What I Use for My Covers on Wattpad

What I Use for My Covers on Wattpad

*This is not a sponsored post*

First off, I’d like to share my Wattpad, something I recently decided to resurrect. I only ever had one story on there for a few years, until yesterday when I decided to put more short stories on there. “I Am the Bell Jar” and “Dead Poet’s Pendulum” were published at one point, but all rights are mine again, so I’m sharing them for free on Wattpad. To me, “Dead Poet’s Pendulum” reads a bit more amateurish, but I was 18 at the time of it being published. Despite that, I only did some proofreading before publishing on Wattpad because I want to preserve my voice as it was at the time.

I think I had “Sister Evelyn” published on a weebly website I used to have, but it’s part of my Stars universe, as well as another story that isn’t included in the covers above simply because that is a cover I purchased from a designer, not one I made myself.

I plan to add more Stars shorts and then may bundle them in an anthology on Wattpad.

Since I am considering myself absolutely broke for the time being, purchasing pre-made covers has not been feasible. There are people offering services on Wattpad, but most charge in some form or another, and, again, I’m not spending more than a dollar in these uncertain times.

So what is a writer to do? Well, I decided to turn to Canva, this brilliant, amazing website I have been using for my blog posts’ cover photos as of late. It is a database of thousands of photographs along with a myriad of elements and what not you can use to customize whatever it is you want to work on.

Doing book covers on here is the easiest thing imaginable. You don’t need any editing or photo shopping skills. All you need to do is go to ‘create a design’ in the upper left hand corner.

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Then you choose the option for a book cover, and it will bring up a template that is the perfect size. While I’m unwilling to spend several dollars on having others create book covers for me, I don’t mind spending just one single dollar for the perfect photograph to use as my book cover. And that’s what I do. I browse for a photograph I think will fit my short story, drag it into the template, purchase it, and start working on the text.

Creating book covers on your own really makes you realize that the text is what makes a cover truly bookish. Now I don’t know what the Pro option is like for Canva, so you can’t create brilliantly fancy text–multi-colored, for example–but there are plenty of options for the type of text you can choose from. If you look at my cover for ‘A Treacherous Flame’ on Wattpad, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I mean fancy text. You just can’t do that on Canva, probably not without upgrading to the Pro option. But like I said, I don’t know.

The other amazing thing about Canva is that it will let you know if your text or image is centered or not, or even if it’s extending beyond the borders. Basically, as you move the text or image around, it’ll bring up a grid that serves as a guide to tell you where it makes sense to place whatever it is you’re working on.

But that’s what I use and it’s what you can use if you’re strapped for cash. You can make some pretty amazing covers for self-publishing on Canva.

Late Manic Monday: Life Goals and A Treacherous Flame

Late Manic Monday: Life Goals and A Treacherous Flame

a treacherous flameA Treacherous Flame is now free on Amazon for five days! It is a precursor to When Stars Die. Once you get the story, you can also freely lend it to whomever you wish. I will eventually make it perma free. I just have to format it for Smashwords and have Amazon do a price match.

Here’s what it’s about:

Benjamin Fairchild, interrogator at Usiburn Tower, is in charge of extracting confessions from witches–and then killing them. His methods are brutal. From crushing thumbs to cutting out tongues, Benjamin is not afraid to use the most extreme methods to get what he wants.

On a crusade to eliminate every last witch he can, Benjamin is currently tasked with a young girl named Emily. She proves to be a most difficult case. Trying to convince Benjamin of her innocence is impossible when he is certain that witches are the biggest embodiment of sin. However, Emily will force Benjamin to discover a secret about himself that threatens to undo everything he has been taught.

***

So besides this, what else is going on in this hectic life of mine?

Well, I finally got certified in CPR/AED/First Aid, which means I’ve scheduled my personal trainer exam for next Friday at 1 PM. YIKES! Here I am wondering what more I need to study besides the math, which is easy, but I just need to memorize the formulas. I’m both nervous and excited because I’m finally certain of what I want to do as a career, and even though I hear it’s really tough, I hope to find both happiness and contentment in this career. To be honest, I’d love to be as big as Kayla Itsines. But that’s a long-term goal. Right now, I’m just going to focus on short-term goals: passing the exam, getting a specialty certification, getting my BA in English, then finding a job as a trainer.

I’m also developing my fitness platform, primarily through blogging and Instagram. I started a Twitter account, but I feel like I need to be more popular to really have Twitter work for me. It’s easier to get followers on Instagram because pretty pics really attract people, so I’ll depend on my blog and Instagram for now. It’s kind of crazy trying to juggle both a fitness and author platform, which is why a Manic Monday post is late in the first place.

What about my goals as an author?

Well, with the re-release of When Stars Die being next Saturday, I plan to submit my second book some time in December after I go over it once more. And I can’t say I’ll be able to start the third book soon. Maybe I can, but there’s no promise. Right now I have to focus on getting certified and then getting my BA, which will hopefully be next March if I can get into two classes instead of one like I’ve been forced to do lately.

