Wednesday, May 4, 2016

IWSG, May 2016


Good morning everyone! All blogged out from the A to Z challenge? Me too. But I must blog on. And on and . . .

For this year's A to Z, I chose the theme Weird Science as a tie-in to the release of the IWSG anthology Parallels: Felix Was Here. For ten of the letters, I featured an aspect of science relating to one of the stories, such as virtual reality internet, mirrors, rabies, etc. Since my writing time for the entire last three weeks of April went up in smoke due to sick kids and vacation, I did have to blog as I went, which cut into my visiting time.

Another regret was not getting at least one of my short story collections posted on Amazon before (or during) the challenge, so there went that marketing opportunity. Blast it! However, I think rushing the project would've been a bad decision. 

I've found YouTube extremely helpful as I tip toe through this self-publishing process, in particular for adding hyperlinks in the table of contents and making a cover in Word. My version of Word is kind of old (2010, version 14), so it doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles, but here are some of my prototypes:

1. The Basic Skull






2. Skull plus Soccer Girl







3. Skull plus Surgery Scene






The colors are fun in this version, but there's something about having the image of the girl that I like. 

4. Skull plus Soccer Girl and Surgery Scene






This is my daughter's favorite and it is more creative, but I wonder if the casual viewer can tell that the little image is a surgical suite. But if I enlarge the skull too much, it might not look like a skull anymore.

Which cover do you think works best? Have you ever made a cover? Hired someone to make a cover? Did you enjoy the A to Z challenge this year?

A big shout-out to Ninja Captain Alex. Not only has he created this wonderful, supportive group, he visits regularly, and gave me an opportunity for publication! And do visit this month's cohosts: Stephen Tremp, Fundy Blue, MJ Fifield, Loni Townsend, Bish Denham, Susan Gourley, and Stephanie Faris

51 comments:

  1. I agree with you: it's better to take your time and do it right rather than rush your book out for marketing reasons.

    Speaking as an artist, my advice for your cover is this: shrink them all down to thumbnail size (that's how people will first see your cover on Amazon). Pick the one that's the most eye catching in that tiny size.

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  2. I like the concept of the scenes in the skull's eye sockets, but I do wonder if it would be hard to see online. It's so tricky - the balance between holding the book in your hand and seeing the cover versus seeing the cover online only. Good luck with it!

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  3. I like the first one the best. It's simple. The others seem a little cluttered to me. James has an excellent idea!

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  4. To be quite honest, I like the last one and yes I could tell it is a surgical suite. My reason being the hearts around it indicating or alluding to the title Heart Stopper.

    Shalom,
    Patricia

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  5. The first one worked the best for me. At thumbnail size, I'm not sure I'd be able to tell there are particular scenes on the last one. Another tip would be to convert it to black and white, in case someone is shopping on their Kindle, to see what that looks like.

    I hope you find one that works well for you!

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  6. I like the last one best!
    Sorry you didn't get the release out in time for the Challenge.

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  7. I like the first one although I'd like to see your name larger and the title typeface stronger.

    @Kathleen01930
    Kathleen Valentine's Blog

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  8. I'm leaning toward the last one. It's nice to have the two images "looking" out or "reflected" in the skulls eye sockets. The colors are great for drawing the eye. The only problem is the title gets kind of lost. Any way to shrink the skull a tiny bit, move it up and leave some kind of solid background for the title?

    I feel like I failed at the A to Z challenge. Sure I posted for all the letters, but my visiting was lackadasical at best. I'm sure I missed out on lots of great blogs and themes. I did a science theme as well, and at least I loved that. Hopefully next year will be better for me.

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  9. Rushing a project is never good. I'm glad you're taking your time with it.

    I like the last one. I love sugar skulls, so I like that it's up close. I agree with Charity on the title and byline. They're hard to see. Shrinking the skull a bit might work as she suggested and we'd be able to see more of it. The only problem with that would be the images in the eyes might be harder to see. Perhaps you can use a more zoomed-in image of the surgical table. The image right now shows more of the surgical room.

    Hope that helps!

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  10. Those covers are awesome. I would say the last is my favorite, but you really can't see the surgery scene well. So, I would have to go with #2. Good luck getting the collection out. I've been mucking around with publishing a short story collection for a while now and still can't get myself together.

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  11. I like the first one best, because I think it would work best as a thumbnail size, and that's always important.

    Best of luck with it!

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  12. I'm with the "keep it simple" stigma. A good cover conveys the genre and mood by the color scheme without use of complex images.

