Author, Blog Stuff, Books, Contest, Fiction, My Books, Novel, Publish, Sunday Stew, Writing

Book covers, formatting, and a contest preview!

Yesterday was Saturday, but I thought it was Friday until after dinnertime. My life has been that way a lot lately. I had plans for Saturday. I was going to do some garden clean-up and then work on my cover painting. But, like I said, Saturday passed without my knowing.

I didn’t waste the day though … well, I didn’t accomplish anything concrete either. It was more eliminating what I didn’t want than choosing what I did. I’m designing the cover for my novel The Brevity of Roses. I’m an artist, so I feel confident I can paint what I want. The problem is deciding what that is.

The problem is, I’m not a graphic artist. Every idea I’ve come up with, would make a good painting, but not necessarily a good novel cover. I’ve spent days in Photoshop doing mockups. I’ve bugged a couple friends by emailing these to them and asking for opinions. I know only one thing—the cover image will have something to do with the beach.

When I’m not agonizing over cover images, I’m agonizing over formatting my manuscript for print. By that I mean I open my manuscript, pull up my instructions, guides, tips—and then I weep. Guess what? It seems no one does it exactly the same way. My head spins trying to sort it out. Now, I have a template, generously shared by a friend. We’ll see if I can do it that way.

Of course, next will be formatting for ebook. I’ve seen some simple instructions and I’ve also seen some that take 217 steps—and you need to be a contortionist. We’ll see if I can do it. What are the odds I’ll make it far more complicated than it needs to be?

You’ll want to set a reminder to come back to this blog next Saturday, February 5th for something exciting. I’ll have a very interesting interview with Cathryn Grant, author of The Demise of the Soccer Moms, and an announcement of her giveaway contest. The grand prize is grand indeed. You won’t want to miss the interview or the contest.

Well, that’s it for my news. It’s been quiet on a lot of your blogs lately. What are you all up to?

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25 thoughts on “Book covers, formatting, and a contest preview!”

    1. Thanks for the link, Merrilee. Unfortunately, paying someone is not in my budget. Besides, I welcome the challenge. I can do it, I just don’t know how many times I’ll screw it up before I succeed. 😕


  1. Really can’t wait to see your cover. I’m working on a picture book with my sister-in-law, who is an amazing artist. She just showed me the first illustration and I was blown away. Makes me want to keep polishing and polishing those words so they aren’t totally eclipsed by the illustrations. Good luck with your formatting. We’ll be doing that next.


    1. That sounds exciting, Susan. Good luck on your formatting adventure! I think I’ve chosen a fitting image for my cover, but I’m uncertain of my skills choosing the best layout and the right font for the title. Sounds like we both have plenty of challenges this year.


  2. Aww, Linda, I feel for you. I know how much work goes into a book. Everybody does all this stuff differently, it’s true. You have to find what works for you.

    As far as formatting for ebook goes, formatting for Kindle isn’t very difficult. I found formatting for Smashwords the hardest of all. I highly suggest reading the 50 page instruction manual they have. (No, I’m not kidding, sadly). You’ll learn a lot about ebook formatting, too, for other formatting you’ll do. Things like deleting hard returns because hard returns are very bad things. 🙂

    Your contest sounds awesome! And I really can’t wait to see your cover. 🙂


    1. Thank you for your help, Michelle. I didn’t know if I should name the person who shared her template, but I think it will be just what I needed. I’ve set aside formatting while I work on the cover. Though now we’re having surprise house guests for the rest of the week, so I won’t be working on either.

      I’ve heard the Smashwords manual is good … 50 pages, wow!

      I love your beautiful cover for Cinders! Will it change for Rhemalda?


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