Tag Archives: indie

Custom Book Covers

Words of Art

The art on the cover attracts me to a book in the first place. In the absence of eye candy, I am drawn to catchy titles—kind of like at the horse races. I cruise the racing form for the cool names like Mickey Blue Eyes, or Quicksilver. Queen of Swords. Names that inspire me to squander a few bucks on a completely random outcome. But I hardly ever go to the races….a whole other story.

I am also drawn to wine and beer by the art—color and imagery—on the label. A practice that is no doubt every bit as effective as how I choose the horse most likely to win the race. The image is a powerful tool….being worth 10,000 words, they say.new

803707_553f_625x1000Color is worth at least that many words, as it conveys volumes of information and activates emotional responses to the environment. Lots of animals see only the colors of their food in the landscape, but we humans see myriad colors—perhaps because we are omnivores and therefore our food can be of any color.

And, the color of the horse would probably figure into my calculus of who might win the race, if I got to see it first.

I’m into words too—as is evident by this webpage and a published book. I love Art also. Capital A, my whole life, just about (thanks Ma!).

I love it all, do it all. Painting. Pottery. Jewelry. Textiles. Book covers. They’re canvasses, you know. What a perfect place to be…making words of art, and pictures of words.

Indie authors, Indie Covers

The first of my cover designs was for my own book, Corvus Rising — a book about a mysterious island of talking crows who enlist the help of a few humans to save the island from a developer’s bulldozers. It’s a fairly low-tech cover as they go these days, meaning minimal computer graphics. I had a specific vision of the cover that I splashed out into the world, using mostly traditional methods to create imagery in my head: water color, pen and ink drawings.

Since then, I’ve been in the business of making covers for other authors. Following is a list of them. Click on covers and bolded text for more information.

 

As I Recollect… a memoir by huck Gaylord

I laughed out loud many times as i formatted this book. Author huck Gaylord recounts his life as a horse-logger, Viet Nam war vet, and the decades-long love affair with his wife, Mary.  Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1542914205

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Facing Up—a Patient’s Guide to Healing the Face, by Lois Hawk Todd

facingup

With truth, humor and compassion, Lois Hawk Todd chronicles the highs and lows of two catastrophic injuries to her face. She tells the story of her arduous journey of healing through multiple surgeries—with some wise words for all of us who walk this Earth, with or without such injury.
The bravest woman I know…

Find Lois’s book here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LX28O0C/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

 

The Devastation of Bartholomew Ka, by Sunshine Knight

knight_cover_6-12-16

Book 1 of the story of an unfulfilled ghost haunting an old house…

Cover design and creation by up and coming graphic artist, Chris Allen—I only helped a bit with the formatting…

Find Sunshine’s book here:

https://www.amazon.com/Devastation-Bartholomew-Ka-Book-ebook/dp/B01HAPV6QO

 

Bound for the Western Sea—the Canine Account of the Lewis & Clark Expedition

Adobe Photoshop PDF

A well-researched story about the Corps of Discovery led by the famed Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark in the search for the Northwest Passage.
And Meriwether’s loyal, intelligent and sage  Newfoundland hound, Seaman.

Find Laura Lee’s book here:

https://www.amazon.com/Bound-Western-Sea-Account-Expedition/dp/0997349107/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1483640239&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=bound+for+the+western+sea

 

U Got To Have You Some Fun, by Andrew Harkless

UGottaHaveUSomeFun_PODThis book tells a story about an ordinary man on a cruise, and how the people he met changed his life.

I used a very large amount of imagery in the form of photographs from the author, the editor, and the internet. We were able to find a number of sites where images are really free, giving the author a completely custom cover for a very affordable price.

The people on the ramp are all characters from the book, and the guy with his back to us—that’s none other than Andy Harkless, who sent us this fabulous portrait of his backside. I had to Photoshop him a bit, making him look more like the kind of guy who runs a desk, rather than, how shall we say, a more active man.

Thank heavens for computer graphics and the internet!

