Tag Archives: book cover

A Cuppa – A Cover Design

24 Oct

Well hello.

I have to confess to having been a little under the weather the last week or so, and I have been somewhat removed from my immediate work at hand. Wednesdays post was brought to you by the joyous sick day. Certainly a welcome break but I really wasnt focused on marketing, which is where I should have been that day.

Marketing not just at work, but for a cuppa also. Wednesday was voting day for the cover design. If you havent popped by our Facebook page and liked us, then you really should. If not, ie you are signed up to enough pages, don’t have fb, or just cba, then this is the designs we had entered for our cover.

Skyler Luttrell

Sam Ransley

Naomi Shaw

Christine Cunningham

Carol Hoare

And the winner is, Skyler Luttrell.

We set up the voting system quite simple – just comment under the design you liked ‘my vote’. We actively encouraged those involved to tell their friends – we have no shame. It was a marketing ploy to get the project name out there just as much as to get a funky cover. Thanks Skyler. Over here at Cuppa HQ we really do think you are marvellous – you know Skyler has submitted not one but three stories. It is so great when others get as involved in your project as you do.

Tonight I have put together the add that will be included in the Equipe newsletter. I view this as the first piece of full on marketing for the actual sale of the book. This is quite daunting when the panel are still making decisions, and we are still open for submissions, until TOMORROW! That’s right, 5pm GMT Monday 24th is the cut off point. I’m not going to lie, we do still need short stories for the children’s book, and we are now thinking we may have to reconsider our plans. BUT, it will still go ahead, it just might not be completed in time for Christmas.

This week is rather mad busy for me. The biggest event to take place will be my graduation on Wednesday. If you hear hysterical laughing during the morning, you will know I have fallen over as I have accepted my certificate. It is highly unlikely this will NOT happen.

Right, I’m off to do some more reading. Speak to y’all soon.


***Whoopsie – I was supposed to post this last night!!


Quick…we need someone to design a front cover!

12 Oct


I switched myself off from the project ‘A Cuppa and An Armchair’ for maybe 24 hours and boom, I am scrabbling around trying to find time to fit in every task I need to complete.

There is one major one that needs sorting, and to do this, I need YOUR help.

Many of you will have realised to date we haven’t sorted out an official logo for the project. Like the cover of a book, I thought I would deal with it in time. I didn’t need it just yet…

That was where I made the first mistake. I should have had this organised long ago. Today, I received an email from Equipe. Next week they will be sending out their last communication to their supporters for 2011. What better way to start promoting the project as a book to buy – an ideal Christmas present?

No worries, I have some information to hand. I would need to check a few things and I can create some ‘blurb’…oh, the image…

Right this is my thoughts. The image I want should represent the title. It should be suitable to use in promotion and as the main image on the front of the book. In short, we are designing the bulk of the front cover.

This is where YOU come in.

We have less than a weeks deadline. Lets say Tuesday 18th October by 11.59pm GMT. Can you put together an image for free (remember this is all for charity) and have it ready by the time set?

It can be a sketch, a fully illustrated image, or even a photo. In my mind I am thinking the arm of a tatty chair with a porcelain cup and saucer. I am NOT a designer. my ideas never quite work out as I expect, so really, it is your choice. What do YOU think will work? What resources do you have to hand that could create something suitable in such a short time?

In return for your work, you will obviously be noted as the designer within the book itself, as well as receiving mentions via this blog, the Facebook page and twitter.

To make this fair, we are asking for all images to be displayed on the Facebook page for everyone involved and supporting to view. On Wednesday 19th, we will ask for those same people to vote on their favourite design. You can vote for your own, and ask your friends to join in. We don’t mind, the more people who know about the project the better.

To state the obvious, the design with the most votes will be the winner.

So, are you in?

If you have stumbled across this page and do not feel you can take part, but know someone who could, please tell them. We know we are asking a lot, but we really cannot do this without you!

Thank you!

This is our 'make do' image at the moment....yeah, we really are desperate!

The back cover! A Simple Guide to Self-Publishing

29 Apr

Just wanted to show you this:

Isn’t it fab? I have to say, I actually like this design for the back cover even more than the front design…I’m not weird, honest. It is just I was astounded when I saw the words and the layout put together like that.

By the way I also have the formatting completed so the ebooks shall finally be available to buy for your iPad and Kindle, and work properly in the next ten days or so. Yay!

In the mean time come and find me on Facebook.


It’s monday morning and I am so very excited!

14 Mar

I am quite excited. Actually that is mildly underestimating how I feel. Call me stupid, whatever, I don’t care, but I am ridiculously excited because at some point this week, I shall be receiving the image of my book cover.

(Insert some mad dancing of me)

I have talked about my book for what feels like a lifetime. It is now so close to completion I actually can’t believe it  – when this is finally for sale on amazon, I would have achieved my dream.

OK OK, I don’t have a publisher, it is not a masterpiece of fiction, but what it is, is a guide to help more people have this ecstatically happy feeling. Because the one thing that I have learnt, is anyone can do this. No dream is out of reach. Oh and if you are one of the ‘I haven’t got time’ brigade, sorry to be so honest, but you obviously don’t want it enough.

So anyway, I have big smiles and am so very very excited. I have to go do my uni work now, so I give it an hour before the smile is gone  and absolute stress has kicked in again. But hey ho, once I put the books back down, I shall, I know, start smiling again.

