Browsing Category

Books

Adventures in Indie #4: PreMade Covers

One way in which a writer can cut costs is to purchase a premade cover. These are bountiful on the internet–all you have to do is type ‘premade book cover’ into your search engine, and you’ll find dozens of sites offering these.

I had been in the habit of perusing these for some time, basically because I like to use the covers as references for what I DO like. If a designer asks me what I’m looking for, I can use those as examples, making it easier for the designer to know what I expect.

I’m sure you’ll hear this…that a large percentage of those online covers are terrible. I do think that’s true. But sometimes when you’re looking at the  dross, you’ll find a sparkly in there, too.

So here’s a few hints that might help:

  1. If you’re looking at a site that aggregates covers from many different artists and you find one you like, look to see whether you can search that artist’s covers separately. It makes sense that if you like one of their covers, you’ll like others.
  2. Remember that you cannot fine-tune these covers. That’s why they’re sold as premade and at a lower cost. So don’t purchase one thinking that you’ll get to change hair color or have the artist change the clothing.
  3. Look for a statement that says they won’t re-sell the cover to someone else. While there’s a good chance that you’ll see the basic cover IMAGE elsewhere, design should be unique.
  4. If you want to know whether a certain image has already appeared on book covers, try plugging the image into an image search engine, like TinEye. Simply right click on the image, copy the image address, and paste it in the search function. When I was looking at covers for Iron Shoes, I did this and found that some images of women with horses have appeared on a gazillion books already. (This won’t work if they’ve altered the image for the cover.)

And here’s what I did:

I published 2 books with premade covers this year (but purchased 3 covers).

I hadn’t planned on publishing this one. But in those random searches, I ran across a cover that caught my eye, and I thought, “Hey, that cover would go well with Whatever Else.”

The main thing I wanted was mood. The cover itself is a bit generic, doesn’t have any quotes from other authors, no tag line. It’s very basic, but it’s good enough.

“Whatever Else” is actually a short story, so I knew I would never price it higher than 99 cents. I couldn’t spend a lot of money on a cover for it.  But this one cost me $40…and that meant 120 sales at 33 cents (royalty) each. I figured that over its lifetime, the short story could sell that many copies….

I bought the cover. I purchased it from the online site, BookCoverDesigner.com, and within a day the cover artist got back to me and made the changes to reflect the proper title and author name. In a case like this, there’s no room for big changes, so don’t expect them. If you want something more or something different, you’ll have to go with a custom design.

______________________________________________________________________

I also purchased this cover from SelfPubBookCovers.com. This one cost twice as much as the one above ($80), but SPBC gives me a few more options.

Because I do the changes myself.

However, because I’m the one who puts in the title and author name, plus tagline, I can fiddle with it pretty endlessly. So this cover will be on my dashboard there forever.

If I decide to change the story’s name, I can. (Which I did, by the way…so it was a good thing that I opted for this rather than the maker above.) I can change the fonts and placement of the words. I can change their color and size.

For the most part, I’ve decided not to do so. I don’t trust that my eye for design is any better than this designer’s (FrinaArt), so I stuck with her decisions.

But here’s where it gets weird…

I also bought this cover. 

No, I don’t have a book to go with it. I have an idea, just one that I haven’t written yet.

But I watched this cover on SPBC for months before deciding the pull the trigger and purchase it. They won’t sell a cover twice, so if someone else bought it first, I would lose it.

And it goes too well with the one above to not take the chance.

Oddly enough, this is NOT by the same designer.

I’m considering this the companion novella to go with Sparrow, but instead of summer 1815 in St. Petersburg, I think this one will be winter 1815 outside Moscow. And the woman on the cover? I’m pretty sure that’s Natalya Vladimirova, one of a long line of powerful healers and protector of a dragon named Long who has slumbered for centuries…

I think it’s worth it, and having purchase this will give me extra impetus to get the story done!

So…..

All in all, I’m happy with the premade covers I’ve purchased and the balance of cost to use.

NEXT WEEK: Canva

 

Oathbreaker Paperback Now Available

Oathbreaker has now come out in paperback, and should be available via other stores (like B&N shortly.) I will be having a Goodreads giveaway as well, starting on the 24th and running through the end of the month (there will be more details in my newsletter on the 30th.)

 

Oathbreaker Now Available!

Oathbreaker, the newest novel in my Dreaming Death world, is now available as an ebook in all formats.

THE HORN: OATHBREAKER (BOOK 1)

Read the First Chapter here!