They came from everywhere, the passengers of this cruise. These are the random folks in life, the ones you never choose to spend a lot of time with, but who make a lasting impact on your life. Do go on a cruise, or a backpacking trip or a raft trip down the Grand Canyon. You’ll see what we mean.

I say ‘we’ because a custom cover like this one is a group effort that involves the author, the cover designer, and the editor/publisher. Together, we worked to get this book published.

UGotTo_Paperback-Cover-2.12.15And then ‘we’ redesigned U Gotta, as I came to affectionately call this book. The author had always cherished the idea of a painting of a cruise ship…and we delivered.
Find Andrews’s book here:

https://www.amazon.com/Got-Have-Some-Fun-ebook/dp/B00O4EJ1M6

 

L’Orange Fire, by Michael McLarnon

L'OrangeFireCoverFinal_688A psychological/mystery thriller of a time in the near future, when the city of Los Angeles and Orange County have merged.

The author provided a high quality photograph of an original abstract painting by Gilbert Plante, of Quebec City, Canada. The rich reds and yellows gives a sense of intense flames superimposed over an image of downtown Los Angeles.

Find Michael’s book here:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NADW6OC/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

 

An Abduction Revelation, by Thomas L. Hay

Cover6.8_C-Kid1

A story of the Comeback Kid and his trips through time on a flying saucer, where he witnessed the construction of such notable wonders of the human hand and brain: Stonehenge, the monumental statues of Easter Island , the Sphinx, the Great Pyramids of Egypt…

All the elements of a space odyssey.

Find Thomas’s book here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009OMF7FS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

 

 



Secret Testimony, by Barbara Ann Payne

SecretTestimony_POD_Cover.1

An autobiographical story of childhood abuse, suffering, redemption and hope, author Barbara Ann Payne made this book cover as personal as her story. She provided us the photo of herself, and selected the other images for the cover.

Find Barbara’s book here:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HUX9704/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1


 

Corvus Rising, by Mary C Simmons

CorvusPOD_BookCover

The background is one of my watercolor paintings, and depicts an island under a sunset sky. A flock of crows in open and ink flies above the island, while Charlie the blue-eyed crow (an altered photograph) looks on, perched on a branch of a ghostly tree.

A multi-media event made digital, thanks to Photoshop.

Find my book here:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HDQKRUM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

 

The Judas Crow, by Mary C Simmons

JudasCrowCover2

My eShorty (Kindle) about an injured crow who cannot escape his fate: to lure other crows to their deaths. The cover comprises several altered photos and original ink art drawings of crow silhouettes.

Find it here:
https://www.amazon.com/Judas-Crow-Story-Epic-Betrayal-ebook/dp/B00IELTQ0C

 

 


 

I would love to create a fabulous, affordable Custom Book Cover for you!

Contact me for information and pricing:

TheBookMidwife@gmail.com

Corvus Rising is back out there….and so am I!

2014 is almost here. What a relief.  The year ended in darkness, as it always does, thanks to the Winter Solstice. A delicious forgetfulness almost ensued with the orgy of cookies and chocolate brought to me by Christmas. I am grateful now for this boundary between new and old; I can imagine leaping over it and leaving behind all that does not belong in my present or future.

I cancelled my publishing contract for my first novel, Corvus Rising, which meant creating all new print files and an opportunity to fix a few remaining glichés. I’ve also added a map and a glossary of a few terms from the Patua’ (pronounced: pah-TWA)—the ‘language of the crows’—and a new cover.

I launched the new Kindle edition on December 17, (find it here at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HDQKRUM) and am working on the Print On Demand version, to go live within the next few weeks.

CorvusRisingCover2Click here or on ebook cover for synopsis

I left a few things behind in 2013—a home and a marriage. I’m on my own again. I love this new place, this landscape both within and without. Now that the Winter Solstice is many days passed, I feel a sense of hope return.

I embrace the new life ahead of me, the new beautiful landscape at the foot of the Rockies, new friends, new art. Oh—and for those eagerly awaiting and/or nagging me for Book 2, which I have tentatively named Patua’ Underground —it’s on the way! I’ll post updates, details and excerpts as it unfolds.

