Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pimping Your Book

No I don't mean force your book into a shorty shorts, fishnets and a tube top and drop it off on a downtown corner.

Although that might make more cash than a badly launched self-published book.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, bunnies, but writing your book and editing it---are the easy parts.

Yeah, I cried a bit too. Go ahead let it all out. But don't short circuit the keyboard with the tears.

First, don't spend a year or years writing a book and then put a 59cent cover on it. I know, I know, looks shouldn't matter but when was the last time you dated that one eyed humpbacked guy who smells like sweat socks?


A little packaging won't kill you and it just might help make your book more attractive to readers. You know--put sunglasses on it and give it a bath. :)

Just self-publishing a book without any background work is a bit like sending a aging nun out to get a job at a strip club. Honey, it just isn't going to work. You're going to need a website that's searchable on this thing called the internet. :)

You'll need to proposition every website, blog, vlog and book review site who might give you a shout out. And don't forget related sites. Example: You are writing a murder mystery set at Nascar? Try pimping your book at Nascar related sites.

Set up (if possible) readings at your local library or book signings at any local INDEPENDENT bookstores. Some Indy's won't carry self-published books, some will. Don't assume.

Come from a small town? See if someone will do a special interest piece in the local paper.

Hit up your bigger local book groups. Having people who are book people read your book, discuss it their group and then talk it up to their book friends, on their websites, their blogs can't hurt. People trust people more who they read often or who read a lot of books.

Every writer says their book is wonderful but sometimes they're wrong. You are always fighting the impression that a self-published book is one step above the free flyer given away at the grocery. To fight that impression, try to get some book reviews from people who don't owe you any favors and didn't give birth to you.

And hon, before you pimp out that book, EDIT it. You'll need a second set of eyes. Not just for typos but plot holes and inconsistencies. You won't see some holes because you're too close to the project. Get an editor or a nit picky English major (at the minimum) to look at it.

Self-Publishing is WORK. Writing is, I hate to tell you, was the easy part.

That sucks, doesn't it?


Crap, I suppose this means I have to finish my novel. Oh well, do as I say bunnies, not as I do. Most of what I publish I do for me. I'm assuming you want paid. :)


Monday, August 29, 2011

PSE layered FILES, whining

Big Scream.

Did I hurt your ears?

I do design but only use Photoshop (PSE)only if I can't find another way to do it. ''

You aren't nuts if you don't enjoy PSE. Photoshop is not user-friendly or intuitive.

Let's be honest, it's a pain in the arse or we'd all use it. HAH.

I ask my customers what they need before I create files. I provide 300 DPI+ files in 6x9 with a 1/8 inch bleed margin. :) This is what they tell me they want.

I give it...then they come back with...wanting PSE Layered files.


Basically a Photoshop layered file is a zip file with each layer you created in Photoshop laid out so the people and/or publisher can take it apart and put it back together again if they want. This is really good if they want to screw with your font.

But I'm under the opinion that if you don't tell me up front, it's not my problem. But I think I'm getting cranky in my old age.


I hate designing on Photoshop. Am I the only one?

If I provide a 300DPI file--why should it shouldn't except for the PSE Layered Files.


Photoshop has cameltoe! I stand by this statement.

Anyway, I'm going nuts recreating my cover in the other file type. Don't you love doing something again, trying now to get the same effect in completely different program?

And all for my killer fee of $25 bucks. I could scream.

Or charge more.


From now--if you want PSE layered files, they must be requested at the start and there WILL be an extra charge for them.

Okay I think I've whined enough. more.


Tirzah signing out.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign

I'm thinking of trying this new thing I found through a link on Jeanne Bannon's blog Beyond Words...she linked me to Rach WRites---and I heard about Writer Campaigns.

And after reading all about, I thought---what the hell--let's give it a try. Sure I'm overbooked, busy and as about as friendly as a PMSing bear woken up from hibernation right now--but I want to get excited about my book again. I think this may do that. Plus I get to meet more fun bloggers.

You should consider connecting with other writers, bloggers and other fun people. Read about it on:

Quoted from the site:
"Basically, the Campaign is a way to link those of us in the writing community together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms. The Campaigners are all bloggers in a similar position, who genuinely want to pay it forward, make connections and friends within the writing community, and help build each others' online platforms while at the same time building theirs."

So what do you say, are you in?


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Blogger Awards

Okay, I admit it. I'm terrible about adding these bloggie award things to my blog. I had a few on my blog but never put them back when I redesigned a while back. I like them, I just never know quite where to put them.

Still I love getting them. I'm an enigma. HAHAHA

The Liebster Award is for blogs with under two 200 followers. I got it from Jeanne Bannon and her cool blog, Beyond Words.

Fun interviews, informative info on publishing. Check her out.

At the end of the email, I list five new winners of the LIEBSTER AWARD.

The BLOG on Fire Award--For those hottie blogs everyone should visit.

