Saturday, January 14, 2012

E-Book Covers and Cookbooks

Now that I'm seriously considering turning my early FictionPress stories into e-books (or even self-published books), I'm starting to think about book covers. A beautiful/engaging cover can really push a hardcover or paperback. Is the same true for e-books? At the moment, I'm really unsure of what I should do for KILLING MEMORIES. Fancy text on a solid background? Some kind of photograph? I did a sketch of Moo and Estela, but I'm not a great drawer (sadly) and it just seems impossible to get what I'm thinking to come out of my hands. I wish I was an artist. Painters, sketchers, watercolorists, whatevers... I'm so in awe of such talent. I wish I had a small sliver of it, but I don't. All of my creativity is with words.

I haven't  bought a lot of e-books myself so I'm not sure what people are drawn to. Price? An awesome cover? The synopsis/blurb? All three probably. I just don't know where to start. Thoughts?

So, I ended up completely cleaning up my FictionPress profile and stories. It seems just a little pointless to have a bunch of unfinished stories on there. So now it's just "Chemical Games" and "My Darling Bunny." Hopefully I can add a new (and permanent) story soon. I'm so tempted to start posting chapters of ARABELLE WILD and that maybe reader feedback will spark me into finishing it. But I don't want it to end up like GEORGIA SWIMMER or THE JADE BRACELET. I sometimes think about how good (even though it was really bad) I had it being unemployed for nine months after graduate school. I could write so much then. And I swear, I'm letting valuable writing team get eaten away by my disgusting TV habit. I. Love. T.V. I do miss the times when I could write all day long and really produce. Oh well, I'll have to adapt.

I just bought a new lamp. It's got two pull cords that turn on the light bulbs. It had such an old-timey feel to it, which I liked. It seemed like the perfect fit for my writing desk. Now I just need to get myself off the couch and seated at the desk. The portability of this new laptop really has it's downfalls.

Costco had this for half the price.
And to continue the randomness of this post... I just bought a really awesome cookbook called EVERYDAY FOOD: LIGHT (from Martha Stewart's kitchen, no less). I was looking something that had meals under 500 calories (I'm in a pretty good "get healthy mode" at the moment). The best thing about this cookbook, besides a lot of delicious looking recipes, is that there is a color picture on each page. I have to have pictures in my cookbook. I'm a decent cook, but I still like the visual to know how it's supposed to look (even if most of the foods are professionally photographed, fancied up, and possibly not even cooked). I'm really excited to make a few of these recipes. As a cooking side note: The Food Network magazine is pretty awesome too.

A journey toward healthiness and a journey toward publishing are kind of the same: hard, frustrating, hopeful, and tiring.


  1. If you were smart, you use a "pdf" maker. Create the pdf file for ebooks yourself and then host them somewhere for sale. lulu is just so expensive that it almost cost just as much as a single book. And I know I have never bought a lulu book. But I have bought a book from "smashwords".

    link :

    Smashwords Highlights:

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    Distribution to Apple (31 countries), Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, others
    Consolidated sales reporting
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    FREE ebook conversion to nine formats
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    1. I've never heard of Lulu. I do have a program that I've used to create ebooks from PDFs. I just think it converts it weird. I feel like putting it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble will allow me to reach more people. I'm going to look into smashwords though... that's another site that I haven't heard of before. Thanks!!

  2. With kindle ebooks all you get is the book cover, author and title. If they catch my eye I generally click on the link and read what the book is about and then scroll further down to read a few reviews.

    I like to read the title first. And then glance at the cover. Sometimes the title isn't great but the cover looks I click on it.

    I dont know what you've imagined for the killing series but I'm thinking along the lines of animated. Bright colours, maybe a wedding dress, dead body, and other little bits and peices. I suck at art too. Both my sisters loved it in high school but double art just gave me a headache every tuesday.

  3. I think that everything probably matters when it comes to ebooks, it's just another thing to think and worry about. I do wish I was a bit more creative. I didn't take any art classes in school and I kinda wish I did.

    But in the end, I see something very basic as the KM1 e-book, but we'll see.

  4. So, one of my favourite UF authors broke down self-pubbing [at least the way she does it, keep in mind she has two series out with traditional publishers so she's already established]

    It's a four part post, I believe.

  5. Thanks Jammi! This was a great article and gave me a lot of things to think about. The work that should go into e-publishing is enormous.

    1. Agreed, I haven't found any articles by self-pubbed authors who are only self-pubbed and widely successful about the way they went about it but I think it would be interesting to see if going through a traditional pub house first and seeing how it works alters how they go about it.

      Another author who went the epublishing route is Courtney Milan. Her enovella Unlocked [which she sold for .99 and it's so good. I haven't liked any of her other books but that one just really hit the mark with me] was one she published herself and she also published the rest of the books in that series herself. Again, she put in a lot of time and effort into picking a cover, editing, production in general.

      I can't find her posts on the subject though, and she was also published traditionally first but unlock Ilona she chose to go the epub only route.

  6. If you'd like some help with covers I can be of assistance :)

    1. Oooo! Don't tease me! :) I know I'll need some help soon. I need to edit the story and get it ready first, but I'm always willing to hear/see thoughts/ideas!