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New Book Cover, and WHY?

I’ll be the first to admit that, when it comes to artistic design, I am not the most creative person in the world.  In fact, I’m not even close.  I’ve tried drawing, painting, even coloring in those fancy adult coloring books they have now days.  When it comes to envisioning something really beautiful and visually inspiring, my talents and skills fall significantly short.  What I see in my  head does not translate well.

When I was close to finishing writing my book not too long ago (like a few weeks ago), it occurred to me that if I wanted to self-publish as I had planned, then I would be required to come up with some kind of visually appealing book cover.  Instead of panicking and giving up, I did what any technologically savvy girl would do in 2016.  I took to Google.

Search term: book cover creation software

Those search results led me to Canva.  In theory, this was exactly what I needed!  I had a vision for what I wanted on my book cover, but since I’m not a photographer and don’t know any Kate Beckinsale or Matt Bomer look-alikes that I could hit up for a photo shoot, I scrolled through hundreds and hundreds of stock  photos that I could use instead.

The process was frustrating, to say the least.  Finally, I gave up on my initial vision, and I ended up with my initial book cover.  Don’t get me wrong… it’s not terrible, and I’ve seen much worse in print.

First Impressions Front Cover

But it just wasn’t right.  This feeling kept nagging at me, and nagging at me, until I decided that I would try again.  I want something that better catches the story of my book and doesn’t look like a self-help book instead.  Not to mention, the coloring on the print copy was entirely too dark, so it looked completely wrong in print anyway.

So I took to Google once again.  This time, my approach was a little different.  I wanted to do my research this time, and I even considered paying someone to do the cover for me.  That made the most sense, after all.  I don’t have the artistic talent, but I can find someone who does.

Search term: book covers for sale

Turns out there are quite a few websites dedicated to individual artists who list their artistic work for purchase.  And I must say, there are some really talented people out there.  But what ended up happening was, nothing I found was exactly right.  I wanted to keep in mind something that I could use that I could create a similar cover to later for a 2nd book I’m writing , that would be visually consistent with the first.  (Yep, that’s right!  Dylan’s side of the story will be available soon!)

The good thing about scrolling through thousands of pre-made book covers is, I was able to get an idea of how I could do one for myself that was more in line with what I really wanted in the first place.  Here is what I was able to come up with.

First Impressions - Kindle Cover

This, I feel, looks more like a romance novella than what I initially came up with.  The blue eyed brunette represents my main character, Marzia (Zia) Benagli.  In my book, I describe her as having light blue eyes, and these are dark blue, but perfection is hard to achieve in all things, and I’m okay with that.

So at any rate, please tell me what you think about the new cover versus the old one.  No worries for anyone who’s read the book already… the story inside remains the same. 😉

Enter for a chance to win a FREE e-book copy here:  https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/778bf30e9f6deb90/?ref_=tsm_4_tw_h_dashboard#ln-dei 

Enter for a chance to win a FREE paperback copy here:  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/185964-first-impressions-a-novella 

Kindle Unlimited subsribers can read it free HERE.

Comments I’ve received on the book so far:

LOVED IT. Hope you’re continuing to write and allow me to read 🙂 – Bianca M., Littlefield, TX

 

I’m halfway through and loving it. – Sarah J., Springtown, TX

 

I just finished reading ur short story and I loved it!  I enjoyed the steamy parts! 😉 – Danielle P., Fontana, CA

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First Impressions: A Novella

I am excited to announce that my new book, First Impressions: A Novella, is complete and available for order on Amazon!

Click for the E-Book (Kindle Edition) $2.99

Click for the Print Edition $6.99

Marzia Benagli is a psychology student at the University who enjoys people – watching. One night while out for drinks with her roommate Clara, a table of guys catches her interest. First Impressions Front CoverGirls flocked to this table as if paying homage to some kind of celebrity, and the most attractive of the three guys appeared to be the pack leader. When the same guy, Dylan Porter, happens to run into Zia on campus the following week, Clara fills Zia in on Dylan’s popularity as a star player of the university soccer team.

