Friday, October 27, 2017

Cover Art?

Step one: Write a manuscript. 

Step two: Edit the heck out of it. In fact, never stop editing. Every time you let somebody read it to give you feedback, edit the entire thing all over again. That is until The Mister entices you with bribes to just send it for once and not edit it beforehand. This may have happened yesterday. And I only edited a bit. Just the opening line. Because, I can't stop messing with it. Also, let it be known the Mister needs to up his bribe game.

For your FYI, the first line is called the hook. It's meant to hook your reader into asking questions, wanting answers, and keep bloody reading.

Step three: Publish. I guess.

Nope. Not even close. There's all these little details that follow writing a manuscript. You know, the minutiae you never thought about until right this second. And the step I'm talking about today is the shiny red ribbon perched on the package. That is to say, the cover art. The enticement for readers to choose your book over all the others they could read. 

But, where do I go from here? How do I find a digital artist to turn my vision into reality. The web? Ha! Have you tried looking up that crap? There's a million and one web pages all devoted to E-Book cover art. Gah!

So, I figure, I'm an artist (insert scoff here). Just look at all my quilts and that one time I made a vest for my daughter's Annie Oakley project.  I'll make my own darn cover art. 

It's pretty great.

Pretty, pretty great.

e-book cover art

So, this was my first attempt. I was going for a mysterious lady in the snow packed woods. Barefoot. Whoa, right? With FIRE engulfing her. I wanted it to be mainly white-ish in the background so my girl would stand out. 

Problem. She's more standing in profile when I wanted her looking behind her back coquettishly. And The Mister said he didn't like her skirt on fire. That, instead of looking magic-y she appeared as though she was actually on fire. 

That prompted effort number two.

ebook fantasy cover art

Okay, yeah. Yeah, this is pretty good. Aside from the fact I drew her too big so had to add another piece of paper. But, I've got the Little Red Riding Hood thing going on which I like. Still barefoot and now looking over her shoulder, though not right at you as I had wanted. Hmmm, eyes are complicated. 

And her smile needs to be more enigmatic. Like she's got a secret that you're just dying to figure out. But the only way to learn more is to BUY THE DAMN BOOK!

The Mister says he likes this one, but likes the first one's perspective better. That is, her standing further back, more in the distance, almost swallowed by the woods.

Whatever. We've had drawing contests before and I'm always the winner.  I'm thinking just maybe I should find an actual graphic designer to turn this into a more photo-realistic image. Maybe. I'm still thinking about it. What do you think?

Also, do you like image A or B?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Everything I disliked about An American Paris and the one thing I did like

Wow. That's a loaded title, I know.

Disclaimer: if An American in Paris is on your wish list of Broadway plays to see and you don't want spoilers, you've been warned. I'm going to gripe a lot. In detail.

why i hated an american in paris
The Mister and I before the crushing reality of An American in Paris destroyed my zest for life
Maybe the movie is better, but I've not seen it. The play though, uggh. Let's begin my tear down of a beloved classic.

Jerry. Just, why? The hero I never liked. The American with the hokey, it's all about me attitude. The song where he changes Lise's name from Lise because it's too sad--aww, precious--to Liza. Like men on the street telling women with resting bitch face to smile. No, you smile.

Adam. In love with a figment of his imagination. Why, oh why, were you not the hero I wanted? At first I hoped Lise would turn the story upside down and choose you. But that changed when I learned you were content to love your version of Lise; the beautiful ballerina with a smile pasted on her face. You forget, to love a woman means to love the negative that comes along with the good. I'm someone who loves a tragic love story. But not yours.

Henri. The hero that should have been. Why weren't you the hero I needed. Where was your story? I got a taste of what could be, but it wasn't to be. Yours was the only story with heart, but were deemed nothing more than a secondary plot line. All you got was a wink, winkdon't you like girls? Where was the suspense regarding why you didn't fight? Where was the intrigue?  Where was the grand reveal that no, you weren't in fact a coward but had protected Lise all along. Instead it was merely, meh.

Henri's parents. So not a factor I don't even remember your names. Where was your dignity in the end? You were merely a comedic device where all we got was a few lackluster laughs at your stodgy expense.

Milo. The McGuffin. def. An object or device in a movie or book or play that serves merely as a trigger for the plot. Gag.

The songs: Fidgety Feet and S'wonderful. So mind-numbingly stupid I want to rip their putrid melodies from existence as they continue to recycle through my brain.

Wow.

Now for what I liked.

The ballet dancing was beautiful.

I appreciate the artistry and the talent of the actors, but never again, An American in Paris. Never again.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Changing Gears

A bit.

I'll still share crafts and cooking as those topics are dear to my heart. But I've been an aspiring romance novelist since I was 18 or so. Sitting in my room in my parent's house furiously plotting and writing up characterizations. Not always in any order. Sometimes my protagonist spoke to me before any semblance of plot did. Sometimes I had every twist and turn laid out but didn't know who starred in it. But always the ideas.

indie author
My set up. I work standing up at my kitchen counter.
But I was a dumb teenager and decided money needed to line my pockets.

So, instead of going to school and learning about the craft I so dearly loved I joined the working masses. I jumped from police dispatcher, to call center drone, to finally land as a medical billing specialist. Don't despair, there were a few positives. My husband, namely. And money is an unfortunate necessity.

Now though, now I'm back to my original plan. And even have a manuscript to show for it.

But now what?

how to indie author
Only high tech office equipment for me
If you're an aspiring novelist you might be thinking the same thing. So, as I'm sure there are more of us who don't know what we're doing than do, I'm going to show you how I'm doing it. It doesn't mean it's right. It's just what I'm figuring out as I go along.

So far, I have completed two steps out of goodness only knows how many and am working on step 3.

Step 1: Write manuscript
Step 2: Edit the crap out of it. Never stop editing.  I even hired an editor which was eye opening if costly.  Edit some more.
Step 3: Find agent. This is h.e. double hockey sticks. Here's the thing, apparently, I've written in a genre that's currently not being picked up by publishing houses. Pararomance. Blah. So that means self-publishing is up my alley. Fine. But...

How the heck do I do it?

indie author la croix
Me: need la croix. Kids:need art supplies 
Going forward I'll chronicle the life of an indie author and how I got there. Hopefully. Right now I'm just a gal who has 103,000 words giving me the evil eye.

I'd love it if you stick with me through it all.

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