JCheney_Horn1_ebook2

Available at: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Apple /

 

From the world of Dreaming Death, we follow Amal, Lady Horn as she and her guards try to preserve one of the great secrets of Larossa: an abandoned Fortress. The Cince Empire want its secrets, and will do anything to get someone inside. The Oathbreakers–those members of each of the Six Families who speak to their Fortresses–all suspect that the Fortress is still alive.

Amal, the chief of the Oathbreakers, is one of only a handful of people aware of the true dangers the abandoned Fortress of Salonen presents. Now they must decide whether to wake the sleeping Fortress so it can defend itself against the Cince…or kill it forever.

Dalyan doesn’t know why he was sent to find the abandoned Fortress, what makes it worth the time his masters invested in training him. When the Horn arrest him for trespassing on the glacier beneath it, he goes with them willingly enough. After all, he didn’t return to his masters on schedule, and now they’re trying to kill him.

But more than that, he feels drawn to the abandoned Fortress, as if he belongs there…

vecror-page-decor-and-text-deviders_08[1]

The Horn: Oathbreaker

A new series from the world of Dreaming Death

The Horn: Oathbreaker (Book 1)

Read the First Chapter here!

JCheney_Horn1_ebook2

Available at: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Apple /

(Paperback here) 

From the world of Dreaming Death, we follow Amal, Lady Horn as she and her guards try to preserve one of the great secrets of Larossa: an abandoned Fortress. The Cince Empire want its secrets, and will do anything to get someone inside. The Oathbreakers–those members of each of the Six Families who speak to their Fortresses–all suspect that the Fortress is still alive.

Amal, the chief of the Oathbreakers, is one of only a handful of people aware of the true dangers the abandoned Fortress of Salonen presents. Now they must decide whether to wake the sleeping Fortress so it can defend itself against the Cince…or kill it forever.

Dalyan doesn’t know why he was sent to find the abandoned Fortress, what makes it worth the time his masters invested in training him. When the Horn arrest him for trespassing on the glacier beneath it, he goes with them willingly enough. After all, he didn’t return to his masters on schedule, and now they’re trying to kill him.

But more than that, he feels drawn to the abandoned Fortress, as if he belongs there…

vecror-page-decor-and-text-deviders_08[1]
JCheney_Original_ebookcoming in 2017:

Original

Now that Dalyan knows who he was intended to be, he has to decide if that’s who he wants to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vecror-page-decor-and-text-deviders_08[1]

 

JCheney_Overseer_ebook

Overseer

A new player has arrived at the Horn Keep, and it’s up to Amal to decide whether he’s the key to keeping her people safe, or the threat that they’ve feared the most.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vecror-page-decor-and-text-deviders_08[1]

The Sparrow in Hiding

Coming in October ’16     Now available for preorder!

The Sparrow in Hiding

Irina’s family has come to the countryside to escape the summer heat of St. Petersburg, but she discovers a new worker has been hired to maintain her family’s aviary, a one-armed man who poses an intriguing mystery.

Evgeny is hiding from a witch…and his father, who’s controlled by her. With the help of his younger sister, he’d survived the witch’s curse, but in the aftermath, he was left with only one arm, eyes that appear inhuman, and an ability to see the truth in others’ souls.

Will he ever be safe from the witch again?

 

Read an excerpt here.

vecror-page-decor-and-text-deviders_08[1]

 

Whatever Else

Illusionists3 (resized) (2)Available on

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Apple / Scribd

 

\Maia is a young woman with only a small gift: the ability to watch others from afar. To cement a treaty between two clans, she married Arras, a young man she’s known most of her life. But when her brother comes to visit, he reveals a shameful secret that leaves Maia questioning everything she believes about her husband.

Now she must use her small gift to determine the truth of her brother’s claim…and decide whether to stay at her husband’s side or flee him.

SHORT STORY

 

Read an excerpt here.

Add on Goodreads

 vecror-page-decor-and-text-deviders_08[1]

After the War

AfterTheWar_JKCheney (1)

Available at: AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBoundKoboAppleScribd

The final installment (chronologically) in the Golden City series,  we catch up with the Ferreira family in 1920.

 After the Great War, Alejandro Ferreira wandered across Europe, unable even to remember his name, until one night in Lisboa, a young woman recognizes him. She brings him home to his family–one he can’t recall, but very much wants to keep.

