Back when I released The Crystal Needle I had never heard of self publishing like this and it was a stumbling mess. The first cover was junk, the formatting wasn't done correct in any sense of the word, and the publicity was nil. I struggled through 5 different covers over time before settling on the one I have now. I learned a lot of formatting tips and had a friend help out so that it looked better. I condensed and refocused the back cover text from a long mess to something much more simple. And I learned how to tell people about it. By the time I was finally satisfied with it, it had already been out for 2 years.
Taking all that knowledge and lumping it together I was able to look at this book with a much more experienced eye. I knew how to format, I hate doing it but it actually looks good. I worked for over a year on making the cover so that it was something that I hope catches eyes. And, most importantly, I have talked it up and really tried my best to get the word out there. Without money to make this happen, getting the word out is almost impossible. But, "almost" just means a lot more work and reliance on friends to help out. And boy did you guys help. I have a lot of people sharing for me on different sites. I have bloggers doing interviews and posting about the book. A Thunderclap campaign that worked out pretty well and succeeded in getting done with extra help to spare. I even have a friend who is helping me set up and run the online release party tomorrow night. I feel so blessed right now I want to burst. I truly thank you all.
Now for some fun stuff. My cover for Legacy of the Dragonwand has gone through some changes. My biggest critic, mom, told me that my cover was lacking. That it needed to be cleaned up and made to look a little better. She really didn't know how, but that it just felt wrong. Mostly it looked like I attacked it with Crayons, which is what I think of my coloring by hand. So I went to work....okay first I moped about being criticized THEN I went to work. I discovered a computer program that let me work on the color one tiny click at a time to make it smooth out and appear like a painting. I won't go into the details, but I will show you the before and after.
To the left is the before, to the right is the after. You will note that I was able to give it a more painted finish. But, I didn't stop there, with the help of this program I was able to do a few repairs to parts of the image that I felt didn't turn out so well. (I really wasn't too fond of the way I drew the face of Markus, the boy in the middle. So I fixed that.)
I have had a few who liked the before better than the after. But, they are in the minority. I like the after and so does mom...along with a lot of other people. I hope you like it as well.
Now, I go to bed tonight and when I wake in the morning, Legacy of the Dragonwand will end its 2 year journey from inception to publication. Part 1 hits the shelves...well virtual shelves, and you can get yours to read. Tell you friends, tell your enemies, just tell everyone.
If you want to come to the release event, you are more than welcome. We are giving away a lot of fun prizes and having fun. Just follow this link: DRAGONWAND RELEASE EVENT