Like striving to be like Kayla Itsines, my long-term goals are to eventually be a bestseller, or even just make enough that it’d be a GREAT supplementary income. Even if I made loads of money from writing, I wouldn’t let go of my job as a trainer.

From here on out, it’s all about HARD work.

Cover Reveal Sign-Up!

Cover Reveal Sign-Up!

fireandfeathersNext Wednesday I’m going to be revealing the full cover for my short story titled “A Treacherous Flame.” It’s going to take place in The Stars Trilogy universe and will be told from the viewpoint of a boy named Benjamin Fairchild. I don’t yet have a formal summary for it, but I can tell you he is an interrogator at a placed called Usiburn Tower. He is in charge of extracting confessions from witches–then killing them afterward. What’s unique about him is that he isn’t afraid to use torture to get what he wants. So, like When Stars Die, it’ll be a brutal, gritty dark fantasy. It’s going to be available for free on Amazon on October 31st!

By helping me out with this cover reveal, you will be eligible to win a first-edition copy of When Stars Die, back when it was with AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. I tried to create an official sign-up form to help me out, but since my job has taken up too much of my time and I just feel so burnt out anymore, you can either leave your email in the comments or email me at thedancingwriter@gmail.com if you’d like to help out! You’ll then be entered into the drawing.

For those on Tumblr who happen to see this, you can just message me your email.

 ***News***

  • When Stars Die now has a release date. It’ll be November 21st of this year! You can add it on Goodreads here.
My Book Re-release Fears

My Book Re-release Fears

I don’t yet have a release date for When Stars Die, but that doesn’t keep me from being nervous about its re-release. I’m both excited and terrified, excited because my trilogy is getting another chance, and terrified because I’m worried about how successful it’s going to be the second time through. Here are some of my top fears:

  1. Sales. How are the sales going to be for my book? Are they going to be worse? Better? I want this book to be so much more successful than its initial release.
  2. Reception. Is the book going to be well-received? There are going to be new readers who will jump on board, and I’m nervous about whether or not it’s still going to receive good reviews and ratings. I know it’s such a shallow thing to concern myself with, but how the first book does will determine the course of the rest of my trilogy.
  3. Platform. Is my platform better built to help engage new readers? I know it could be better. I know I should be regularly blogging at least three times a week on WordPress and at least once on Tumblr–even though I have been uploading picture teasers on Tumblr almost daily. You always feel like you could do better, of course.
  4. Spikes. Will my book have any moments when there is going to be a sudden spike in sales? WSD unfortunately did not have that opportunity with my last publisher, but I’m hoping with my new one, it’ll see spikes in sales throughout the year. Some months your book does bad, and other months it picks up. Seeing a dramatic spike in sales from time to time is encouraging.
  5. Events. My publisher actually attends events and brings its books along. Will my book do well at events? Will it attract new readers? How’s the traffic going to be for each one? If I’ve learned anything from my job as a marketer, it takes really good foot traffic to get even one sale. And bravery.
  6. Excitement. Am I going to be able to drum up more excitement this time around? It may seem like I’m just after the sales, but I want the sales because I want people to read my book, to be able to enjoy it, to be able to take something from it. We authors don’t write for the money. We can’t. We do it for the love of the craft and the warmth we feel when a reader has enjoyed our work, wants to interact with us, and wants to become a fan. I truly want my book to change readers’ lives in some way.

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***NEWS***

  • I’m writing a short story called “The Treacherous Flame” that I plan to publish on Amazon and hopefully Smashwords. It’s going to take place in the Stars universe so that way you can get a general idea of what to expect for The Stars Trilogy.
  • I plan to blog three times a week: one post talking about my writing life, chatting about my favorite books, and a critique of anything I find in the world of writing. I can’t set any days, as I have to blog around my work and ballet schedules.

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Stolentime, a Dark Fantasy Young Adult Novel

Stolentime, a Dark Fantasy Young Adult Novel

This is the title of the novel I will be getting back to next week. I’ve finally started revisions for Stolentime and have chapter one done! I’m hoping to get to chapter two today and the plan is to revise a chapter a day, possibly two, if I can manage. But I’m excited because, as I’ve said thousands of times before, I strongly prefer revisions over drafting any day. So here is a tiny snippet from the beginning of chapter one just to give you guys a taste of the atmosphere for this book:

Some nights I imagine a shadowy man standing by my bed with a knife drawn. This man, a faceless thing, will creep around me as I stare at him. In my mind, I tell him to kill me. Do it. Tear me apart. But he never does. He slips away into the shadows and disappears.

But tonight, my fractured mind makes him real.

 

There you go, just a little bit of what I’m working on!

So do you guys prefer drafting or revising? And why?