His seer’s gift has been as much of a trial as a blessing. It didn’t keep him out of trouble during the Great War, either–someone cursed him to lose his memory. Someone else is after him, wanting him to keep a secret he doesn’t even remember he has. And he quickly learns that all is not well between himself and his lovely wife. Without his memories or his seer’s gift, can Alejandro rebuild his life and unveil his stalker before they eliminate him?

Read an excerpt here.

Add on Goodreads.

Dreaming Death

DD illoAvailable at: AmazonBarnes & Noble Powell’sTarget, or Walmart

In the Novels of the Golden City, J. Kathleen Cheney created a “mesmerizing”* realm where magic, history, and intrigue combine. Now, she presents a new world ruled by psychic talents and deadly magics…

Shironne Anjir’s status as a sensitive is both a gift and a curse. Though she can sense the emotions of others, her talents come with a price: physical blindness and the constant assault of others’ emotions.

A member of the royal family’s guard, Mikael Lee is able to control his feelings while awake. But in sleep, he inserts himself into others’ dreams of death unbidden and broadcasts them to every sensitive in the palace.

In a perfect world, Shironne and Mikael would maintain their distance… But when a killer brings a reign of terror to the city, using blood magic to appease a foreign god, only Shironne can decipher Mikael’s deadly dreams. And what they find will lead them into a nightmare…

icondd

Read an excerpt from the novel here.

Add on Goodreads

Praise for Dreaming Death

“Cheney is very good at sensory detail, especially blind Shironne’s perceptions as she begins exploring Mikael’s world.”—Publishers Weekly

“Dreaming Death is a book of mystery, magic, and overwhelming potential which promises more good things to come from J. Kathleen Cheney.”—The Speculative Herald

“This imaginative new fantasy world is based on a tasty mixture of psychic talents and deadly magic.”—Kirkus, February’s Speculative Fiction You Can’t Miss

icondd

 

Free Stories:

Read the first published story about Shironne Anjir free here.

Read a second story about Shironne free here.

Read an early story abut Mikael Lee here.

Extra Tidbits:

Read an excerpt from the very first story from the Larossan world (chronologically)

Some information about the Families and the Houses, and a terrible hand drawn map. 

The Horn

icondd

The Seer’s Choice

sccarouselAvailable at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Scribd,  and more…

Genoveva Jardim’s father was a monster—a defrocked priest who used his healer’s gift to murder instead. Determined to make amends for the deaths her father brought to the Golden City, she turned her back on her life among the aristocracy. She’s chosen to work for the Special Police, learning how to use the healer’s gift she’d never even known she had. She wants to save lives instead of killing like her father.

Rafael Pinheiro has kept an eye on Miss Jardim for some time now. The very first time he met her, his seer’s gift told him he would someday marry her. What he can’t figure out is why he would choose her. She’s young and an aristocrat—hardly a match for a mere police captain raised in an orphanage. They don’t seem to have anything in common.

But when Miss Jardim’s life is threatened, everything changes…

Read an excerpt here.

Add on Goodreads

Praise for The Seer’s Choice

“Poignant. Heartfelt. Beautiful. Thrilling. This is how I describe The Seer’s Choice.” —Literature Literati Lovers

“It’s a delight.”–Abyss & Apex

vecror-page-decor-and-text-deviders_08[1]

 

The Shores of Spain

TSOS300Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, and Powell’s

Even as the branches of peace are being offered, there are some who still believe those who are not human should be used as chattel. And they are willing to go to great lengths to retain their power.

Newlywed siren Oriana Paredes has been appointed Ambassador to her home islands now that communication between Northern Portugual and the magical races has been restored. But convincing her people that the new Portuguese Prince’s intentions are honorable after years of persecution is difficult. And her husband, Duilio, faces his own obstacles among the sirens where males are a rare and valuable commodity with few rights.

In addition to their diplomatic mission, the two hope to uncover the truth behind Oriana’s mother’s death. Evidence suggests that Spain—a country that has been known to enslave magical beings—may have infiltrated the siren authority. Unable to leave their post, Oriana and Duilio must call on Inspector Joaquim Tavares to root out the truth.

But even his seer’s gift cannot prepare him for what he will discover.

Read an excerpt here:

Add to your Goodreads. 

Praise for The Shores of Spain

“All in all, this is perfect for fans of the magical, the mysterious and, of course, the adventurous.”—Romantic Times

“Mesmerizing.”—Publishers Weekly

vecror-page-decor-and-text-deviders_08[1]