Getting The Cover Right
Here I go again!
Getting the cover right for amazon publishing at KDP is close to being a nightmare. In fact I seem to be doing covers over and over again late at night! I usually feel tired and wonder, then look at the clock. It may be 11:00 PM or so by then. I rush off to get showered and into bed before I make too many mistakes. However, I still find those horrible little glitches coming through. It takes courage, patience and forebearance to keep going over and over again.
Last night I had issued with my Quest & Crown cover. My name is too long and liable to be cut off in my latest upload. So, I went back to the drawing board, Adobe Elements and Wacom tablet. I found all the original covers that I had made for this book, and I could not get into the layer for making text (the one I wanted). Writers beware, once you have flattened your layers in Photoshop or CSP, and saved the file as a JPG and not its orginal file type (PSD) or CSP, there is a great panic that will come over you. You cannot get back to the fonts flattened and saved and put into files. Please do not do these things late at night like I do as it will cause so much strife in future times, like a day later!
Also, to use the same font is sometimes difficult if time has passed and you cannot remember its name. In PS Elements it does not tell you what the font is unless it is recent and you double click on the layer. But, if it is too long ago, the font may not be there any more. Do not ask me why this is, but I have not been able to find some older and beautiful fonts again. It is a good idea to note the name of the font or keep a file with a note of them. I know they are saved in Mail Fonts, but sometimes one gets missed or I accidentally delete something that I later need. (iCoud storage issues)
The above books arrived this week, earlier than expected and I was chuffed by Amazon.com's great work once again. There is a little border I do not want on my Five golden Rings book, but I am not sure it is worth the pain of getting back to that again and ending up with another heap of work.
I managed to get my Quest & Crown KDP Digital book done late last night. I shall put that on special price at Amazon on 20th February. That is because the rule says it must be 30 days from when it is changed, etc. In this case, published in that format for the first time. I did take a look through preview and it seems fine. I have already edited it once today again. I am still waiting for my print Quest & Crown to be renewed at Amazon. I did make a small change and more work had to be done! People think it is easy to write a book but the hardest part is editing, doing the formatting, and of course the cover. I am a freaky cover nerd and never know enough about making covers, or even using photoshop or other software. Sometimes I read or hear some tuition and it goes straight over my head. I am totally not technically wired, so bad luck there for me. I still persevere as I have other strengths, like the dog with a bone, never give up. I just want everyone to enjoy a little read and be happy that someone like me is out here slaving away because I love what I do when I am not struggling too much.
I have not published these titles on Smashwords yet, as I have now enlisted in Kindle Unlimited, so must stay for 90 days. I will take my time and see how this story gets going. I have another sequel worked out (very late at night when it is pitch dark), and I am hoping to get it done in the near future. You know, thinking and doing might be miles apart, but they are also close together. It is a paradox you might say.
We are all like little paradoxes running around the world, doing this and that, being happy and being sad, being good and being bad (rhymes), being diligent and being slack. We are all a little like that. I guess we are simply not boring, are we.
The covers above are all still available. Quest & Crown has a new author arrangement after the cut off message I received from Amazon. So, hopefully it will not take anything away from the book itself.
As you can see, I had to change the location of the author and this is what I ended up with. Having a long surname is not advantageous but maybe there are some benefits that will emerge... I did find the same font, which was a lucky break for me yesterday, as I struggled with this cover for many hours. Some people might think it comes like a breeze but it is definitely not so. Making an electronic cover is fun but also a lot of work and thought munching away in my head. I could not get the picture again as I deleted so much stuff recently to avoid buying more storage from iCloud, so away went a lot of images because they take up so much space and I need a lot of images to make me happy, to hopefully make you happy.
I could see some indication of a power struggle in this title as I read parts of it again. I think it might reflect the struggles in the world today, imprinted on our subconscious mind (well on mine for sure). Struggles for power, recognition, success, acclaim and of course the ultimate desire - love! We all want these elements even if we cannot say the words. Today we see Joe Biden as the new USA President and we simply do not know how the future will pan out for him and his lovely wife.
