Saturday, June 11, 2016

Thoughts on Book Covers

I was followed on Twitter by a book cover designer. I looked him up on his website. This guy does awesome work. He boasts of a 2 day turn-around, and his fans attest to it. He has to have a team working with him. There's no other way. Plus, his fee for the service of making a book cover for both a physical copy and an ebook cover is steep. It must include paying employees. $747 dollars is too much for this mi-western farm girl with a family to raise!

However, your book's cover is essential. It IS worth it to spend money on a good cover. Wherever this guy lives must have a high cost of living, much higher than the midwest, to justify getting paid that much.  I know it's about quality, and some of you might think it's perfectly fine to pay more than a month's rent or mortgage payment on a book cover illustrator. I would rather find cheaper ways to do it. (I'm currently attempting a cover change at It's free.)

Some of you might argue about VALUE and Return on Investment, or ROI. Yes, having a sharp cover helps it sell. Value to me is getting the most for my investment at the forefront. The outcome is uncertain. I guess I'm not a risk taker. Probably why I'm not rich.

In thinking about making that money back, one can only dream. Even if your goal was to pre-sell a book before launch and then launch it, you'd have to have already invested in a cover to show your potential buyers. I'm not that confident in my work at present, nor in my current fan base, to be able to make that money.

Maybe that's my goal; to be 747 dollars confident in my work and in my fans that I could count on selling for that much value. :)

Watering the Seeds to Grow Your Ideas

Today I was inspired by this phrase "Watering the Seeds". When you plant a seed, you have to water it to see it grow and produce fruit. As a gardener myself, I know that the watering and the weeding take the most time and there are some really hots days when I think about watering and go "ugh".
My actual garden in June. (It needs watered.)

What does this have to do with writing?

All writers get seed ideas. We sometimes plant them by jotting them down. (If you don't have a notebook where you jot down ideas, get one!) But they will never grow if we don't work on them.


Watering your idea makes it grow. Tending to it, nurturing it, and adding to it turns it from a seed idea into a novel.

Outlining, researching, and then writing scenes and characters is sometimes exhausting. It takes perseverance to get to The End. Then comes editing, which can be even more daunting! But if you keep at it, you will end up with a story that bears fruit; that holds up against the tests of time, critique, and review.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What This Writer Has Been Up To

As a teacher, I am encouraged and required to do professional development. I have some leeway in what I choose to learn more about, but if something is school or district-wide, I have to join in. Sometimes there are mandatory meetings in my field as well.

As a writer, I'm pretty much self-employed, whether I get paid or not. I have to learn and grow on my own. I have 100% control of what I take in. I can read good books, join webinars, take Udemy classes, and join whatever email lists that I feel will help me in my pursuit.

1. So this week, I've been listening and taking notes on Tim Grahl's Hacking Amazon. Tim does a lot for authors in building their platform and book marketing. Working with Amazon's Author Central is only part of that. He offers great advice. I had to sign up to receive links to his videos in my email. I've taken notes on his lessons. No one said you can't and free info is free info. I figure I can get enough free pieces of the puzzle to make some headway and at least get myself started.

2. I also listened to Jeff Goins talk about how to find your purpose, which tied in to other speakers I've taken notes on whose goal is to help people reach their dreams.

3. I've been thinking about my niche and what my passion is and what I can write to help people. One place you can go to get ideas for finding out what people are interested in and what they need is to go to Quora. You create an account and select your interests. From there you can see questions people have asked in your areas of interest. This is what the people want to know. Can you (or I) answer them?

4. Hey, did you know that in marketing your book or product or service, you can advertise and pre-sell a product that is NOT finished??  After hearing this, I felt that was dishonest, but I also remembered thinking about how you need money to get things started sometimes.

5. This week I learned a new way to record myself and transcribe it into a book. We can speak faster than we can type. I'm kind of excited to try it.

Then I added some things I learned about my niche to my notes, worked on an old piece I think might become my next ebook, and remembered to take time out for myself!