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  13. I like the last one, but is there another image that would work better than the hospital scene? Maybe of an actual heart or a heart monitor flat-lined?

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  14. I do like the last cover, but it would be impossible to see the details in the eye sockets in thumbnail size. The first one works the best in my opinion. It's colorful and eye catching.

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  15. Love the last one, so I'm with your daughter on that. I think Diane's idea of a different image in the eye is a good one.

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  16. I agree rushing is never good. The book I'm releasing soon was supposed to be done last year, but it didn't feel right. It has to feel done before we share.

    I'm no use. I'm agreeing with everyone. I like the one your daughter likes, but agree the thumbnail size may need the bolder image of the full skull.

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  17. I agree rushing is never good. The book I'm releasing soon was supposed to be done last year, but it didn't feel right. It has to feel done before we share.

    I'm no use. I'm agreeing with everyone. I like the one your daughter likes, but agree the thumbnail size may need the bolder image of the full skull.

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  18. Like the last one. I read where font text should stand out and be simple to read that it draws attention better. Placement and where the eye should focus also a consideration, but that is just from reading here and there. I like the last one like your daughter.

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  19. Like the last one. I read where font text should stand out and be simple to read that it draws attention better. Placement and where the eye should focus also a consideration, but that is just from reading here and there. I like the last one like your daughter.

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  20. I like the last one. It really catches the eye and it smoothly combines three images to make it into one.

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  21. I like the first one. I've seen and been told by my publisher that minimalism is the trend today. Love the colors!

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  22. What fun to be trying different covers! I like the one with the soccer player juxtaposed with the skull; that said, I think James Pailly had excellent advice! Thanks for visiting my post today! I am always encouraged when someone visits and leaves a comment. It makes all the work put into the post so worth it! Happy writing in May!

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    1. And thanks so much for following me! That always lifts my spirits!

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  23. I think I like the skull and surgery. It fits with the title.

    Susan Says

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  24. When I shrink your page to thumbnail, the soccer girl one is the most striking. I really like your title! I hope you can get more writing time in May and good luck with all the self-pub details. (It's scary, but I think I'll try to self pub something also.)

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  25. I like the skull and the soccer girl best. I also enjoyed the A-Z but the last week was hard (and a lot of it was pre-posted) as I was traveling and at a conference.

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  26. I like the first one--it jumped out at me! Interesting that you use YouTube.

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  27. Did my first cover and hired someone else after that! One thing I've been told over and over, especially with ebooks is to have the cover as "plain" as possible to look better on a small screen, like a phone. Might what to think about that! Thanks for dropping by my blog!

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  28. Racing through the comments because I don't want to be swayed by others, ha ha. The skull alone works for me because it is very basic but also interesting. The fact that it is a skull, yet painted in a cheery way - wow, that is a great idea. Also, I think "less busy" works and puts the attention on the title and author's name.

    Okay, that's it. Now I gotta follow your blog. ;-)

    Hugs,
    Cherdo

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. Racing through the comments because I don't want to be swayed by others, ha ha. The skull alone works for me because it is very basic but also interesting. The fact that it is a skull, yet painted in a cheery way - wow, that is a great idea. Also, I think "less busy" works and puts the attention on the title and author's name.

    Okay, that's it. Now I gotta follow your blog. ;-)

    Hugs,
    Cherdo

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  31. Hi Tamara! I just nominated you for a Liebster blogging award! http://theartofnotgettingpublished.blogspot.com/2016/05/double-nominated-for-liebster-award.html.

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  32. Skull plus Soccer Girl and Surgery Scene gets my vote. It gives me something to look at and then look closer at.
    I won the template for my cover and then edited it in photoshop.

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  33. Hope the family is all better, Tamara. I enjoyed the A to Z Challenge. It was the first time I've had the courage to participate and I did it! YAY! Met some great people along the way.

    I like the first cover - it's simple and eye catching. Good job on all of them though. Wishing you lots of luck with the publication.

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  34. I loved reading all the different theme posts of the A-Z. I always choose the first cover to hit my eyes, I don't have that eye for detail ting going!11

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  35. I like the first cover best. I think it will look good at any size. Also, I've made my own covers before using a number of different basic tools. My goal is be as unique as possible without comming off as ameture. I think I've both succeeded and failed at this at some point.

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  36. I like #3's layout the best. I've made my own mock covers for the fun of it.

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I will do everything in my power to visit commenter's blogs unless I've been abducted by aliens or my children get sick. (If my children get abducted by aliens, I will be very busy, of course, catching up on my sleep.)