Just saying that in my out loud voice gives me a bit of a panic attack. I have to figure out how to migrate all these posts to my new site. It can’t be that hard, right? Right. We all know how well tech and I play together. There may be a few panicked phone calls in my future. It is a good thing my godson loves me.
This week has been a bit of a roller coaster. I am still trying to figure out Kobo formatting. I am still trying to get the other site set up. I am still writing. I went to school to find out my schedule for the year. My schedule so far is pretty. I have mostly end of day or beginning of day preps, and only one coverage. Of course, all this may change depending on what happens in the next three weeks. The only thing I didn’t expect was that I do not have grade 1 Core French. So, it is all things I have already taught, and grades I like with teaching partners who are awesome. I have to say I am relieved. Last year was so stressful that I am looking forward to slightly less insanity.
I got my edits back for The Dragons’ Court, book 2 in the Tales of Fairhaven. It was fun to use google docs and read my editors’ comments and suggestions. I need to rewrite one page, but other than that the changes are primarily cosmetic. The best part was when my editor said ‘Oh, I am shocked!’ after reading one particularly dramatic moment. It was exactly the effect I wanted. We all want Dragon Cloche Socks and a tunic with thirteen jeweled dragons around the hem.
I am going back and forth about the cover. Right now the cover features a piece of the Stone Table but I kind of want flaming dragons and a woman with a sword on it. But no matter what the cover I love the story. And this is about the story, right?
The first downer of my week was Super School. Oh, yes, Super School.
Even before I got it back from my third beta reader, I knew this draft didn’t hit the mark. There is no hook or problem with the character on page 1. The actual plot doesn’t ramp up until about thirty pages in which is way too late. One of beta readers suggested I change the main character’s age because she reads older. This actually made me feel better: my concern was how much her voice changed in tone and how much older she reads in the second half of the book (the part this beta reader did not get to). On the good side: I know what is wrong and I have a pretty good idea how to fix it,. It will just take work. On the bad side: I feel like I let down my beta readers, and reworking it will take time. I know the next draft will be better. I have a clearer understanding of plot and character arc and drama than I did even six months ago, which is good, since my muse keeps handing me new little vignettes and toys. I may have to start a file and throw all the vignettes and ideas into it so I just keep focusing on the things I need to finish. At least, having all the toys scattered across the floor means I don’t have to worry about running out of ideas, right?
I consoled myself by writing my magnet piece for my subscribers. The Son of a King tells the story of how the family at North Watch Keep got their ability to sense the land from the Fae. Rockton Marsh was so much fun to write. He not your typical knight in shining armor. He is the illegitimate son of the King of Fairhaven and a sword for hire. The story just flew off the page. Things were going so smoothly! I did business things like applying for ISBN numbers and signing myself up as a KoBo author. I even planned out the beginnings of the next episode of Fairhaven (the story of Carl and his bride). And then I tried to find a cover for The Son of a King.
I spent nearly the whole week looking for covers. I read about covers. I agonized about covers. The more I looked, the more I knew none of the pieces I was looking at were right. Combine that with the fact that I have champagne taste and no budget?
I did what I always do when I get stuck: first I panic, then I tell myself I cannot possibly become a professional if I am struggling with this. And eventually I get over myself and start doing research, poking around, asking for advice and all that jazz.
There are a lot of really good articles about things to think about when designing an eBook cover. All of them boil down to this: Use a clear readable font. Find an image that tells the story (or is at least generic enough in your category that it tells the reader they might like your story). Make sure your words are visible at minuscule proportions. Make the cover attractive, different and riveting, but the same as your general genre so people know what to expect
I finally gave up trying to find a cover and signed myself up for a course in designing Book Covers in GIMP from UDemy. The course was great, particularly since I have never been able to figure out any photo editing software. This is the cover I ended up designing for my reader magnet story. What do you think?
So dear reader, do you have any hints or tips about designing covers for books? Or doing all those author things? Or do you have questions you would like answered about Fairhaven? Let me know, and I will see you next week over at the new blog: