How to produce a beautiful cover for your book

After writing, editing and formatting, what’s next?

Picking the perfect cover.

While no easy task, it doesn’t have to break the bank. So in case you missed this great post from Fiction University, I’m attaching a link below.

J. Kathleen Cheney gives sound advice on when and where you can design your own cover. And more important when you might want to bite the bullet and pay for a professional.

In her article, Ms. Cheney also provides links and suggestions on how you can produce a great book cover for your next project.

  • Love Canva. It’s one of my favorite programs. Very user-friendly and short learning curve. And best of all you can art for FREE or only $1.00.
  • Her idea of checking out the competition is great. That is definitely going on my to-do list for next book.
  • Get a critique on the cover from your friends, family and writing group. Big one!
  • Suggestions on how and where to look for professional covers.
  • My tip: I prefer paint.net or sumopaint.com to Adobe.

Thanks, Ms. Cheney for all of these great tips. Wish I’d read your suggestions a long time ago.

3 Ways to Get Book Covers on a Shoestring Budget By  J. Kathleen Cheney, @jkcheney 

Have you made a book cover?

What program did you use?

Or do you prefer to hire a professional?

If you aren’t at this stage yet, what do you think about the process?

 

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Are you writing hyphens in the wrong way?

Writing with hyphens can be tricky business. 

As with the word was, hyphens is another Achilles heel. Sometimes I sprinkle hyphens about like scattering rose petals at a wedding. Too many!

  Even some of the grammar programs disagree. But if you’ve ever published an ebook you’ll see what I mean. And a strayed hyphen can get left behind in print books too.

Hyphens can throw off the formatting until the reader becomes confused as to the meaning of the word. Don’t make the reader turn back pages to figure out what’s happening. 

So what to do with compound words?

Hyphen or not to hyphen that is the question.

Wikipedia

And the answer can be found in a terrific article by Connie J. Jasperson which is filled with lots of do’s, don’ts and tips. Plus, she provides extensive words to remember. This is a definite bookmark.

What did I learn about using hyphens?

  • Even when using “made up” words, tread carefully.
    • Don’t use unless your make-believe world will explode without it. (Oops)
  • Single words and don’t need a hyphen.
  • Only use a hyphen to ensure the meaning of a word.
    • Like, roundup as in a rodeo, or round up as in a review or the next highest round number
  • Some compounds are improvised to fulfill a specific need.
  • There are permanent compounds and temporary compounds. (Who knew.)
  • When in doubt leave it out. Unless…
    • Your intended meaning is clear without the hyphen, leave it out.
  • Add special words and names to your manuscript style sheet.
    • Especially made up words.
    • This will help ensure consistency in your manuscript.
  • Oh, and a hyphen is not an En dash or an Em dash.

So much is packed in her article, I encourage you to click on her link and read the entire thing.

Hyphens #amwriting By Connie J. Jasperson 

 

Do you use hyphens Willie-Nillie?

What do you think?

Is this all old stuff to you?

 

Keep reading, here is another article on using this little devil.

The Punctuation Guide, Hyphen

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Have you lost that new writer feeling?

That love at first written word?

You know what I’m talking about. Don’t act like you don’t. That first blush of prose,  your heart racing with each word you write. Oh, and remember when your first short story or flash fiction story was published? Ah, love sweet love.

Short story, flash fiction, and Drabble – writing the great American novel couldn’t be much harder. Wrong. I have so much to learn.

Thank you, Sacha Black, for your recent post.

7 LESSONS I WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT ME BEFORE I STARTED WRITING

It feels good to realize I’m not the only writer on the planet to stumble through the writing process.

I too had to face the fact, learning takes time. Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks but it may take a little longer and a lot more patience.

What I gleaned from Sacha’s lessons:

  • I’m not alone. We can all learn to write better.
  • Writing a short story is not the same as writing a novel.
  • Research is a black hole.
  • Studying is a black hole.
  • Reading can suck you into a black hole.
  • BLACK HOLES will distract me from writing.
  • Focus on learning one writing technique at a time.
  • Feedback should come from objective writers.
  • Benchmark what other authors write. Deconstruct specific sections, dialog and figure out the why and how.
  • Break down competition. Covers, chapters, length, etc. How will mine stack up?
  • Make friends. Writer friends who tell me the truth. Sometimes the truth is overrated.
  • Write-I should make more time to write. Shouldn’t we all?

Sacha goes into more detail on her blog, and you’ll probably get something totally different than I did so click and read the whole thing. You’ll be glad you did.

Were you naive when you first began writing?

What have you learned since you wrote your first story/book?

If you could share one lesson with the beginning writer (you), what would it be?

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