I’m putting it all out there. Again.

Happy 2014.

$5662.87??? for a USED Book? Seriously?

NEWCoverMy youngest brother forwarded me an email from B&N, refunding his money for the purchase of my book, with this explanation:

“We regret to inform you that the last copy of this item was sold before we could process your order.”

“Is Corvus Rising out of print????” he asked, dumbfounded.

“Well, sort of,” I said, wondering what Out of Print means anymore. And how a print-on-demand book becomes “we just sold the last one.”

In theory, Corvus Rising is momentarily out-of-print. I cancelled my original print contract with my future former publisher for their mediocre yet expensive editing job, and the nearly complete failure to provide the elements of a marketing plan they’d sold me. The final straw that made me split the blankets–their apparent inability to keep track of book sales. So I dumped them.

As the industry re-invents itself with the advent of digital media as well as advances in print technology, the field of 602rpublishing opportunities for new authors to publish has broadened. And for predators. Many of us have been entangled with what used to be called the ‘vanity press’, but that I now refer to as the ‘charlatan press.’

The bottom line: Do NOT be swayed by the siren song of publishers who make more money selling ‘services’ to authors than they do publishing their books. The truth is out there. Look it up. But chances are, it’s not on the publisher’s webpage.

I learned a lot. It could have been worse. It’s still my book, I own the content, but not the print files. I own all the artwork for the cover, but they own the cover. I am taking time to re-edit and re-do their abysmal proofreading and prepare the files for paper and ebook printing.

I’ll republish on my own. GO INDIE!

Corvus Rises Again!

Meanwhile, Corvus Rising is still available on Amazon, except in ebook version. Though I cancelled my print contract with my publisher more than 6 weeks ago, I understand that a few stray volumes may be hanging around as they take up to at least 30 days to actually stop publishing orders. Assuming there are orders.

I will not pretend I am able to comprehend the utterly arcane workings of the publishing industry, especially Amazon. But I do understand what ‘publish on demand’ means: that one or ten thousand books are printed and paid for upon ordering. That’s how I have to buy my own books. Cash on the barrel head. No warehousing, no stockpiling…the beauty of On Demand.

Amazon currently lists Corvus Rising as available, new from them to Prime Members (Hardcover only), and used from several non-Amazon book sellers.

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Before I could even wonder how Amazon has a new book of mine ‘in stock’, I about blew my coffee all over my laptop when I saw what used Corvus Rising is going for.

For $57.47 (+ $3.99 for shipping), you can get a used copy. Imagine my joy and surprise when I read that my book is a Huge Seller! Millions Sold!

Really? I had NO idea!! Nothing reported on my Amazon Author page, except the hardcover I had sent to the Paonia Public Library.

If you DON’T want the huge seller version, you can always opt for the ‘Might be Ex-Lib,’ which increases the price to $2882.62. If that’s not enough to spend on a book, you can opt for $5662.87 USED in Very Good Condition. This must be the Collector’s Item version.

The price fluctuates, evidently. Kind of like the stock market, I guess. Yesterday, $5662.87 for a used version; today $3,999.00 for new (that’s cheap at half the price!).  (Click here to view the current spot price on Amazon)

I just happen to have four copies (new) on hand that I’ll consider parting with. For the right price of course (shipping NOT included). Bidding is open….

What the–?

At this point, I must ask what the H-E-double toothpicks is going on? Do they know something I don’t? Has my book become so rare, so utterly priceless that it advertises for almost six thousand dollars?

Is someone trying to instigate a run on my book, driving up the price?

What happens when I re-publish Corvus Rising and post it on Amazon? Will I be competing against prior listings or will they vanish?

And what does ‘print on demand’ really mean, if Amazon and B&N have copies lying around?

Anyone have any ideas about what ‘s up with these bizarre listings on with Amazon? Anyone else have their $25 almost out-of-print hard cover book listed for just under $6K?