We decided to try Smashwords for ‘The Self-Initiation of the Witch Chironex’. It should have been easier because all the formatting is done in Word. Actually it was an ordeal, but then, everything to do with computers is an ordeal for me. Scrivener was worse and I think this will get easier with practice. They have access to more outlets too so that should work well.
I wrote that above in June last year. I suppose I should have posted it then but I wanted to be able to say that it had worked well and Chironex was up. Unfortunately I had a few problems with that. I had a health scare (Appendicitis) that required surgery and a stay in hospital. Then a major series of dental work and, in amongst all of this, a general lethargy that has left me unwilling to try anything that might prove stressful. Now it seems that we might have been very close to success when we gave up.
In the end we redid Chironex four or five times before we finally got it right. The good news is that we did finally manage to get it right. It is now available on Smashwords premium catalogue. I am relieved to have succeeded and frustrated by the whole process, but we will persevere. The original plan was to publish thirteen books in two years. It has been longer than that and we have only managed four. The plan is still thirteen books but with an unspecified time frame.
I hope you enjoy The Self-Initiation of the Witch, Chironex. I think it is one of my best.
Again, it has been a long time since I wrote anything in this blog. So what has been happening? My real job gave up on me. This was no surprise. The hours had been getting less and less for months until I couldn’t survive on what I was getting and had to go on the dole to make ends meet. It was almost a relief when it finally cut out completely.
So now I am on the dole fulltime. Fortunately, as an over-55, I don’t have to jump through as many hoops as the youngsters. I do have to volunteer twice a week though so I signed on with Conservation Volunteers Australia, (CVA). On Wednesdays I go with the creekwatch team to local waterways to test water quality and do fish and invertebrate surveys. I’ve always had a soft spot for aquatic life so I’m really enjoying that. Then on Fridays I work in the nursery growing native plants for revegetation projects. I feel that I’m doing something worthwhile and both days begin and end on the beach so that is a real bonus.
We have both had the flu too. Anyone who thinks the flu somehow results from cold weather will be disappointed to learn that our daytime temperatures are still 30degrees and over. Pretty impressive given that winter is due to start tomorrow and we’re still having summer conditions. I don’t know what’s happening to the climate but it can’t be good.
Once I manage to throw off the flu I should be able to settle into this new routine. I might even start writing regularly again. I need to finish the Ninox Saga. I am 20,000 words into book 5 of a 5 book series and I have stalled. I have never known writers block to last longer than a year. I will have to do something about it. It would be a terrible shame to lose that much work for the sake of a little bit more.
Essentially, the cover for Simon and MacGuffin is a woodcut print. I used a craftwood placemat of the kind sold in hardware or craft shops for painting with folk art. I carved away the design using ordinary wood carving tools. Then I rolled it with black ink and printed it in my homemade press.
The carved away areas stayed white while the raised areas printed black. The image is also reversed, which means the original image, especially the lettering, has to be drawn and carved in reverse. I’m getting better at this now. I managed to make four covers without any back to front letters.
My best prints were scanned and touched up and then coloured in Photoshop. Lynn helped. She has to help me with most computer things. OK, I admit it. Lynn did all of the Photoshop.
We made covers for the first four books like this. They should make a nice set. After that I will try doing covers based on my paintings. I have a painting done for The Black Marquee and an Idea for The Vietnam Cold-Turkey. That should give me an idea of what works before I get round to publishing the five part saga. I think books in a series should all have similar covers so I will probably do all of those in one go.
Fire Dance will be the sequel to The Black Marquee so it will have a painting on the cover and One Year and a Day is the sequel to Chironex so it will have to have a printed cover.
That, for what it’s worth, is my thoughts on book covers. I have been warned that the covers are essential for effective marketing and I should have them professionally done. They may well be, but I’ve never been one to take good advice, especially when it would require the outlay of more cash than I realistically expect to make from the project.