Tale of the eBook Cover

I’ve tweeted about my life, rather lack thereof since I’ve started to blog, self-publish an ebook, and have some kind of Twitter presence.  It is absolutely amazing the work required for these things. Take the ebook self-publication process. I know, I know.  I’ve read about the pitfalls of such an undertaking, but what I did not know until now, is that once you get caught up in the process, especially if it’s a first time effort, everything kind of snowballs.  I mean really out of control.  I used to be a control fanatic down to the most miniscule detail.  Have I ever changed my tune!  Yesterday was a prime example of just how frantic I had become with publishing an ebook.

The first book was ready to go to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).  The Kindle is my format of choice. However, I was still trying to find a cover. This had been going on for a couple of weeks now and, quite frankly, I was getting tired. I remembered @dcPriya of indiebookweek.com recounting her trials in crafting her own covers.  In all fairness, if my attempts had been even half as good as the covers she produced, I would have been one happy camper, tweeting it all over the place.  My homemade cover attempts (all four versions) were terrible with a capital T.  I went from PowerPoint to Photoshop to EBook Cover Creator and back again, then lost my little mind.  Each resulting cover was worse that the previous one. Here is the best of the lot.  Don’t laugh.

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I kept searching online for a cover that would be just right.  I finally found one at a service mentioned on novelspaces.blogspot.com.  I was happy.  Then I found out that they required a PayPal transaction to complete the process. After one horrendous experience with PayPal involving my credit cards and a primary bank account, I had vowed to never, ever use their service again.  Anyway, this vendor insisted on PayPal, even though I offered to purchase an additional 2 covers for other books. So, I was back to square one.

I kept searching and finally came across an indie artist on Flickr who makes pre-made ebook covers.  I found 3 on her bargain table, meaning on sale. They were absolutely perfect for my ebooks.  I contacted her, the price for the 3 covers was more than fair.  She said that I could have them immediately, just send her the text for each cover.  Oh, and yes, she required payment through PayPal.   I screamed – – –  at myself of course. In a desperate attempt to preserve the little sanity that I was clinging to, I emailed her asking, no begging, her to accept my personal check to cover the costs.  She replied almost immediately.  I, however, sat for an hour before opening that email.  I didn’t want to loose the covers.  How silly I felt after reading that, yes, she’d gladly accept my check.  She would get started right away on the 3 covers.  Talk about relief.  I almost cried.

Lesson learned:  Everything along the ebook self publishing journey won’t be perfect, some things not even close to it. But nothing is all bad either.  All of you indie, self-published authors out there already know this and much more than I will probably ever know about this business.  I read your posts and blogs and try to learn from the best you have to offer.  Sometimes, I’m a little slow, but I’ll get there eventually. I’m learning to stop beating up on myself and try to take this thing in stride, control what I can and leave the rest for later.  Maybe I’ll come back to it with a different perspective.  I promise to treat myself more fairly and, when all else fails, take a step back, go to the beach, have a glass (or 3) of Four Roses, and just breathe.

I’ve sent my thanks to this wonderfully helpful artist.  I won’t mention her name publicly without her approval as she still processes transactions through PayPal and may not want the exception to become the rule.

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