I got this award from a blog I read all the time, the Bird's Eye View. It's is a blog that makes you feel like your being invited to all these cool publishing and writer lunches to ask questions. Visit her and have a conversation with people you wish you'd met.



THE BLOG ON FIRE AWARD goes to Clarissa Draper. I love this blog. Where else can I read about novel poisons (ignore my pun) and burn phones. It's a must stop shop for mystery and murder writers. Oh hell, it's a must stop for most writers. She's an endless fount of information for writers.


LIBESTER AWARD--for blogs with under 200 followers who deserve more.

The rules say I have to give this to five bloggers with 200 and less followers who deserve more. There are so many great blogs to choose from.

I'd give one to Jeni Decker but she already got one so she's just screwed this time. :) But I couldn't resist giving it to her partner in crime, Kat Nove.

Kat's blog is irreverent, a little dirty and completely off it's rocker. Yeah I made a pass at her but since we are both straight women, we decided to just exchange warm regards instead.

1) KAT NOVE in America on
Her new book, Waiting for Karl Rove (written with Jeni Decker) is available on, it's a witty satire that will make you snort, laugh and pee your pants a little.

2) Lani in SAMOA--- I found Lani's website through my cover side business. I get a bit of everything including the flavor of Samoa, the joy of raising five kids (or is that the challenge) and her funny little life comments. VISIT SAMOA, drop in on her blog. Her new book Telesa will be publishing soon...fiction on a girl from a long line of volcano fire women. A scorcher.

3) J.L. Campbell at the Character Depot lets me visit Jamaica. Come and see street shots of the real Jamaica, get interviews with writing, marketing and publishing there is a win a KINDLE contest. :))

4) Heather, a local girl for me her in the US, she writes the FOOD HUSSY. Her blog is a mix of restaurant reviews, quick cooking recipes and life commentary. Heather is addicted to local dives and independent food joints. You'll get reviews of places like the Blue Bird Diner in Cincinnati OH or pizzerias in Iowa. It's one part road trip, one part resturant reviews and one part quick cooking. Delicious reading...

5) Mindy's blog--because I love Mindy. :) She's so bouncy...JUST LIKE ME!!! . She is in Canada but I've forgiven her for not living closer to me. :) Her current blog is on movie reviews and a little writing thrown in. Mindy is always a trip.

So there you go. My Liebsters.

My Blog on Fire Award I'm exhausted.

Here is a brand new BLOG AWARD...the WILD BLOG AWARD.

It's for blogs that are brand new and are changing the world of blogging by being exciting, different or a game changer...just like a Class 4 Weather change.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ugly is Ugly

Honestly, if you want ugly for your book cover, I won't stop you. I'll gently suggest changes but if you want ugly, you'll get ugly.

What do I mean by ugly?

I had one guy who demanded I do his cover exactly like his bad CreateSpace block cover from the early 90's. A plain black cover with one bad bar with blurry lightening showing. It was sad and not eye catching.

Another woman demanded I use a bad photograph she had with poor picture quality. It transferred horribly. It came out grainy. She truly believed I could magically make this photo perfect. I did clean it up and sharpen it but I couldn't make it a 300 DPI quality cover. It looked like it was underwater.

One writer wanted the cover so busy, it looked like 2nd grade collage project.

And I did it all and I charged them money.


Because the writer asked me to.

I tried to change their minds but my job is to find a balance between what I think will grab the reader and what you want. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don't.

I'm not saying I'm never wrong.

Sometimes what the author wanted made the cover better in the end and I'm willing to try most things.

I want to make you happy. I want to make you a cover that gets you buckets of cash for your work.

Although I did tell the one person that I won't do a pink penis cover. Not because of moral objections, I just hate spending hours photoshopping a pink penis.

So let me help you, okay? I really want to help. And yeah, don't ask me to do a pink penis book cover. A girl has to draw the line somewhere.

Besides some of the covers where the writers worked with me have been fantastic covers. A partnership, not a dictatorship.

After all, your paying me to do it...let me do what you are paying me for.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Birthday

Today is my birthday. I'm older than 21 but less than dead. :)

Okay, I admit it, I'm 39.

I don't mind the age, I don't feel thirty nine inside. Inside I'm a hyperactive teenage boy. Too bad I'm trapped in the body of an almost middle aged chubby woman.

What I'm worried about is that I've done so little with my life. Every year I get a little closer to the end of life. And it may not wait until I'm old. My health has gone in and out, especially my lungs.

I hate the idea that I'll die with nothing to show for it. Nothing to be remembered for. I never married and I can't say I'm sorry about that, I'm not. I'm not the marrying type. I've always been insular and have never met anyone I wanted to let into my private world.

I have no children. That is probably for the best. I'm not sure I'd be a good parent. I'm still too broken to give a kid the steady support he or she would need.