My definition of Assisted Publishing

7 Mar

We are all familiar with the terms mainstream publishing, self-publishing and vanity publishing. Lets start by exploring these terms.

Mainstream publishing is where a writer has a contract with an established publisher. You as the writer submit your text, they tell you what they want changed, and once everyone is happy, the text is polished with bells and whistles. You don’t get much say in the process, but you haven’t had to spend your own money either.

Self-publishing you do everything. And i mean everything – editing, proofreading, design, illustration (if required) typesetting etc. Good luck there.

Vanity publishing is a nightmare. You pay your money up front, you get thrown loads of copies of your books, and then you have to shift them. I don’t know the figures on this one but I haven’t found an example yet of someone who has actually benefited from this process.

So what is assisted publishing? It is, to all extents and purposes self-publishing. The difference is, you are free to outsource the parts you can’t do yourself.

I shall give you an example. My book, ‘the basic guide to self-publishing’ (working title), is now under what I consider the assisted publishing heading. I have written the text, I have spent hours researching the subject, but that is where my work ends. It is being edited and proof read, and I am now in talks with several designers (you’ve heard that before right?). When complete, I hope to convert the work to the right format myself, and then I shall send it off to my chosen company, ready for the wonderful world of e-book sellers.

Why have I done this? I have heard so many times of self publishers who have made minor mistakes, and major ones as well, and this has affected their sales. I don’t want to be one of these people. I could complete many of these tasks to a degree, but not to what I would class professional standards.

The one thing I haven’t done at this stage is consider outsourcing my marketing. That is not to say I haven’t made contacts. As my first adventure (remember this all started as a University project), I want to experiment with my marketing. Quite honestly, my plan is if I manage to get a couple of good reviews, I may then invest in a high marketing campaign. This is completely the wrong way to do it but I am quite aware of how easy it is for a budget to escalate.

Besides, this is assisted publishing. I get to pick what and when I do things.

So, what do you think? Does this sound like a plan that you are already following? Rather than self-publishing, are we all after the route of assisted publishing?

Never judge a book by its cover

8 Feb

How often have you heard the phrase, never judge a book by its cover? and how many times have you completely ignored it?

We all do it.

My personal favourite reads are crime thrillers, but I really don’t like there covers. My favourite covers are Sophie Kinsella type designs, light and fluffy if you like – I will admit I am partial to reading a bit of chick lit, and I am not ashamed.

As most of you know, i read whatever comes my way. I like my books to be well read. I feel guilty reading a brand new book….I don’t know why, I think it has something to do with the way I abuse books. My worse habit is reading in the bath, and yes I have often dropped them.

This as a whole, leaves me little room to judge. However, given two or three books at a time, I will read them in order of my favourite cover. Oh yeah, and have i ever mentioned that I don’t read the blurb on the back?

Anyway, as many of you know I have thought about my book cover, what I want, what appeals. We now know, what I want doesn’t matter, it’s what my target audience wants.

But how do I know? What if they are like me and actually don’t care? Or, what if, they do care, and a slight misalignment puts the reader off? As for all of this with it must work as a thumbnail image….do people actually look? I for one, when looking at texts online (normally for uni so I accept this is slightly different), care more about the blurb, and reviews. the cover doesn’t come into it.

So what is important to you? Is it the content, the cover, or the review? All three perhaps? – Or is it you are just attracted to your own favourite genre style? Have you ever dismissed a book to then later realise your mistake? Thoughts please.

E-publishing – where I am at.

2 Feb

I have spent the last two weeks, although it feels like much longer, trying to tie up the loose ends with this e-publishing how to guide.

Knowing that my brain is a complete blur, and I struggle to remember what I have done each day, let alone whether I have blogged about whats been going on, I shall apologise now if I am repeating myself.

So what am I doing?

As many of you know, this started out as a University project. I was to research the e-publishing industry, and write 10,000 words on it. Somewhere along the lines, this changed to me actually following through this process. The content, everything I have researched.

Where am I at?

I wrote the first draft and was pretty pleased with the results. I sent the text Eoin Purcell, (Green Lamp Media)  who came back with a few pointers. This coincided with a tutorial with Sally Harrison, my Media Communications lecturer. She also had read the text and had found some of the terms confusing. (The guide should be written in a very basic way for non techies – I think I must have forgotten somewhere along the lines.)

I started to re write the text, providing more detail, and for those complex terms I couldn’t get rid of, brief explanations. I also started to include quotes from industry insiders to basically back up what I was saying. I examined the word count of the text, and decided for the effort it was taking, I needed to bulk it up. Not fill it with trash, the e-book industry is too vast at the moment to need to bulk out, but I needed to consider where I should expand, and how.

I have spent countless hours looking at pricing and services for  the main ‘e-publishers’. I have made charts and codes. I have researched until my back aches and my arm is frozen from RSI.

So what now?

I have four weeks until I need to hand in a portfolio to university which will include this text. I haven’t got my cover designed. I haven’t had it proof read/ edited. I haven’t considered a typesetter, although I do know which ‘e-publisher’ I shall be using. I know there is more to that list, I just can’t be bothered to go back and check that manual I just wrote. My point is, can I get this turned round and completed? Four weeks….

The original plan was to have this published for when writing up the final portfolio, so I could really say I have followed the whole process. I don’t think it will happen, I have become slightly too obsessed to rush it, but if I don’t, at least it will be for the right reasons….I don’t want to produce some trashy, half attempt at a self published e-book – that would be just too embarrassing.