After all the wonderful advice I got on my previous post about cover design, I thought I’d got things under control in that department. But my attempt at a cover for my third book was so abysmal that I daren’t even show it to you here. Compared with similar books already on Amazon it looked very basic and most definitely amateurish.
I think this is because the book is non-fiction and therefore requires a very business-like cover to get anywhere near competing with the hundreds of other books on the same subject.
So I decided to call in the professionals. I used the website Fiverr. This site features hundreds (or maybe thousands even) of sellers offering their services for just $5. The range of services is vast from personalised greetings cards, translations and bespoke bedtime stories. But there are also lots of e-book cover designers on there too.
I picked one of the top-rated designers (like on EBay, buyers have to leave feedback on the service they received) and told her the title of the book, what it was about and a brief suggestion about the type of image that might be suitable (it is also possible to send the designer a specific photo if you have one that you want to include on the cover).
Two days later my cover design was delivered and you can see it on this post. It’s much better than I could produce. I’ve borrowed the title from a ‘column’ on the Open Writing website which runs an extract from this blog each week (the site includes lots of other writing from around the world, too).
A Writer on Writing is a compilation of 14 of my articles that have appeared in the UK writing press, such as Writing Magazine & Writers News, The New Writer, Writers’ Forum and Freelance Market News. They cover subjects as diverse as generating ideas, writing articles with an anniversary ‘hook’ and flash fiction.
As I did with my other books, I have set an introductory price of 77p - with a view to increasing it when I see how sales go. Setting the perfect price point to encourage buyers without devaluing the work involved in producing a book is very difficult. 77p is the lowest price point available to independent authors.
I’ll keep you posted on how my e-publishing empire is growing (or not as the case may be!).
The New Writer doesn’t have the glossy finish of Writing Magazine or Writers’ Forum nor does it have pages of adverts. I think the magazine has a cosy, friendly feel. The Spring 2011 edition included features on ‘First of a Million Kisses’ by romance writer Sally Quilford, ‘Travel Writing Perks’ by Roy Stevenson and ‘Make it Short & Snappy’ by me (!).
The magazine is open to unsolicited articles and features (for which it pays a small amount). Poetry is also accepted but fiction is restricted to guest writers, subscribers’ stories on a given theme and competition entrants.
The New Writer runs an annual Prose and Poetry Competition with 5 categories:
- Micro fiction – up to 500 words (2 entries for £5 or 3 entries for subscribers)
- Short stories - 500 to 5,000 words (1 entry for £5 or 2 entries for subscribers)
- Single poems (2 entries for £5 or 3 entries for subscribers)
- A collection of 6 – 10 poems (£12 entry)
- Essays, articles and interviews on any writing related subject - up to 2,000 words (1 entry for £5 or 2 entries for subscribers)
The annual closing date is 30th November and the prizes are:
Micro Fiction: 1st prize £150, 2nd £100, 3rd £50.
Short Stories: 1st prize £300, 2nd £200, 3rd £100.
Single Poem: 1st prize £100, 2nd £75, 3rd £50
Poetry Collection: 1st prize £300, 2nd £200, 3rd £100.
Essay/article/interview: 1st prize £150, 2nd £100, 3rd £50.
If all this has whetted your appetite then you can obtain a free back issue by sending an A4 SAE to the address shown on the website here (scroll to the bottom of the page for the offer).
Hope you all had a good Easter and are dusting off your best frocks and morning suits for tomorrow’s royal nuptials. In the meantime here are a few bits from my world of writing over the last 10 days or so:
- Those of you who subscribe to The New Writer will have seen Simon Whaley’s piece about receiving 12 rejections from the same magazine, on the same day – each in its own stamped addressed envelope. This made me feel a whole lot better about my own rejections – my personal record being 4 stories turned down by My Weekly in the same email, which made me feel pretty bad at the time I can tell you.
- The results of the Readers Digest 100 word story competition are now out here. They are also showcasing several of the entries on a daily basis on their website – if yours has been selected please leave a comment with the link here so that we can all share your success!
- I had a phone call from the David St. John Charitable Trust this week to tell me that I had won a competition that I entered in November 2009 ! It just goes to show that you should never give up hope.
- If you’re feeling lucky there are 6 sets of 6 nature/outdoor books to be won in a Telegraph Prize Draw.
- Finally, I have a story in the April 30th issue of The Weekly News (2 short story acceptances within a month is something of a record for me!)