Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Writing Tips: Book Covers

Part of the self-publishing process is creating or buying a cover for your books.Your cover should reflect enough of your story to intrigue the reader, be clear and well-composed, and eye-catching. After all, the first representation of your work that a reader sees is the cover.

I am not good with Photoshop and God knows I'm not one with the using-camera-pictures-taking thing, either. Neither skill falls under the heading of Sarah's Strong Suits. I have my moments, but for the most part I'm not schlepping out a camera to try and take a great picture because I will be at it all week.

To make the cover for both Snowbound and Over the Line, I used public domain pictures, one of which I found on Wikipedia while I did research and another from a photo sharing site strictly for public domain photos. I have given credit to the owners of those photos in both of the books, just so we're clear. Licensing for any photo you didn't take yourself varies greatly depending on photographers' preferences, subject matter (a photo of a model is a whole different animal altogether), and information on some of the different license options and limitations can be found on the Creative Commons website.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Editing & Friendship

As Hemingway said
 photo writedrunk_zps62urrc3o.jpg
Buy this print on Etsy.
Not really, though. While not a teetotaler, I don't drink much and certainly not while writing. There have been times it has been sorely tempting....

Anyway, I do agree with the second sentiment. Editing is a pain in the ass but its a necessary one. Hemingway had another great quote as well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Writing Tips: Overused Words

There are some words that are used too often in literature that must be pruned during the editing process. There are others whose use is just unnecessary. The word very is the biggest no-no word in the history of the English language. Listen to Robin on this one:

 photo very_zpson3e8yyk.jpg

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


I love a good font. I have hundreds on my computer, and am always on the lookout for another good one. They are important not just in the text you're reading, but in the titles on the covers of books. I have spent money and a good deal of time looking for just the right font to use for my book covers. A font can convey suspense, romance, magic, and fun on your book covers and blog headers.

I can reveal little about my current work in progress, but I can tell you I looked at five different fonts for the cover title. I walked through about 80 fonts before I chose one for the redesigned cover for Snowbound, and at least forty before I was satisfied with Over the Line.

Snowbound's title is written in a font called Seriously, which is available for free for personal use from Dafont. Licensing for commercial use for this font is available through the website I linked to in the font name. The designer has tons of other fonts on that website, and her licensing for lifetime commercial use is only $15!

The title for Over the Line is in a font called Portmeanteau, which is available for free as a public domain item, also from Dafont.

My name on both books, and on the header for this blog, is in a font called Satisfaction. Another freebie.

The font I chose for the cover of my upcoming novel is called Graduate Script, and it is gorgeous. I want to use it on everything for the rest of my life. It is a font you have to buy, and the licenses for it can be spendy depending on what you're going to use it for. I got lucky and got the little bugger on sale!

Who else out there loves a good font??

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What I've Learned

Not to read a calendar, that's for sure. I originally wrote this to be published on the anniversary of Snowbound's release date. So....in a little OVER a year, and as I gear up to release my second novel, these are things I have learned.

1. Blogging is a blast. Another excuse to write stuff? Yes, please!

2. Maroon 5 is in large part responsible for the 10,000-15,000-words-a-day rolls I get on when I write. Something about the rhythm in their music just makes it happen. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

3. If a scene isn't working, delete the whole thing and start over. This solves a lot of problems.

4. Don't brush off your critics out of hand. Don't take their criticisms personally unless they're a personal attack. They might be pointing out problems that need fixing.

5. There's never a wrong time for a Disney movie break.
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