Sunday, August 4, 2013

When editing a cover for a client (or yourself), don't toss the entire cover for minor changes such as hair color, eye color or background details.

As you can see from these two photos---I made the hair blond instead of dark.  I made her eyes blue.  I also replaced the 1 large swan with 3 smaller swans


The hair, I found a picture with hair that suited the position of the girl. I cloned it over her dark hair.  Sometimes with light hair, you can paint the hair darker rather than cloning the hair  Make you match the hair line of the scalp.  If you don't you could end up with skin tone issues if you have to paste over skin. can blow up the picture and color the irises.  Or if they eyes light, you can recolor them  The cloning of color is brighter and more natural---but more time consuming.

The swans are easy---just make sure you have a similiar color in the background...or a white background you can fade out.

The majority of these changes can be done in  if you don't have PhotoShop.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Life gets in the Way...

Have you noticed?

I've had a nephew in Children's Hospital and a dog in kidney failure.  I've been 'consumed' with family.

But I have done some work.

This is LINDA ULLESEIT's new YA Book Cover (front and back).  I love how it turned out.

And she me design book 2....:)

I've also been doing some promo poster and video work for a few animal rescues.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I'm Back...

Ah Google Plus is still mutating my blog experience.  I apologize for ignoring my blog so long but the Google Plus changes are a nightmare and I don't find it easy or fun to use anymore.

I miss my old blogger behind the scenes layout.


So here we go to walk through the doorway to a new and annoying world by Google.

This is one of the rejected covers for a project I finished a few weeks ago.  Yes, I will be talking about making your own book covers again soon.

And for those waiting patiently, the annual book cover giveaway is coming up get those fingers ready as they always go quickly.

Are you ready for a free book cover?



Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bookstore Flyers

If you self publish, you'll have to pimp your book, and no that doesn't involve popping it into a mini-skirt and dropping it on the corner. That would be easy.

And self-publishing is never easy.

So you've published your book in ebook and print. You've done the holiday free giveaways on Goodreads and Amazon. You've Facebook'd it, gave it a Twitter come out and had every friend with an email post it on their page.

You've even done a few blog interviews and a tour.

But you don't have your book sitting on a physical shelf at a bookstore and you really want that. By the way, that's not a must have for success but if you want it, let me try to help.

First, the chain stores are probably out unless you have a publisher or are already selling really well. Sorry!

But independent and small bookstores are still in the running.

I suggest having all your promo material ready before you call or email these stores. Having a book only won't be enough.

You'll need a:

  1. A website or blog. Even if its a static page, have a page.
  2. Book flyers.
  3. A press kit including bookmarks, postcards, a bio or author promotion sheet & book info including reviews/testimonials.
  4. A poster (optional).
  5. Sample chapter (optional).
  6. Business card.



Business Card


After you put your kit together, drop in these bookstores and the ones that fit your book vibe, see if the owner or manager will talk to you about doing a signing, carrying your book or having a book signing.

You don't want to do the face to face? Try calling or emailing. Smaller bookstores like a professional but personal touch.

Some are going to say flat out no.

No luck locally? Try sending your kits to smaller bookstores within a two or three hour drive of your home town.

But do not send the kit without speaking with someone at the store, have your business card and website ready. If you email them, include a link to your website or flyer (or both). When they say they'll consider it, send them a press kit.

If they say yes, say thank you in writing.



Sunday, May 20, 2012

I detest Google Plus

Yes, I know that Blogger is part of Google plus. I use to love my blogger blog, I've had it for years. It's been easy to use and I've enjoyed it.

But I made the horrendous mistake of trying Google Plus. Well, I didn't want to try it but after they killed, I was strong armed into it. But the Creative Kit was very hard to find, hard to use and the picture quality poor.

Then, it tried to post my pictures to the public. I had my pictures made private but it was keeping my pictures in folders anyway. I didn't want my pictures saved in a third party area in Google Plus. So after I tried the Creative Kit, I deleted those pictures.

And I deleted ONLY those pictures. It was maybe 10 to 15 pictures.

