Saturday, November 13, 2010

#3 Oh crap, I need a cover...

If you are anything like me, the very thought of a cover will send you into a panic attack riddled, wine-chugging tailspin. But soldier on! I did. I figured the only way to get it done was to do it. Onward and upward. So, armed with a boy child’s camera and the Paint program (hi-tech baby), I came up with this:
Or as I call it “Blech or What the Fuck is that?” (nods head) However, that is still the current cover because a) I am lazy and b) for whatever reason that story is selling and always has so why screw with it, am I right?

Then I got a bit bolder and armed with my trusty (son’s) camera, a silver foil tree from Christmas, a whip (yes, mine, shut up) and a blind fold (see previous note) I did an hour of photographs to end up with this~~~~~>

Better, but still. Jesus. Help me, someone! But again, selling, so I placated myself with that and said to myself “Self, you will get better” (this turned out to be true).

So theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen, I found a picture in my photos (one of my own) that I had used in a blog. I was getting better at futzing around with my stuff. So I turned my picture into a negative, smoonched it per one sites size requirement (200x300) and accidentally, mind you, made it look cool. So cool! (ironically enough, as an aside, this title does not sell as well as the suck ass cover stories do, but still does okay). I was feeling stoked.

Then I discovered (quite by accident) that I could fuck with photos in Photobucket. Ah…whole. New. World. So I did it (per their free membership requirements) and ended up with more and more stuff that looks like this:

Ahhhhhh. Now that sooths the savage I don’t know what I’m doing with covers soul. I have to say, most of my covers from this point forward are pretty good. I have learned not to get too hung up in nitpicking and pick one inanimate object or scene that fits a story and then play with it. Once I stopped having seizures and panic attacks and requiring medication over the whole thing, I got tons better.

The key is to remember YOU CAN ALWAYS CHANGE IT. I can go back and swap out every damn cover if I suddenly drank a tanker truck full of coffee and couldn’t sleep and decided to do so.

My final recommendation is this: suck up to a friend who is talented! Tada!

I have this nifty cover for an upcoming December Ink release because I have this fantabulous friend named Willsin Rowe who is wickedly talented. We did a little barter and I gave him something (minds out of the gutter please!) and he gave me fabulous sexy cover.

So, to recap. You might suck at first. Do not fear the suckage. Soldier on. Do not panic. Play with it (heh). THEY CAN ALWAYS BE CHANGED, you are not carving them out of granite…or find a very talented friend and beg, trade, weep or threaten until they give you a shiny new cover (or pay them, that is what I call “the duh is implied” moment)

So, why are you still here? There are places like Photobucket and Picnik and Free Stock photo places you can look over. Paint has come very far and guess what! There are programs and fonts and all kinds of places to explore (something yours truly is STILL doing). So go, you have covers to work on. Chop chop!

Come back next month for the next exciting installment titled “I Have Broken Smashwords or You Will Eff Up”



  1. Great post, Sommer! I have not heard of Picnik, but I'm gonna hop over there and check it out.

  2. Or you could get GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) from and have the 90% of Photoshop that you would actually use at the low low price of FREE. The initial learning curve with it is a bit steep, but unless you go into professional pre-press work you'll never outgrow it.

  3. that is awesome D.B. Thank you for sharing! The most important thing about it all is the networking with other writers/artist. you can learn/find some very cool stuff and then you can pass the info on.


  4. Very good post, milady. Thanks for the kudos, and I'm still warmly enjoying what you gave me, so it truly is win-win. Plus you're so easy. To work with...