Stephanie’s Blog

golden apple with barb wire

Opinions – they’re like buttholes, everybody has one.

You’ve heard it before, but it still doesn’t make you feel any better when someone criticizes your baby. In other words, your work.

But have no fear, let me explain something that I have just come to realize.

Sometimes, no matter their good intentions, some people may subconsciously try to put doubt in you mind and slow your roll.

 Now is this everyone that gives their opinion. Of course not. But look at your source and maybe do a little digging, to see if they have an ulterior motive OR….

…they just don’t know what they hell they’re talking about.

Here is my example.

I am an Indie Author. What does that mean? Well without getting into the boring details, that means, I barely make enough money on my books to pay the mortgage. Oh, there was a time that I did. YEARS ago.

But now everybody wants to be an author, and quite frankly a lot of people are good at it. But that mean more choices and more people jockeying for that spot to grab readers.

So, the big piece of pie has smaller slices, and are getting smaller every day.

An Indie writer is lucky to make $100.00 to $200.00 per month. If you read or see someone doing thousands of dollars per month, this day and age, they are either lying, inflating the numbers or spending mad money advertising and promoting, and they are just breaking even.

So, what does and indie author to do to save money? I mean, covers alone cost any where from $35.00-100.00 for premade. And hundreds for custom.

Make your own! Which what I do. I’ve been practicing, and still am learning more tricks. I think my covers are pretty good now. They are more than passable; in fact, some are quite creative and intriguing.

But I wanted an outside opinion. So, I asked a well-known author what they thought.  The first thing she did was give me the websites of someone that makes professional covers.

Ouch!

Then she told me programs I could use to make them (which I have used all of them).

She then proceeded to tell me that the cover should tell the story as well as the blurb.

Well if I don’t say do myself, my covers not only tell the story, but with the blurb, you almost live it.

I went and looked at her covers, to see what story they told.

You know what? They are nice covers and they look professional. They look like everyone else’s.

In fact, some of them, the title of the book and the cover are like separate entities. If I read the title, and then looked at the cover, I couldn’t tell you the story—even after reading the blurb.

So, I’m not sure what her motive was for “gently” trying to tell me that I should get my covers professionally done. She could have had good intentions. After all, the other advice she gave me was spot on, and I took her advice and it changed up a lot of things for the good.

Having said that, I showed my covers to about four other people.

They loved them, in fact, one lady said she would by two of my books (These books are not published yet) based on the cover and the blurb.

Now, I will admit, I could give a hang about a cover when buying a book. I read the blurb. That’s not to say covers are not nice and can covey a story. In fact, I saw one today that was gorgeous, I mean a true work of art, completely different from what I’ve seen out there. Read the blurb too.

Will I buy the book?

No, I’m not into paranormal and I don’t know this author at all. Her stuff could be great, but it’s not my bag.

But the cover was gorgeous!

I strictly go by blurbs. The cover can just have the tile and author name for all I care. But if the blurb says some thine like: What happens when a famous chef is accused of killing a famous food critic, and his body parts are found in his freezer?” The cover is a moot point.

By the way, don’t even bother writing that story, I already have, it’s one I started fifteen years ago. It’s on my hard drive, my flash and hard copied, even on a disk and date stamped. It’s coming in 2021.

But you see what I mean.

Now some people they won’t buy a book if the cover doesn’t appeal to them. And that’s okay, that; s not what this blog is talking about. It’s more about the what cover is considered professional or amateurish and will it sell books.

Well, I just told you. It depends on what kind of reader you get. I may get the reader that loves my blurbs so much, that when they look at my cover, they may see the Mona Lisa.


Then I’ll get the reader that sees my cover and sees finger painting, and won’t read the blurb, and pass on my book.

But the point is, someone will buy my book, no matter what the cover.

The author that kinda threw shade on my cover, could be honest in her opinion. Maybe she is only used to professional work, so seeing something that is not cookie cutter, throws her off, and that’s fair. I can see that.

Or maybe somewhere she’s thinking: “Wow, her cover is kinda unique. Nothing I would do, but she could attract more readers. Let me just put some doubt in her head, now she has to start all over.”

I could be totally wrong on either point.

Again, she had an opinion, it was up to me to take it. I took her other advice; it doesn’t mean she was on point with the rest.

You maybe asking, when I make more money and I can afford a professional cover artist, will I buy one.

Not necessarily, I might just get better software and practice some more. I know the images in my head and what I want on my covers, because I know the characters. I want my characters to literally match the faces on the cover. When you read the hero, you can look at the cover and say: Yes, he looks like he would say or do something like that.”

So, opinions, will I take them? Of course, and I will toss out what I can’t use and keep what I can.

Because everyone will always have one.

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