But when I went to my blog, all my pictures for SEVERAL YEARS were gone. No real help is available. I went to the forums, they kept talking about Picassa. I have no idea what that is or where it is. And no, I didn't delete anything from it.

--Yes I did eventually track Picassa down..but I didn't know I even had a folder there. I did not touch said folder.

Somehow blogger, Picassa and Google Plus are all mushed together in some sort of deformed mutant.

All I know is I've lost YEARS of pictures and materials, most of which cannot be recovered. I am so mad I can spit.

And basically the help forum was ...oh well you shouldn't have deleted anything from Picassa...I didn't know my blog was even connected to I didn't touch anything there. And the only pictures I deleted from Google plus were those few recent ones. And somehow that...killed ALL my work for years?

Geez. Great.

Now I find that blogger's dashboard and navigation tools are being changed to make it more like Google Plus. Blah. I'd rather paint my butt pink and date a baboon. Google Plus is just a mess to navigate. Why would I want my blog to work that way? I don't.

Honestly, I detest Google Plus.

If I'm tragically wrong and someone can tell me how to fix the mess that is now my blog, Google Plus and the new interface?

Or if not, does anyone know how I can transfer my blog to somewhere else?

Blood Totems COVER types

Gold eyes, big title, name at bottom, textured.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How to make a Werewolf...

If you've clicked on this link, I think this means you want to make a werewolf. :) Cool. Now there are more than one type of werewolf.

There are the scary types, the cartoon types and the ones that look more human.

I'm making a human looking one. :) Less muscles, less tail. I want to keep the humanity of it since my werewolf is for a shapeshifter novel, not a werewolf horror film. First find a man (or a woman). Wouldn't you mother was right. I need to find a man.

HERE IS MY MAN. Why did I choose him?

Well he had black and white background, it's easier to not have to worry about the background. I can easily find a wolf's head on a black background. This way when you blend, you won't need to worry about the trees, grass or buildings. Don't worry, you can always add those in later. Then I need a wolf's head.

I don't recommend you try to make a full body werewolf he first time. The face/neck will do nicely for practice. I chose this wolf because it has a good black background. It'll blend with my man background easily. Can you just layer one over the other? Sure but it'll look like crap. It's easier to use the cloning tool in to create a more designed werewolf. Instead, go to Load the man picture. Then click LAYERS then click ADD IMAGES. Load the wolf.

Resize the wolf to be slightly smaller than the man's head. You'll not want to make the eyes to be too far apart and if you make the wolf head too large. The eyes won't line up if you do. Then tilt the heads into the same direction of the photos. Save the two pictures side by side.

 Go to


 Yeah life was easier before Picnik was taken away from the company who shall not be named. But BLAH on them.

Upload the double photo of man/wolf.

Scroll down to the clone tool. It's on the table on the left.

Click the green circle on what you want to copy. Put the white circle on where you want it to be copied to. I really suggest you make the clone tool small. You want to do this in small pieces.

Second type, don't be afraid of the FADE functionality to adjust the hair opaqueness. Start on the chest. Best to start on the easiest places. Paint in the chest hair on the man from the ruff hair on the wolf. You can layer the hair to make it thicker. You can Fade to make the human skin show more. When you get it right on the neck/chest. Save. You will do the face in tiny pieces.

Next use the far outer hair on the sides of the wolf to layer hair on the cheeks of the man. Use the fade to get the layer between man and wolf. When you get it right then SAVE. Now for the hard parts. Starting at mid-nose on the man and between the eyes on the wolf. Paint the beautiful forehead coloring on the man's forehead and between the eyes.


Then line up the ears where you want them, clone them in. Blend the blackground using the CLONE tool. Save. Then the worst part...the nose.


Take the black nose and line it over the end of the man's nose, use the fade to find the right level of darkness. Expect to do it several times to get it the way you want it. That's why you do it last. You'll know when it' looks right.


Then go to Effects (looks like a magical star wand). Use bloom to soften the picture and vibrancy to make it brighter. set it to where you like it. SAVE again.

And now you have a werewolf.

 Okay, it's not perfect. But it is clearly a werewolf man and will work for a book trailer. Work for you? .