I notice that all the women had shoulder length hair in the entourage of special guests (except the exceedingly beautiful young lady who read her poetry.) The hair of these women is just like my depiction on this cover, and it seems universal. However, in real life, I absolutely hate having hair rushing over my face and on my neck, so I always tie my hair back off my face. I am not sure if others have this issue with longish hair? Maybe I have more sensitive skin on my body than others? Interesting topic. If we are inside it is probably okay (unless there is a fan blowing), but for outdoors, tied back hair seems much more handleable. I remember reading a horrifying story about a woman in Logan, Qld, who drove her car into the river and almost drowned by her long hair that got caught up in the rapids! She had really thick black long hair that everyone loves, except rapids! It made me shiver. I guess women have suffered with long hair, short dresses, high shoes and tons of clag (make up) for ever. Something needs to change one day.
I saw someone on TV saying she hated the lockdown because she never washes her hair! The hairdressers do it for her! What have we become? Spoiled princesses, or just useless at the most necessary of jobs? I had been hoping to make enough from my writing to visit a hairdresser again, just once! Haven't been to one since 2016 because I just cannot afford it. I did visit the hairdresser for a while before 2016, when our "rich retiree" pensions were slashed. Now I just buy the bottle and do what I can. I also cut my hubby's hair (since 1971). I am getting better at it now! Finally! I even cut my own hair if I need to. I am still not good at that as my eyes seem to be in the wrong place for certain angles.
Also, with this cover I had to change the skirt because of the print above it that I could not move. Now I wish I understood how to make a clipping mask. I have done it and it worked before, but I just could not get it to work this time. So, here's a new me, learning the making of the wheel again. Actually I don't think it is possible in two flattened layers? Must look into this a bit more and let you know.
Good luck with your covers! Marie
3 on a Table
This is how they look on a small table. You can see my Five Golden Rings... is twice as fat as my new Quest & Crown. I will give all the weights and sizes later when they are for sale, approved by their creator - me. They are like my little children to me, but able to be shared in that big bad world out there, where people need something to keep them sane and focussed on life and its good side, and to have laughter and joy again. It is a good time for everyone to read or create and to allow their creative side to flourish in a time of pandemic. I hope you like them.
There are more to come.
These are the three books I received today. The little band indicated these are proofs, so they need to be approved for selling on KDP Print on Amazon.
I just wanted you to see the difference in sizes, how fat they are.
Quest & Crown
This is the first time I have this book in my hot little hand (literally hot).
I began this story in April, finished it in June, and spend 3 months editing.
That is a record for my writing. Usually I take years to get a book finished. It shows that I have had more me-time to get things done that I love doing. If I was 20 years younger I think I would be happier, but better late than never. The idea came and the characters told their own story. It is written with the viewpoint of a wonderful Knight, a man of valour and character, which is a nice change. I love his character, and his weakness for women make him more adorable. He is discrete and determined to finish his quest, but the interruptions by beautiful and wonderful women (some have bad characters) makes it spicey and intriguing. (Very alluring as my sister might say)
This knight, Garty (name came to me) Musdo, has one friend, a horse, Brill (came to me), and he is worn out with his investigations. He must get a hurry on and find someone who is practically invisible. It is set in 1799 and he rides his way through the hills and dales to find the baby, who is due for a very big inheritance and crown.
It follows a man's heart to the last drop of testosterone and has a satisfying outcome, which makes it opposite to a lot of stuff we are seeing on the News lately. So, this is a good counteraction for those struggling with sadness, loss of hope and joy and living wild, like we used to (in 2019).
I am thinking of a sequel for this one. No spoilers.
This is a sneak peek for those who love my books. This is for you. A few clues as to the characters and the plot.
Protagonist is a big word and it is the most important word in a book. It is the hero, the main character of the story.
Plot: This is the story, how it works out for the characters who are real in their own world inside the story.
I wanted the plot and the protagonist to be on the front cover. I think that is a reasonable exercise and way to promote the story to the reader, who is an intelligent being with feelings and needs like the protagonist in the story, or a human being with needs to get away from the hush and tumble of all their worries and bury their minds inside a book that gives them a breather for a while.
