Cemetery Tours Redesign

Alright, folks.  I’ve mentioned before here that I’ve been considering re-designing the Cemetery Tours book covers.  As y’all know, I absolutely love the designs created by my talented friend, Ben Durham.

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However, the images on these covers are stock images.  They are not ones that I own.  Yes, I paid for the right to use them, but eventually, I would have to repay.  I also couldn’t use the design for any sort of promotional products other than the covers themselves.  I love these covers, but I believe I have the talent, experience, and resources available to design book covers using only my material.  No stock covers.  Everything about the books would be 100% mine.

That being said, if you really like the old cover designs and you really want a “first edition” copy with the original covers, order them now, because beginning October 6, only the new designs will be available.

http://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-E.-Smith/e/B00F7BPXX6/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

As for the designs themselves, I don’t really have a lot of experience when it comes to book covers.  I did design the cover to Boy Band, but I wanted to make sure that the new covers for Cemetery Tours were as high quality as the originals.

I started out with something simple.

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But clearly, I still had work to do.

The next designs were a bit more colorful.

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But to me, they still looked too sloppy.  I liked the colors in the second one, but somehow, it didn’t look professional.  It looked like something I designed in photoshop class.

Eager to experiment with the color scheme, I continued on to the third design idea.

CT2 copy unnamedBTW

For a little while, I thought these might be the final cover designs.  I liked them so much that I even designed a cover for the third book, After Death, to be released October 6.

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Alas, after a few weeks, I realized there was still something to be desired about them.  They were too “busy” as one of my Twitter friends noticed.

I decided to give it one last shot.  These are the designs.  I’m certain.

Available October 6, 2015:

CT BTW

And the cover design for the newest book in the Cemetery Tours series!

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Let me know what you think!

Oh!  And a friendly reminder that you can still enter to #BecomeACharacter in the next installment in the Boy Band series!

https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/becomeacharacter/

Monday Musings

Hi, friends!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Mine was very relaxing, yet still somehow kind of productive.  I say “kind of” because I never feel like I’m as productive as I want to be/need to be/could be.  But you know, for a couple of days where I’m housesitting two houses, taking care of two cats with medical needs, and writing two books, three different short stories, and designing book covers, it could have been a lot worse.  OF course, just because I feel like I kind of did stuff over the weekend doesn’t mean I can take a break or even slow down.  There is always something that can be done.

For example…

1) Reading and reviewing.  I have several books on my to-read list, and several of those I hope to review as they are written by fellow indie authors.  I finally got to review Heir to the Sun by Jennifer Allis Provost yesterday: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1290975139?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

2) Tidying up.  I am a slob, okay?  Total and complete slob.  I like to think that when I own my future beach house, I’ll keep it nice, but to be totally honest, I probably won’t.  Still, as much as I hate cleaning, I usually do feel a lot better afterward.  So who knows?  Maybe I’ll take the plunge.

3) Designing book covers.  I’m not sure if I’ve told y’all this, but I am redesigning the Cemetery Tours series’ book covers.  I plan on re-releasing the first two with the new covers at the same time as After Death on October 6.  I’ve been playing around with design ideas and having a lot of fun with it.  For those wondering why, I still absolutely love the covers as they are now.  They’re beautiful and captivating and people really like them.  But they aren’t my images.  The photographs on the covers of those books are stock photos.  I’d really like to make the books fully my own, and that means using my own images.  As the release date draws closer, I’ll be sharing the image designs and ideas to get your opinion.  The ones I’m leaning toward right now are actually really pretty, but they still need a bit of work.

4) Working on short stories, not only for submission into anthologies, but for Boy Band!  I feel bad for leaving the story on such a cliffhanger, and to apologize for making my readers wait until December to find out what happens, I’ll be publishing a few free short stories here on my blog until December rolls around!  No spoilers at all.  They’re most stories of what took place before the first book.  Just for fun.

5) Preparing for my sister’s and my trip to California NEXT WEEK!  What?! How did that sneak up on us so quickly?!  I’m not at all ready!  But at the same time… I am SO ready!

What does your Monday have in store?

Of Design and Decimals

I’ve learned something about myself in the last week or so.  I really, really enjoy designing book covers.  I didn’t think I’d be very good at it, especially since my earliest attempts ended up looking something like this:

early cover 2 early cover 3 early cover 4 early cover 1

You get the idea. Not good, right?  I’m really thankful for my friend and cover designer, Ben.  I have to admit, these looks a lot better:

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Designing the cover to Boy Band started out the same way as those early copies of Cemetery Tours.

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In other words, not good.  Thanks to the advice of my friend and editor, however, I decided to go back and see if I couldn’t come up with something a little better.  I have to say, I’m pretty happy with the end result, and I hope it looks as good printed on an actual cover as it does on my computer screen.

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Like I said, I ended up really, really enjoying the design process and I’m hoping it’s something I can learn more about and maybe help others with in the future.

There was one downside to the whole thing, however, and that was… Math.  In order to successfully upload the image to the designer’s website, you have to add in and extra .25 inches, then in order to create a spine you had to add and multiply all these other decimals and as you can probably tell, I barely even figured out how to get it done.  There is no way I’d actually be able to explain it.  My notebook ended up looking like this:

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Don’t even bother to check my math, because I can tell you right now it’s wrong.  I’d happily lived my post-high-school life secure in my faith that I would never, ever use math in my everyday life.  Well, I guess the joke is on me.  Not only did I have to use math, I was also cruelly reminded of how much I suck at it.  Grrrrr.

On a happier note, however, my proof copies of Boy Band were approved and are on their way to me now.  I’m super excited to see them!  I just hope the cover looks okay.  If not, it might be back to the drawing board.

Before I sign off, I also wanted to show you my new, improved, and redesigned website, http://www.windtrailpublishing.com.  It looks a lot more cheerful now.

Enjoy your day, everyone!  I pray that you don’t have to do any math.

Falling into Place

I don’t want to jinx anything here, but things seem to be going very nicely, at least as far as the impending book release goes!  My cover designer emailed me a rough copy of the cover last night and OH MY GOODNESS IT LOOKS INCREDIBLE.  I can’t wait to share it with all of you!  I might even love it more than the first one…

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(Shameless self-promotion)

So yeah, I am super excited about that.  I’m also excited because Cemetery Tours now has 38 reviews on Amazon!  My goal is to have 50 by the time the second book is released.  I think we can make that happen.  I only need 12 more!  

Recent reviews include…

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Oh!  I also got my manuscript back from my third and final editor/beta reader.  Her comment on the last page…  

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I’m so glad my readers are liking it!  No better feeling!  Now I just have to get the darn thing edited.  Again.  And again.  And again.  Yaaay.  

What are all of you working on?  

NEW and VASTLY IMPROVED Website!

So, I’m not a very computer savvy person.  I can do things like write and blog and Facebook, but anything beyond that is pretty much lost on me.  Website design, in particular.  

However, last night, I sat down and worked for I don’t know how many hours to create a new and quite professional-looking website that I am now thrilled to share!  

Before, WindTrailPublishing.com looked like this…

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Ew.

 

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Yuck.

 

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Gross.

But noooow… it looks like THIS: http://windtrailpublishing.com 

What do you think?!