I do have family but they don't really know me and they don't want to really know me. They want me to be what they want me to be, not who I am.

Whatever they remember of me will only be a small part of who I am.

My friends know another part, bigger than that of my family but not all of me.

I thought when I was younger, my writing would be my legacy, the part of me I could preserve as I am but I'm not quite good enough.

I'm not bad just not world grade. :)

School's fallen through.
Writing has stalled.

I'm thirty-nine today and I wonder what's the point?

Next year will be like this year and the year before.

And it'll continue until I die.

It's all rather pointless.

Origami in the dark.

Anyway it's my birthday and I can be depressed if i want.


Friday, August 19, 2011

SteamPunk Covers

Steampunk and Cyberpunk always confuse me. I mean stories based on a mix of the Industrial Revolution but usually set in futuristic settings--how do you make that work as a photo manipulator?

For the most part you don't is what I found.

Gears and airships, people in aviator glasses--cool concepts but not something that lends itself to what I do.

Covers for those books have always scared me a bit.

I still believe these covers need a hand artist to hand draw the scenes they envision.

But what do I know?

What do you think? Hand art only?


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Giveaway Covers?

Well Bunnies,

It's almost time to have my 3 month fire sale again. All those lovely rejected covers that I sweated over will be offered as-is to the public at dirt low prices.

But before I offer them up again, I thought I'd ask...would you buy a discarded cover? I mean I've edited, shaped, shined these covers but for whatever reason---they weren't the final picture chosen.

Should I continue to give them away? What I hate is for them not to be used. But I was told that giving them away for nothing devalues the work that went into them. Ah well, I will never earn that business degree. :)

But I hate the idea of all that work for nothing.

I do ask those who take a cover to only do so if they plan to use it within six months. Otherwise you'd remove it from the pool and perhaps not even use it if the project falls through.

But do I offer these covers for FREE again as I have in the past? Do people really devalue anything free?

Some of these like the Alternative Said/Unsaid Cover are really cool---the man walking into the distance.

Some are cheesy as all get out.

I did what the original author wanted.

Here is a random sampling of the discards:

Should I just hit delete? I have over 20 discarded covers that range from weird to wonderful. But does anyone really want someone else's vision even if they changed their mind?

And YES I'd remove the title/author on the cover and put your NEW AUTHOR TITLE ON IT but no other changes.

Should I clean up and offer all 27 covers for free to the random viewing public?

I dunno.


Sunday, August 7, 2011


Alternate Tree Version

Theme 1 Color in Sepia


Vote for which theme you prefer for a poetry series. The simple colored trees where each volume is another color or the Sepia photos with one item colored in. Which would make you pull the book off the shelf and buy? It should also be easy to make into a multi-volume series.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back From Vegas

I just got back from my work trip to Vegas. Exhausting. But I did learn a few things.

1) Julia Roberts did ho's a disservice by making hooking look glamorous. After seeing several working girls at Vegas, I have a few suggestions. Wash your hair after each client meeting and if your skirt is skin tight and shorter than your butt cheeks, at least wear a thong. And lastly, bill Ms. Roberts for selling you a bill of faulty goods.

2) Also if I can't tell if you are a hooker or just slutty, time to change your outfit. This is addressed to the girl in the yellow bikini top one size too small, the shorty shorts and her hand in groping in the boyfriend's pocket. Trust me when I say that more than one person wondered if you were working by the hour since you were in a public lobby in front of children. But since you were in flip flops, I lean toward slutty girlfriend rather than ho. Ho's usually have taller shoes.

3) I hate the cigarette smoke and there is no way to avoid it in Vegas because every hotel lobby is a casino. All casinos have smokers.

4) Walking is required so if your knees suck, you're peg-legged, or you are just too heavy to comfortably climb stairs, navigate moving stair cases or side step the short Hispanics giving out peep show cards---I suggest Vegas isn't for you.

5) Even the penny slots are addictive. I won 8 bucks. Okay, I won 11 but I continued to play so it dropped to 8 bucks. Not bad for a dollar investment but it's easy to get swept up in the moment and get yourself in trouble. Stay away from the slots and tables. Especially the one with the 7's and the storm pictures. That machine is mine. Hah.

6) The adult pool. Oh geez no. Please no. No one is pretty enough to make that work. Either you'll be the show because your boobs point upward or you'll be the one people wince about. The worst people at that pool are gawkers. Do you want to be a show for drunk losers? Let them buy it on the porn channel. No adult pool.

7) At 4 in the morning, Vegas is still going strong. Watch out for the drunk people but don't be one of them. Be drunk in your room like a normal person.

8) Big muscles in a great looking suit still looks like a thug. Never saw so many short muscled guys in expensive suits. I was having a Bugsy Siegel moment.

9) Liberace's dressing room is a tattered red-velvet mess. Don't ask me how I know.


I'm going to bed now. I'm exhausted left for the airport at 4am.