Thursday, April 20, 2017

New Covers for 2017

There are many differences between traditional and Indie publishing. Most observers would probably say the traditional model has quite a few advantages. After all, they have massive financial resources, powerful distribution models, and a large staff of talented and experienced people to call upon for everything from editing to cover art to promotion. They can even arrange to have a book translated and published in dozens of different languages. A talented author with a powerhouse like this pushing his or her book can reach almost unimaginable heights.

On the other hand, Indies do have a few small things working in our favor. For example, we can publish books just a fast as we want to. We can choose our own cover art, hire our own artists and editors, and choose how and when to promote our books. And if we're not happy with something, we can change it. No waiting, no board meetings, no supervisor's approval. We just do it. We can change the book description, revise it, or give it a new cover -just because we want to improve the product. So, that's something I'm always working on.

Over the years, I've learned a lot about making covers and I periodically choose a few titles to update. In some cases, the covers I started with were terrible. In others, they've simply become outdated or have lost pace with competitors who keep pushing the envelope. Once in a while, I'm a little sad to see a cover go, but I know that for one reason or another, it's for the best. After all, a cover doesn't just have to satisfy me: It has to convince completely indifferent strangers to pick up this book and read it. That's a tall order for anyone, especially a virtually unknown Indie with very little money to spend and very few resources to utilize. It's an experimental process, but thankfully, each step is usually a move in the right direction.

So here are a few of the new covers. Let me know what you think:





If you don't own these titles yet, you can grab a copy through my Amazon profile page. These new covers have also been added to the Createspace store for the paperback versions, also available at Amazon. If you own these books and you'd like to update the cover on your Kindle device, go into your Kindle library on the device, delete the book locally (not from your account) and then re-download it. It's that easy! If you're interested in making your own book covers, take a look at the "Cover Design Secrets" tab at the top of this page. I have several articles on the subject.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

He said, She said FREEBIE!

Book One of the He said, She said mystery series is free through Thursday, April 13. You can download your copy of HS/SS "Murder" at Amazon. Hurry, because time is limited and I won't be able to run this promo again for months. Once you've got your copy, tell a friend.

If you already have book one, book two is now available and only $2.99! Look for book three later this year...
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MXVCG4A

Friday, April 7, 2017

A new cover resource for Indies

In the past, we've discussed some of the options Indie authors have when it comes to creating and buying covers. The tab at the top of this page links to all my articles on the subject. Following this advice, and doing a little research and practice on your own, can lead to some very attractive book covers at little or no cost. But there is a drawback: You have to do all the work. You've got to invest time and maybe a lot of it. If you don't have much time, designing and making your own covers might not be a very effective use of what little you have. Maybe you should be writing instead?

So how can you get a decent cover without dropping hundreds of dollars or wasting weeks of personal time learning new software and cover design techniques? Well, I recently learned about a new service called Canva.com that might be what you're looking for.

Canva has a simple, easy to use interface. It offers dozens of quality, customizable book cover designs. You start by creating an account (for free) and then you choose a template for an ebook cover. The panel on the left will allow you to choose from various layouts, background designs, and so forth. They have a vast assortment of background images, some free, some at a minimal fee, or you can upload an image of your own. (I especially like that part. You don't have to rely on whatever images they have, you can buy or produce an image somewhere else, and then use this interface for customization.)

Drop down menus allow you to change fonts and do further customization. If you stay close to the original design, you really can make a nice-looking cover with almost no effort required. And when you come up with a design you like, you can download it directly to your computer. A multi-use license is only $10. They have other licensing options as well, some cheaper, some a bit more pricey. You'll have to read through the specifics to decide what's best for you, but I think most will probably choose the $10 option. That's a pretty good price for a professional-looking ebook cover. But don't take my word for it. Check them out and see what you think.

This service isn't just for ebooks. You can design business card logos, advertisements, letterhead and resumes, and even restaurant menus. You can design your own brand logo to use with your publishing business (or whatever) and you can also create a team with other users to share ideas. In other words, this is an all-around graphics design program that comes with most of the work already done for you.

Disclaimer: I know this sounds a little like an advertisement, so let me reassure you: I'm not affiliated with Canva in any way, and I'm not saying they're the only option or the best option. I don't know if there are other services like this out there. I just happened across this site and I was impressed by it. I wanted to share it with you because I think for many of us, it's a simple, viable, inexpensive option. I may even use this site myself for some future ebook covers. Again, you don't have to take my word for it. It's free to set up an account and try it out for yourself.  Here's the link:

Canva  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Short stories free this week!

Periodically, Amazon allows me to give away some of my stories Free (for up to five days). I haven't run a promo like this in a while, so this week I'm giving away my complete collection of short stories. I haven't formatted them into a single anthology yet, but you can download them individually. You can find the stories by browsing through my Amazon profiles. I have other freebies, too. You might even find some books you haven't downloaded yet:

Jamie Sedgwick Books Here                        Jeramy Gates Books Here

The promo starts today (Sunday) and runs through Thursday, April 6. This gives you plenty of time to tell a friend :) 

Oh, one last thing: If you just happened upon this post and aren't familiar with my books, check the tab at the top of this blog that says "Free Books!" There's plenty of free stuff to read around here.The only thing I ask is please take a minute to review my books when you read them. It's fast, it's easy, and it's a big help for Indie authors like me. Enjoy!