When Dylan catches up with Zia that evening while she studied at a nearby coffee shop, he admitted to Zia that, while he could admittedly get any girl he wanted, all the girls he’s dated have been the same. Zia and Dylan strike up a deal; Zia will use her psychology background and intuitive skills to teach Dylan how to find the right girl. They go out to various venues where Zia teaches Dylan what to look for and what to stay away from when looking for a girl. Before all is said and done, will this arrangement work out or end in disaster? What will Zia learn about first impressions along the way?

Please let me know what you think!  I would value any and all feedback, as this is my first shot at fiction writing.  It is completely self-published, so I did the writing, editing, and cover designing all on my own.  (Also, if you see a typo, please let me know.)

Specs:

  • 102 pages
  • About 25,000 Words
  • Categories: Romance; New Adult and College; Contemporary Fiction
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Sneak Peak: Chapter 1

I’m getting closer to finishing my first book, and it looks like, at the moment, I am right on schedule with my self-imposed deadline of 2/29/16 to have it finished by.  It was looking questionable with some unexpected things happening this month that really set me back; however, since I had the day off today for President’s Day, I have been able to sit down and dedicate some time to finishing up some of the loose ends I had in my story, and may even have a title!

I thought I would share the first chapter of my book to see what kind of feedback and/or interest I might get from anyone willing to check it out.

You can read it here: Chapter 1

You might like this book if you like:

  • Romance books/novellas
  • Young Adult fiction
  • Psychological fiction
  • Books about college-aged characters
  • Realistic fiction (sorry, no fantasy/sci-fi in this one)

 

I would genuinely be interested in hearing feedback and opinions about this first chapter, so please leave me a comment about any of your thoughts or questions!

 

 

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Working Title (In Progress)

In February 2014, I got an idea for a fiction book and began writing the first few chapters.  I had a plot line, main characters, supporting characters, and a bunch of notes for specific things I had in mind for directions I wanted the story to go.

Nearly two years later, on a week-long vacation from work between Christmas and New Year’s, I remembered that story I had started a couple of years ago and found the file on my laptop.  I read what I had already written and picked up where I had left off.  Next thing I knew, I went from about two and a half chapters to 10 (and counting)!

The Story:

“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” -origin unknown

Marzia “Zia” Benagli is a psychology student at a university who shares an apartment with her BFF, Clara.  One night out with Clara, Zia had stepped away while Clara chatted up a hot new guy and was people-watching when she happened to notice Dylan Porter, obviously a typical playboy with girls lining up to talk to him.  The following Monday at school, Zia happened upon a lost History book just in time for its owner, none other than Dylan Porter, to find where he had left it.  That night while studying at a coffee shop, Dylan came in and invited himself to sit with Zia to study and talk.  Dylan revealed that while he could admittedly get any girl he wanted, they all seemed to be the same.  He was ready for something different.  Zia and Dylan struck up a deal.  Zia would use her psychology background to help Dylan find “Ms. Right” instead of “Ms. Right Now.”  She would get the practice on human behavior, and he would get a more fulfilling dating life.  It’s win/win, right?

Zia and Dylan would go out to various venues around the city while Zia teaches Dylan what to look for in a girl and why.  Of course, this would take getting to know him better to do this right.  Will Zia be successful at helping Dylan find the right girl, or will things end in disaster for everyone?

 

Now What?

My book is still a work in progress (I don’t even have a title yet!), but my goal is to have it finished by the end of February 2016.  I am currently at just over 19,000 words and I still have at least 2 more chapters to complete before I begin making the final edits.  Lengthwise, this places it in the “Novella” category.

I plan to self-publish this book, so I will be looking for people to read it for free in exchange for honest reviews.  Please let me know if you are interested in helping me out by doing this!