Chasing Kindle Unlimited! (KDP Select)
I’ve been meaning to put together a prompt book (or two) for KDP Select, but they demand exclusivity and all of my previous prompt collections were made of things already posted on the blog. Even the new prompt books I had been working on were designed to be blog-friendly, so those are also out of the running.
What I do have is all of the old Custom Story Prompt books that I’ve never reused.
As I start to hack away at the current draft of The Wolves We Are I noticed that Scrivener had an option to import a cover… but when I went to grab the existing one I just didn’t like the look of it.
The cover from last March isn’t a bad cover, certainly better than my first try (although I still like it as an icon), but something just felt off about it. So bad to the drawing board I went! Well, okay, less drawing board and more tweaking board, but you get the idea.
Flip the color gradient, darken it some and swap out the simple silhouette for an actual (if blurry) moon and we have victory!
Although it’s a little hard to tell it’s a wolfdog in the bottom corner and not an actual wolf. Oh well…
But now I’ve got a cover that I like again! … We’ll see how long that lasts! 😉
TWWA, Take 2!
In preparation for April Camp NaNoWriMo’s eBook bonanza I’ve been trying to get cover art done for all the stories in the queue. The Saturday Story Prompt covers are easy (if time consuming), but the other stories are a bit harder…
The basic goal for an eBook cover (for me) is to get something simple that scales well and can be read easily all the way down to 75×100. Last check, both Amazon and Smashwords displays the thumbnails at 100×150, so I might need to revise that strategy upwards. *pokes image*
I think it turned out okay, although at the full resolution (1800×2400) it looks a little rough because it’s not true vector art. I really need to save up and buy Photoshop someday. Or learn how to properly use Gimp. Or just pay someone to design proper covers. Continue reading
The Wolves We Are Sketch
Part of the push to create an eBook of The Wolves We Are is to create actual cover art that’s not just a simple photo-manip. (To be honest, I probably need to redo every story icon I have, but I’m starting small.)
I’m an artist, of sorts, but I’m not a designer– as you can tell from the simplicity of the Saturday Story Prompt collections covers. Unfortunately I can’t afford to hire a real one, especially for a free eBook, so for now I’m going to have to make do.
And that means keeping the art as basic as possible.
After a boatload of sketches I ended up deciding to use a stained glass motif of the Baron and his sevens sons as the main Baron’verse icon. It’s a pattern that should shrink well and 90% of the use will be as an icon instead of a bookcover. Continue reading
As the eBooks start to pop up in the shelves of my Smashwords store, I figured now was a good time to take a moment to go over why they look the way they do.
Unlike most of the eBooks out there, my covers aren’t very artistic– and there’s two very good reasons why:
- I’m not a good enough artist to create something that shrinks well (from 1800×2400 to 71×94!)
- I don’t have the money yet to pay someone that is.
So instead of picking up a paintbrush, I picked the simplest way to present the information so that you can read it in any scale. Rectangles and text FTW!
Once I had the basic idea roughed out, I created a template in Paint Shop Pro and started playing the ‘what shrinks best’ game.
It’s not fancy, but it’s legible and right now that’s a winner in my book. 😉
The top square will stay the same color all year and the bottom four rectangles alternate between a set of complimentary colors. They yearly collections have a slightly different design and will have a different top color to help set them apart.
I may go back and set the yearly collections to be the same top color as the year they were in. But the plan is to come back later and hire someone to make them something a bit more shiny. *crosses fingers*