This is the story. This is what it does, or should do. If not, I have failed. I love my own stories but that is no reason to be proud as its success does not rely on my feelings or thoughts, it depends on yours, dear reader. This book should give you hope, faith and love. I hope in faith that it does. Thank you. Marie
This is a revision of my Five Golden Rings and a Diamond. It is a few years since I changed this cover, so now I am in this place. I loved this picture and it sent me the right vibe for my romantic couple within. It is a really heart warming fiction and I read it again (8+ hours) and I do love it. I wrote this in the first person and back in 2004, so it is nice to read it again. It is a little bit realistic and a lot of fiction, but it works. It is a long read but takes you on a long journey across the seas and into another lifetime. We all seem to have chapters in our lives and this is one of those, with a ring as a circle of happiness that will never end. We all want that, a good life, a few ups and downs, overcoming the worst things and getting a happy ending. This book will help all of us to cope with our frail lives that seem to be getting cut short by the pandemic. It is a breath of fresh air for us to revive our hope. Not all men are bastards, bullies and arrogant. Some have great qualities and you will find them all in here.
This is a very fat book with lots of pages to have a long lasting read in bed, in your chair, on the deck. A relief for relaxation. If you love Ireland and Australia, this will fit your style.
Planet Poo: Now being revised. I didn't have a copy of this book until today. If anyone thinks being a writer is a rich profession, I am afraid it is not quite so. Sometimes we have no money at all to spend on our own books, as we are men and women of a different goal in life. We need to write more than anything and money is a very poor second. (That is not a complaint, it is a fact) To make money on your books you need to be famous already and rich therefore before you begin. If you begin, it is an entirely different journey and making money needs to be on the back burner most of the time. If we get money, we spend it on our own books, so it goes back into the community and the economy. We do not hoard money, we hoard a few books! If we have talent, it is usually not recognized until we are pushing up daisies.... (sadly) So, do not be jealous of writers and their talents.
3 of my books arrived in print copies today. This is the one I have on Amazon. I have a revised copy ready to purchase proof copy, but I had never seen this actual book since CreateSpace got taken over and all my titles along with it. I was so distressed that I did not know where to begin with this process, as I had 28 books on CreateSpace and it was literally a nightmare revising and re-turning the wheels of time. During this Covid recession, I have literally had more time to get my brains together and to work on these again. Being older and slower is not always compensation for being wiser, but I found the resources within myself to do this over again. I tell you folks, being older, still enduring hot flushes every 30 minutes (20 years) is a huge mountain that I have to climb every day. If you are young, steel your heart to do the things you should do, as it definitely does not get better with age. My concentration is bout 50% of what it used to be, and my energy level is less than 50% of my prime. Sleeping is one of the most important aspects of coping. If I wake early, hot and flustered, I cool down and get back to sleep. This is something I decide to do and it seems to work at present. I know how weak and vulnerable I am to becoming too tired to do anything, so I take the precious early mornings to get the best sleep ins. It is quiet here then before traffic begins and the birds wake up.
now, I need to revise this inside and out and put it back on sale. Not a lot to do! Wish me luck.
This page is a sneak preview of what happens in the head of someone like me when designing a cover. You might get insights into the story here.
This was one idea I had for the cover of my new title, Quest & Crown, which will be published soon.
Why I rejected this cover:
It does not tell the story inside the book, only one minor part (crown), which is a sub plot.
Thic picture I did like a lot. I almost decided on it. But, then I thought it was too informative, too many sub issues that were not as important as others.
I tried to visualise the most hidden yet important theme rather than featuring characters therein. In some ways the secondary figures were not quite what I had created. Rejected.
I decided this one was not showing the real picture inside, although it has elements I liked. It had two characters on its front, which was a better idea than several.
I also didn't like her bare midrif, which is not a theme of my story. (Although it comes close)
This cover had potential, but somehow it seemed crowded and although it had an element here that I did like, I felt it was just too much for the reader. Rejected.
There are several other covers I worked on, and many images manipulated. I managed to secure the images from Pixabay and another free site to play with them.
Playing with the images is such fun for me and I am sure many creators love it too. I am getting used to using layers and modifying each layer as necessary.
It is a long process and sometimes becomes tedious, but it is also a learning process.
I have a motto now, to try and try until you cry! It works. Then I finally make up my mind!