Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W: What about cover art and writer vs author?

This blog is actually a two-fer because two topics have popped up:
1. Where do you get your cover art?
2. Are you a writer or an author?

First, cover art.

As part of "winning" NaNoWriMo, if I get my act together, I can print out a free proof of my novel from CreateSpace. This is all well and good, and the lure of having my novel on my bookshelf is enticing. But I'm starting to stress over making the front and back cover.

I have no intentions of selling my book online or to the masses. (Yes, all of you = the masses.) But I don't want a sterile white cover, either.

Have any of you had to mock up your own cover art? Do you use creative commons images or are you one of those savvy artistic writers who can whip something up in InDesign?

I would love to hear any tips or tricks you've picked up along the way. I'm not artistically-inclined and would love to Google "perfect image for my book" and find the answer, but that's not how this works.

Second topic: Do you consider yourself a writer or an author?

This is by no means a new question, but I saw Rachael Harrie touched on when you call yourself a "Writer" today in her blog and I wanted to provide my answers and maybe get some other views.

To me, I am a writer. I write stories, poems, emails, etc. But I am not an author--yet. In my mind, an author implies "arrival." It means I've created something for sale and I am an established, professional writer.

CAVEAT: If you call yourself a writer, an author, or the Queen Mum, I'm not judging you. This is just my attempt to discern between the two words.


  1. I tend to agree with you. It took forever for me to call myself a writer. But once I got published, I jumped right into author-ship. Well, I guess it took a little bit of hesitation. But now I don't hesitate one bit.

  2. I like to take the images at Morguefile and color and crop them to suit my needs, then use some simple cover software to add text boxes and bars and colored backgrounds.

  3. Hey Margo, what kind of "simple cover software" to you use?

  4. i'll become an author when i have stuff published. Til then, i'm a writer.
    This yeah I was a winner for 30 covers in 30 days, so i'm actually going to use that (awesome!) cover for my create space copy. I'm really excited about it. Otherwise, i've never actually cashed in on the create space copy before

  5. Sorry if this double-posts. Looks like blogger ate my reply.

    I use BookCoverPro. $157 but worth it to me not to spend two months learning how to use programs that take 25 steps to apply a visual effect to a line of text.

    I could try making one for you, if you pick out the image and colors you want. If you don't like it, at least it was free.

  6. I'm a writer until I get myself published by traditional means.

  7. I made a mock up cover for my book The Wilds. I use Adobe Photoshop for most everything. I used a creative commons picture and then messed with the coloring and whatever. I actually made quite a few, because I couldn't stop myself, before I landed on the final version. Here's a link to the post I made about it:

    The final version is at the end of the post.

  8. Ack! I lied. Here is the correct link:

  9. OMG, those are great, Sommer! A gillion times better than mine. (I bit the bullet and email my cover designer of choice about a professional cover. I just don't have a gift for the visual arts.)

  10. Sommer, those ARE amazing! And per usual, you led me down a rabbit hole of links, clicks, and 45 minutes later... :)

    Margo, I may just take you up on the offer. Let me see if I can pull some stuff together. Thank you VERY much for the offer!


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