of clothes. Which is part of the work for today. Writing is kind of the same way. Read more
So I can imagine you guys looking at last week’s post and going “okay, so the second one when you were awake is sort of acceptable, but it’s still a lot of work, and what if we don’t have your familiarity with a graphics program?”
Well, fear not. Or at least don’t fear a lot. There’s still options for free or for money (for money if you want something more specific.) And we’re not talking hundreds of dollars. More like $15. Yeah, I know that’s sometimes too much. Which is why I started out doing this, for friends who wanted to try indie but hadn’t even that. Read more
For reasons known only to the psychiatrist I don’t have, I decided to do a seminar on covers. You can find the first post here, and the second here.
Today we’re going to cover one of the topics that stop most people: where do I find the art?
I’ve seen covers made with pictures the author took or drew which are often stunningly inappropriate to the genre and book. And I’ve heard people say that they’d have to pay two thousand dollars for covers. This is ridiculous. There are many, many sources of free and cheap images on line. Read more
So, last week we talked about what the function of a cover is and what it is not.
To summarize: what it is not is an accurate representation of your book. Sure, it sort of kind of represents the contents, but the scene on the cover doesn’t need to be a scene that appears in the book. Nor does the character need to look like your character. Because before they read it, nobody cares, and after they read it, what matters is how good your book is.
Your cover is basically a billboard to sell your book.
So what does matter about your cover? Well, signaling genre does. Read more
Most indie authors have rolled, with relative ease, into hiring content editors and even copyeditors, (just don’t put either under “editor” on amazon. That editor tag on Amazon is for anthologies. You also shouldn’t put your cover artist under “illustrator.” Before I figured out that clueless authors were doing that, I passed up a bunch of books because I thought “An illustrated hard boiled mystery? Too weird for words.” That tag is there for actual illustrated books.) or figuring our how to swap with other indies for these services (which amounts to hiring) or other more creative arrangements.
One stumbling block remains in most writers’ publication schedule: covers. Read more
Last week, my friend Brad Torgersen had a post saying “the purpose of workshops is to make it possible for you to walk away from workshops.”
I’m going to disagree with him, at least a little bit. Read more