Friday, June 12, 2020

Finding a Pre-Made Cover

Many of my stories are short stories that don’t require an expensive cover. (Please note, none of these are affiliate links.) I’ve had luck so far spending money on this fiverr gig, then using GIMP to modify the end result. The idea is to get an image and font that work well for the cover. I then modify the image manually, along with the text, to get an okay cover. However, I don’t think I will be able to continue doing that as I write longer and more complex tales. My next step in this process is to pay for pre-made covers.

Why is this the next step? Because the Fiverr gig only takes one image from DepositPhotos to be used for the cover. A custom cover takes a number of images and blends them together. The end result is a cover that could pass for a 100% custom design. This is the next step up from pre-made covers, though it is the longest time-wise and most expensive. So, how do I find pre-made covers? First I lookup what others have recommended and commented on. For that, I searched Reddit. I found this SelfPubBookCovers website. There are a lot of great covers there, but there are also a lot of junk covers as well. To help sort these out, I clicked the genre I am looking for and begin scrolling. When I find a cover that looks good (even if it doesn’t fit the book) I click it. I then take the creator’s name and search for covers by that creator. What I am doing is isolating the really good artists and then looking through their portfolio. Through my search, I may dig into about a half dozen different artist portfolios. The end result is finding that one or two covers that really stand out that may fit the book. After that, I look for covers by that artist that are similar. Many times I am not only looking for one good cover, but a small series of covers. The goal is to pre-buy covers for two or three books, so that as the series continues, I have covers that all match. I think that’s an extremely important aspect to finding a cover. The goal is getting a book series that looks professional, but not having to pay high prices.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Building a New Website

 As you can see I am building a new website. I am hoping to make this website feature rich, while also making it fast and secure. The goal with this effort is to own another potential marketing channel. I believe in the importance of owning versus renting. If a person uses an exclusive website to publish their book and uses that platform’s tools to market the book, they don’t really own the book. They own one product in one rented instance. That means that the rent can go up, the platform could change its rules, and many more things. This has already happened to me several times and I am tired of building on shaky ground. My hope is to build up my own website, my own mailing list, my own promotions, so that I can truly own my destiny. I believe that fully owning your sales chain, from production to repeat sales, is a stronger strategy for the long term. 

There is short term risk with this move though. The main book platform, which requires exclusivity, has the majority of the market. That means that in order to build my own sales chain, I may sacrifice short term profit. That’s going to be really tricky to do. Still, the name of my effort is ‘long tail writing’, which is about building a writing platform that will last for a long time. My personal hope is that this is something I can relish in during my twilight years. I want to look back at all this effort and go “I am so glad I did that”. I think the key to that isn’t just a single trick or short term gain. I think the key to that is human connection and bringing value wherever I go. I think that if I can build a platform that is really useful, that will have a more lasting impact than simply grabbing the easiest cash and running. 


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