Worderella Becomes Her Own Hero (i.e. Cover Designer)

So I’ve been meaning to release my first book, Catching the Rose, as in eBook format, but wasn’t sure where to begin. As always, I turned to my friend Zoe Winters to see what she’s done, because let’s face it, she has her hand in every pot when it comes to self-publishing.

Smashwords, it seemed, was my answer. Smashwords is an

ebook publishing and distribution platform for ebook authors, publishers and readers. We offer multi-format, DRM-free ebooks, ready for immediate sampling and purchase, and readable on any e-reading device.

The really cool thing about this is I can upload a Word document and they do all the formatting for me. My book is now, as far as I can tell, available to read in the following formats:

  • HTML
  • Javascript
  • Kindle
  • EPub
  • PDF
  • RTF
  • Sony Reader
  • Palm readers
  • Plain text

How crazy is that?? I’m pretty excited, I’d like to see what sort of sales I get this way. But again, just because it’s out there doesn’t mean it will sell. I should market the new format, right? Well, I have been meaning to update the branding of the book, and since this version is owned completely by me I felt funny using the cover provided by Aventine Press, the subsidy that originally printed my work.

Turns out stock art is an amazing thing, if you find exactly what you want. I searched through istockphoto.com, gettyimages.com, and fotolia.com, and decided that Fotolia was giving me the results I wanted. The image below is the one I chose for Catching the Rose.

There is a masquerade ball during the book, so the masks are absolutely perfect. I wanted to step away from the ultra-pink of the original book, so the blue background really pulled me in. Veronica, the main character, has blond hair, and Brad, the interest, has brown hair. I looked for an entire week at stock photography and my jaw dropped when I found photos by Andrey Kiselev. Just perfect!

But of course, an image isn’t enough to make a book cover. I played around during my break at work today with Pixlr, a great online alternative to Photoshop just to see what I could do with the image (see below). After an hour, I had something I was in love with, and I couldn’t wait to get home so I could buy the image and make the cover for real in Photoshop.

You see, I’d like to do a reprint of Catching the Rose, give it an updated look. So I need a decent-sized file that will print well, as well as make a cover design that will scale to a thumbnail nicely. Smashwords requires that you upload an image that is at least 600 pixels in height. I’m not sure why, perhaps to fit all the different eReader formats. So the final version is below.

What do you think? I’d love to get some feedback. To thank you ahead of time, I’d like to give you a discount if you’re interested in supporting me in my first self-publishing venture. To receive a discount on Catching the Rose (Smashwords edition), type SWS25 into the promotional field at checkout.

Featured Author: Zoe Winters

Happy new year, everyone! I’m starting this year with high hopes; I’ve completed the surface edits of Trentwood’s Orphan and am ready to send it out for impressions/critiques. This is the second draft, so whatever comments I get will hopefully make the third draft ready for publication.

In other news, my blogging friend Erica Ridley has made a sale of her book, Touched!

Today we’re talking with Zoe Winters, another of my author friends, who has answered questions about Kept, now available as an ebook and on the Kindle. According to Zoe, Kept is about…

Greta is a werecat whose tribe plans to sacrifice her during the next full moon. Her only hope for survival is Dayne, a sorcerer who once massacred most of the tribe. What’s that thing they say about the enemy of your enemy?

What are the main points about you and/or the book that should be emphasized to the audience?

This is  paranormal romance novella, available as a free ebook and available on the Kindle reader.

Who do you think will buy your book (i.e., your market)?

My market is romance readers, as well as Buffy fans.  People who like Buffy would probably like my writing style and subject matter, though it is NOT a Buffy knock-off.  It’s just geared toward that type of reader base.  Interestingly, I’ve picked up a few male readers.  Not sure if they know they’re reading romance or not, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

If you could construct an interview for yourself, what questions would you want to be asked?

As for what questions I’d want to be asked, I don’t really have any specific preferences there.  Though I do find it very interesting how romance as a genre is ghettoized, when romance and love and sex are a part of the human condition and as worthy as any other subject matter to be written about.

Is there any competition for your book? How are the other books alike? How are they dissimilar?

Hellboy, in my opinion, was a paranormal romance movie, it just wasn’t marketed that way.  But everything ultimately revolved around Hellboy getting together with the fire chick.  And yet it was geared to a largely male audience.  The Hulk movie was another romance.  Almost everything revolves around Bruce’s love for Betty and hers for him.  Yet, another movie that was marketed more to men than women (lots of sarcasm, lots of explosions), but it’s STILL romance.

Yet, when we get to books, a strong romantic plot gets ghettoized as “not a real book.”  If this is true, it is only because of the ill-advised behavior of romance publishers marketing departments with clinch covers, shallow plots, and cheesy expository titles, because it surely isn’t the subject matter.

What was your inspiration for the book? Tell us anything about you as a working writer that you think might be interesting or unusual.

Originally I wrote the novella to submit to a special Samhain novella anthology.  But I didn’t make the deadline for their open submissions.  I could have made it but the story wouldn’t have been as good so I chose not to enter it.  Later I submitted it elsewhere, but in the end decided to self publish it as a free ebook, as an introduction to a much larger universe I’ve created.

For more information about Zoe and Kept, visit http://zoewinters.wordpress.com/.

Are you interested in being a featured author on Worderella Writes? E-mail answers to the following questions and I’ll post them as soon as possible.

  • What are the main points about you and/or the book that should be emphasized to the audience?
  • Who do you think will buy your book (i.e., your market)?
  • If you could construct an interview for yourself, what questions would you want to be asked?
  • Is there any competition for your book? How are the other books alike? How are they dissimilar?
  • What was your inspiration for the book?
  • Tell us anything about you as a working writer that you think might be interesting or unusual.
  • What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading your book?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?