Getting ahead of myself

Since I put my books up it seems I’ve spent all my time doing anything BUT writing, which is kind of annoying, but also kind of interesting. One of the things I enjoyed the most was putting the covers together and I now have 5 or so in different stages for books half complete, nearly complete and not even conceived of yet because once I started I just kept going. So, as yet something else to spend a bit of time doing, other than writing, I thought I’d throw them up here.

This first one is for the novel I’m writing now. It isn’t complete yet, but I pretty much had the title and the cover before I’d gotten past the prologue. It may change as I go:

This is for an idea I’ve been kicking around for putting out some edited and revised Gutenberg texts in a new format as a group of ‘forgotten classics’ and then giving all the proceeds to charity so I don’t feel bad about charging people for paying for texts that they can also get free in the public domain:

And these are three that I was just playing about with, and are at various stages, maybe to be used later, maybe not…

Common theme is the use of black and white photographs I took in my serious amateur photographer phase. Top cover was taken in Paris, the middle one (vertically) and the one on the far left here were both taken in Amsterdam – on the same night I think. Middle was a hotel room in New Orleans and the far right is the Atomium in Brussels.

This is kind of trying to look like a 70s album cover – it’s for an idea I have about writing some shorts that accompany my orphaned story, all of them about music in some form or another… Whether I’ll ever write it or not, I don’t know… Now that IS getting ahead of myself.

I must admit, I enjoy doing the covers. They’re not the best designed book covers in the world, not by a long shot, and I’m a bit limited with the free trial version design software I downloaded from the internet, but if I’m going to publish independently I want to do the whole project independently. And I don’t have £400 to £1000 to get someone to design covers for me…

Right, now back to the writing. Hinterland – chapter 3…


5 thoughts on “Getting ahead of myself

  1. James Everington March 18, 2011 / 6:27 pm

    Hey Neil, they look good (certainly better than the cover my indie publisher knocked up for Feed The Enemy)… when I publish my short story collection in a few months (hopefully!) I might have to come begging for advice. I like the black and white photo angle.

    The first of the interviews I mentioned in your promo thread has gone up; I’ll let you know what effect it has, if any, on sales. I’ve also read in a few places that Twitter is the in things for authors to use for promo, so I’m on that too now. I don’t think I get it yet – it just seems to be yet another way for me and my mates to talk rubbish to each other…. You on it?

    (And if you’re reading this, get back to writing your novel!)

  2. Neil Schiller March 18, 2011 / 9:05 pm

    James, thanks, glad you think they look ok. I’m fairly happy with some of them, playing about still with some of the other ideas. It’s all a bit of trial and error for me. I’m using Serif Draw Plus which you can get for free as a trial version – it has about 50% of the full functionality. I suppose if I invested in photoshop or something I’d be able to play around a bit more. The main thing is I just didn’t want them to look like I’d just stuck a holiday snap on there with my name over it in courier type. Some of the ones I’ve seen look like someone did it in paint in about 2 minutes. I’m sure asking a real designer to do them would be better, but as long as they look like a bit more thought has gone into them I’m happy enough with that.

    Yeah, give me a shout if you decide to do your own cover. I have quite a few photos, probably about 30 to 40 which might look ok if messed about with – some are better than others. But if you’re stuck for something that will fit a certain sized space or shape, you’re more than welcome to see if I have anything that will do. I think you can use stock imagery from the likes of fotolia as well for not very much money – I know I did that for my company website and I think the licensing includes publications. For some reason I was checking through the catalogue the other day and they have some great vampire ones of all things. If I was writing Twilight part 2 I’d be sorted. But let me know if I can help at all.

    Will check out your interview as well. Was it the first one you listed?

  3. James Everington March 18, 2011 / 9:39 pm

    Neil – the interview was on
    Last one I did, first one up. To be honest, I think the other ones had some more original questions. But quick to do, not unenjoyable, and hopefully will have at least attract one or two sales.

    Thanks for your offer re. cover photos – may be in touch nearer the time if that’s okay.

  4. Neil Schiller March 18, 2011 / 10:05 pm

    James, of course, yeah, give me a shout. As I said, amateur photography so some are better than others but if there’s anything you want to use, that’s great ‘cos I’ve never done anything with them so would be good to see them coming in useful somewhere. If you’re on facebook I have some of them loaded into a photo folder there. I’ll stick some more up at the time so you can see if any seem to fit. Send me a friend request if you’re on it. Don’t know whether you can do photos on Twitter. Can you? I have an account but I’ve never really used it – like you I’m not sure I’m getting it. There must be more you can do with it than I’ve seen which is tweets from friends that just tell me they’re in different pubs getting hammered.

    Just checked out your interview, think it’s good. And seriously, thanks for the shout out. Really appreciate it.

    Looking forward to seeing the collection you mentioned. Are there any horror stories in it? As I think I said before, I’m really interested in horror.

  5. James Everington March 19, 2011 / 9:05 am

    No worries – it was a honest answer to the question so no need to thank me.

    Yeah, it will be mainly horror/weird short stories – I’ve always had this view that people like Kafka are in some ways similar to Stephen King or whoever as other so-called ‘literary’ writers, so it’s a whole range of influences. My aim is to work out the final ‘track listing’ of stories by the end of the month, and then start to look at formatting it and stuff.

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