October is…what? a day and a half away and lovely uptown Phoenix is still enjoying triple-digit temps. That’s OK, though: it means the pool is still warm enough to swim in.
And still growing its favorite crop: algae. 😀
This is the time of year when I like to get out and do some gardening. Fall is Arizona’s springtime. But I’ve been too busy to mess with it, plus by the time my act is together in the morning, it’s too hot out here to accomplish much without risking a heat stroke. I did finally get around to extirpating the garden in front the one I tried to carve out of the desert landscaping. That came under the heading of “ridiculous mistake.” Or possibly you could file it under “forlorn hopes.” Nothing would grow there in spite of irrigation nozzles right on the plants. So it looks a little better out there.
I dragged off pots whose plants had died. I’d like to use them for some mâche and some red chard and another rosemary plant (the old one died of old age or hyperthermia over the summer). But again: too lazy, too preoccupied to function.
And in the preoccupation department: October is THE MONTH! Starting next week, we launch our new enterprise, Camptown Races Press, with a flourish. I’ve posted an announcement — rather too unprepossessing, IMHO — on the Press’s homepage and today must get the Ladies to chattering about it. Speaking of the whom, they’re up to 381 Twitter followers this morning.
My goal was 400 by the end of the weekend, but again…too preoccupied to fiddle with that.
I now have all but two of October’s eight completed books ready to snare ISBNs and post on Amazon. Most of the cover images are done.
We’re told that you should hire someone to do your cover images because, unless have an MFA in graphic design or some such, you’re such an amateur that your covers will look horrible.
I’m not so sure about that. Out there, you’ll hear quiet murmurs to the contrary: just yesterday I read a site where a micropublisher remarked that no credible research has been done to prove that assertion. And elsewhere, I’ve read that where p0rn is concerned, the cover is not what readers are after. One p0rn0grapher remarked that it scarcely matters what you put on the cover, and another observed that these things market themselves.
Heh. Well, we shall see.
I’ve learned that you can use PowerPoint to generate hi-res TIFFs and JPEGS, which work handsomely for Amazon’s purposes. There’s a trick to it: Save as .pptx; save as .pdf at 300 dps; convert to .tif; crop and size; save back down to .tif at 300 dps; convert to .jpg. The result is a high-resolution image in any size you please.
And you know, I’ve worked with print magazine production for a lot of years. True, I was on the editorial side, but we worked closely with the art department. As a result, I do know something about cover composition and cover lines. Let’s see if we can get WordPress to upload the latest draft effort… It still needs some work, especially with the fonts, but it’s getting there. You’ll have to click on the image to see its full glory:
Even at this stage, I don’t think it looks even half terrible. Does it layer images? No. But I have learned how to layer images and text in PowerPoint. And how to adjust levels of transparency (the lines around the font above are at about 52% transparency). It’s actually quite easy. As a matter of fact, yesterday I came up with this, by layering images:
Heeee! Have you ever seen anything so strange in your life? The male character — who’s a genie come to answer the female protagonist’s unspoken prayers — is described as having a tattoo of an Aladdin’s lamp on his spectacular bicep.
Lo! What should I find but the very lamp itself, and smokin’ (a lot like our guy…). With a little fiddling around, we have the author’s name seeming to smoke up out of the Aladdin’s lamp.
Yes. Your Wish Is Granted!
Speaking of the which, I must fly. In an hour I have a teleconference with a book marketing agent. Then a mountain more work to do (including perfecting the Cabin Fever cover). Then Quickbooks to…uhm, quicken.
Tomorrow: another SBA seminar: Social media shortcuts.
Wednesday: an interview with a potential new editing client who may also be interested in writing for us. One more writer will do the trick, if I can find someone who can churn this stuff out the way some of the present team can do. Job description: Sense of humor required. 😀
Thursday I’m meeting with a social media expert who’s already taught me a lot of stuff (if only I could figure out how to find time to do the things she recommends).
And so…up, up, and AWAY!