If you put any time into self publishing, you’ll quickly understand that one of the most difficult processes that needs to be finished before you can upload your story isn’t the editing, or the formatting, or even getting out the word that you have, once more, published something for the masses to read.
It’s getting your book cover created.
I’ve done two book covers, though only one has seen the light of day. (Both have, actually; you’d have seen the second cover if you’d visited my NaNoWriMo page for my 2012 novel.) Both are very simple; they give a hint at things within the story without actually telling the reader anything. As a friend told me yesterday, “My opinion on covers is that less is more,” and there is a lot of truth to that.
But there is something to be said about having a cover that’s, well, slick. The cover printed for Captivate and Control made my heart sing when I first saw it, and even to this day I can’t help but look at it and feel a lot of pride for the work that went into making that cover. But I know there was a huge amount of work that went into producing that cover, and if you want something that detailed, and lovely, to grace your ebook, then you’ve got to shell out some coinage.
I’ve begun working with Blender, trying to make landscapes, and my first render isn’t that bad. There is a lot more work that needs to be done, but I’m getting there. I’ve also played with DAZ 3D a bit, and I’ve begun looking through Bryce as well. There is a bit of a learning curve here for all this software, but there is always a method to my madness–
See, this is all about making all the book covers.
Bryce and Blender can help with creating landscapes; DAZ can help with getting figures set up, dressed, lighted, and posed so I can put them into a scene. Once that’s all finished, it’s a matter of doing a render (that’s the same as actually building the picture) then maybe doing a little photomanipulating on said picture before turning it into a cover. With Blender it’s even possible to create an animation, so if I really wanted to get into some viral marketing, I could try my hand and creating an animated short that would become my book trailer–oh, you didn’t know those existed? Then you need to get informed, no?
It’s been pointed out many times that as self-publishing becomes more of the norm, a writer is going to need to understand, and maybe even know, all the skills that go into making a worth-while story, collection of stories, or a novel. It’s not enough to simply write: you need to get involved in everything.
I understand that some people just won’t get this software stuff that may allow them to build a cover for their latest opus. That’s okay: if I know how to do this, then I can sell my skills to you. So when I have a little down time when I’m not working on a story–like now–I can go around asking people if they need someone to whip up a cover for their novel.
Because I’ve seen some of the covers that people have created.
And . . . damn.