A Little Wish Come True

Don’t you just love it when you get something you want in the way you want it?

A few weeks ago I was thinking I’d sure like a free Photoshop course. I like making my own book covers and little blurby advertisement things. I’ve been using GIMP for a few years. It’s a free program similar to photoshop, but a little bit clunky. But I can do a few things a lot more quickly than I used to, once I figured out a few basics. I made my book covers with GIMP, for what they’re worth.

Anyhoo, I’ve been getting email from Skillshare, an online company that offers classes in various media and creativity topics like typography and developing your brand and photojournalism. Last week they announced a free 5 class Photoshop course that runs until the end of March.

Sign me up!

I love free because no job.

I downloaded the free (again) 30 day trial of Photoshop.

After each class there’s a project to complete (if you want) to used the skill you learned. Here’s the first thing I did that I didn’t really like.

circle cones

Circle Cones

A bowl of sherbet inspired me to this, which I like a lot:

ice cream2

Chocolate Vanilla Strawberry

I submitted that for the project. The one below I just kept the little girl theme going for fun.

Blue House

Blue House

I’ve always been pretty good with a pencil and like to draw. Photoshop, if you haven’t used it, is based on layers, with almost every part of the image being on a new layer. The girl’s face is actually an oval with a rounded rectangle on top of it, all skillfully layered under the window sill and the bottom part of the house. The curtains are two large ovals and two large triangles layered under the blue on either side of the window. I trust thinking in this new way is good for my brain.

So, in between job applications and working on book three, I’ve been messing around with Photoshop and learning some new skills.

A little wish come true.

What’s a little wish that came true for you recently?




To Free or Not To Free…and Bookcover Update

Sorry, just had to grab that title. I’m debating whether to give my book away for a day or two. There are pros and cons.

Pros: More downloads. Who doesn’t like free? More readers, more reviews, maybe. More exposure leading to more sales. Do people who download free books write reviews? I do because as an indie author I know that’s what is needed to sell books. I suspect most people don’t. Free boosts your ranking on Amazon’s things temporarily and sales get better for a few days. You can try out new genres and authors with no dollar commitment. Libraries are good for that, too, although mostly limited to traditionally published authors.

Cons: I worked hard on my book! For literally years. I want people to read it, sure, but I also want to make a little money. Some people have thousands of free books on their ereaders. And dozens, if not hundreds more free books become available every day. I have downloaded a few of varying degrees of skill and genres. If people get used to free books, will they ever buy one from an unknown writer? Are indie authors jeopardizing our futures by giving things away now? I know some authors who have given away tens of thousands of books and sold a few hundred. Granted, much more than I’ve sold…

I guess time will tell on that one. Indie publishing and marketing is still relatively new and most readers still rely on paper books so the dust has yet to settle. There are at least three pages on Facebook that post free Kindle books. I think they somehow make a little money with their sites.

Right now, I’m thinking when I get my next book out there–probably Whatever Doesn’t Kill You–I’ll do the free thing. Then, if someone likes it, I’ll have another book they can buy that will have a sequel in a few months. I’m not very business-gifted. I don’t know how to play in that sandbox.

But, in the meantime, I finalized the cover for Another Place on the Planet. I went with the pink, but rearranged and added a flower and used the cubism effect. I really like it. Using GIMP, it has 10 layers, if you know what that means. I’ve improved my skills on that program all by myself, using the little  couple people showed me. I’ll utilize the same model for the other two books, using different lily varieties and colors.

So, that’s the latest mental wanderings of this indie author. Have a great weekend!