With the loss of my best friend, Bonnie Myrick Eaton, to COVID in January 2021, I was left on my own to make a cover for the last book in the Pierce Family Saga series. Bonnie had warned me many times that she wouldn’t be around forever, and I needed to learn to make book covers, but even if I had listened, images are not at the top of my skill set. With no cover skills, I was dragging my feet on finishing Hiram’s Girls.
I knew what I wanted the cover to look like, so I turned to Dave Leiker of Dave Leiker Photography for the photo. He enlisted the help of Greg Jordan, Executive Director of the Lyon County History Center and Lisa Soller, Deputy Director who opened the Howe house and arranged the lamp in the window. Many thanks to them for the wonderful cover photo.
So now I had a great photo, but how was I going to transform it into an eBook cover? With my limited Photoshop skills, I gave it a try. Here is my attempt:
Still not satisfied, I sent my file to friend and publisher, Tracy Million Simmons of Meadowlark Press. Lucky for me, she couldn’t resist playing with the file and making it better instead of just giving advice.
With an eBook cover completed, I turned my attention to the paperback. Tracy had offered her help, but I didn’t want to put too much on her, so I went to another friend, Gordon Kessler, who has created many covers for various authors over the years. We used to be in a critique group together and members of both Kansas Writers Association and Kansas Authors Club. He was kind enough to take the original photo and Tracy’s eBook image and create the paperback cover.
So a big thank you to everyone who contributed to the book cover for Hiram’s Girls. The book is currently on preorder on Amazon and will go live on September 4. If you liked the previous books in the series, I hope you will enjoy this one, as well.
I was so excited when I arranged a book launch party for Hiram’s Boy, the third book in the Pierce Family Saga series. I made sure to order copies in time for the December 6, 2017, launch date. Hiram’s Boy is my seventh novel but the first to launch in a brick and mortar bookstore. The promised arrival time for the copies was December 4. When December 1 arrived and I still had no word that the books had been shipped, I contacted the printer. Due to a flood of orders, printing had been contracted out. It seemed there was a glitch with my shipment. I should have the books by December 6, the day of the launch. That didn’t happen. What to do?
A Book Launch without Books
Marcia Lawrence, the owner of Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore, advised me to continue with the party, so that’s what I did. I used my proof copy of the book for readings, and Marcia took orders. The party was come-and-go, and many friends and fans of the series showed up to help me celebrate the launch of Hiram’s Boy. As I begin book 4 in the series, I have made a resolution: I will not order books after Halloween for anything happening before Christmas.
Now that For Want of a Fatheris published as an e-book and I am waiting for the proof copy of the paperback to arrive, I have some downtime to start the third book in the series, Hiram’s Boy. I am testing out Bublish, a platform for getting the word out about my books. On this site, I am able to put rough cuts of my novel-in-progress online along with my comments about the process of writing the book. Please check out my profile page and tell me what you think.
I’ve been spending the morning preparing for tomorrow’s Emporia Farmers Market. This is my first time as a vendor, and I’m trying to make sure I have everything. This first thing was to decide on the books to take and how to display them, so I tried out an arrangement at home. One possibility is pictured above. Cordelia’s Journey is in the middle.
I like the order the books are in on the table, but I think I’ll move them back a few inches and put a little more space between books to make room for the business cards in one space and maybe a dish of peppermints in the second space.
In addition to choosing the books, I’ve priced them and packed them in the car. I also updated my business cards. When the cards were printed, I didn’t have this blog, so I used address labels to put new blog and contact information on the back. I got change from the bank yesterday. All that’s left is working on my autograph. Any book signing suggestions?
I almost forgot to tell you: The Emporia Farmers Market is Saturday, December 5 from 10 a.m. to noon at 727 Commercial in Emporia, Kansas. There are two additional market dates this month: December 10 from 8 p.m. to midnight and December 19 from 8 a.m. to noon. As you can see on the webpage, several authors are participating.
Can you think of anything I’ve forgotten? Leave a comment and let me know.