Showing posts from April, 2012

Cover alterations

It always amazes me how much font choice can affect a book cover. The font you use can communicate much more than just the title. It can imply tone and help to reinforce the theme. Of course, if people have difficulty reading your title, then no matter how lovely the font is, you must choose a different one. After looking back at my own font choice for my cover, I realized it was a touch on the difficult to read side. I could certainly read it, but I'm the one who created the title so that's not a very accurate gage.

So I picked a cleaner font, Harrington if you're interested, and made subtle changes to the background behind the text. The new font and the spacing also allowed me to bump the size up a few points. I think it's a marked improvement, but then again, I'm a little biased, so let me know what you think. Feedback on these kinds of things is very useful.

By the way, you may also have noticed that I changed my pen name again. I did this for a couple of reaso…

A thrilling book cover

As you can probably surmise from previous posts, I've been having quite a bit of fun creating book covers. The nice thing is, I've also been learning quite a bit in the process, such as, how to better use the tools available in my graphics program, what works best as far as layout is concerned, and where to find really great images.

Before I tell you about the cover I've posted here, I just wanted to say a word about the images I used. I purchased them from I do this for several reasons. First, I like having a large database of high-quality, searchable images to choose from (their search features are excellent by the way). Second, the price is right. For book covers, you don't really need anything better than their smallest images sizes, which as luck would have it, are also the cheapest. Third, their standard usage agreement specifically mentions that you are free to use images from their site on book covers. That's a pretty big deal because it…

Writing goals

If I'm ever going to get my novel finished, I'm going to have to set some goals. And the only way I'm likely to stick to a goal, is if I tell someone else about it. Since I know at least a couple of people read this blog from time to time, this is as good a place as any to state that goal. So here it is, I'm going to finish the first draft of my novel by the middle of June.

That means that I'll need to write approximately 1,000 words per day. Theoretically, that shouldn't be a problem, since I managed to write 1,700 words per day when I participated in NaNoWriMo. However, NaNoWriMo is an entirely different animal. For one, there are lots of other writers that are posting their progress, so it gives you some competitive incentive. Secondly, when you're writing for NaNoWriMo, you're really focusing on quantity over quality, because the whole idea is to get your creative juices flowing while ignoring that inner editor. For my novel, I want quality and qua…

A new cover

A new sample cover that I made for my work in progress, Beyond the Gates of Övrigmark. I made it in about an hour using three stock photos that I purchased from Bigstockphoto. The smallest, and cheapest as luck would have it, file sizes work best for book covers. The photos I used were $2.99 each, so my cover cost me just under $9.00. I used Pixelmator to put it all together, but you could just as easily do it in a free program like or Gimp.

Beyond the Gates of Övrigmark - A thirteen-year-old boy steps through a mysterious arch and into a magical world to find his sister.

By the way, Brann is my middle name. It just fits on the cover better than my last name :)

All the Beauty

Since this is supposed to be a blog about writing, I thought I'd post some actual writing for a change. Actually, I've been wanting to post this story for quite a while, but it was entered in the lesson six contest at F2K so I didn't want to 'publish' it anywhere else. It didn't win the final competition, but I'm happy with it nonetheless.

For lesson six of F2K we had to write a complete story with a beginning, middle and end incorporating everything we'd learned over the session. We also had to keep it under 1,500 words. That's always a challenge for me, but I find the limit actually forces me to choose my words carefully. Ultimately I think it results in a tighter story.

My story is actually a fictionalized account of a very real person, Pinchas Tibor Rosenbaum. If you can get your hands on this great documentary about him, and many other brave individuals from WWII, Unlikely Heroes, I would highly recommend it. I hope I did him justice in this v…

It's official

It's official, I'm a big geek. Actually, my geek status has probably been official for quite some time, but I just made it even more official. I bought a bluetooth keyboard that I paired with my iPod touch for writing on the go. I'm even writing this post with my new iPod/keyboard combination. I've been wanting to try this setup for awhile, but I was reluctant to spend $50 to $100 on a quality compact bluetooth keyboard. So I decided a trial run with a cheapo keyboard was the answer, and I have to say that I'm actually pretty impressed with the cheapo. Sure, it's no Apple wireless keyboard, but it looks kind of like one, and it only cost $17. I was a little leery of this particular brand when I read some of the reviews on Amazon, but now that I have it in my hands I think it's going to be perfect for stowing in my backpack. It's compact and weighs less than a pound and it syncs up nicely with the iPod. Now that I have this keyboard and my recently acqui…

Writing on the go

Story ideas and inspiration never wait for you to be conveniently poised in front of your computer ( or typewriter if you're real old school ). That's why I love nifty little utilities that allow me to jot down all of those golden nuggets no matter where I am. More specifically, that's why I love Write 2. In case you haven't been reading my blog ( shame on you ), I'll let you know that I just bought a new iPod touch. I bought it mainly for listening to music while at work, but another use occurred to me, mobile note-taker. Of course I still like to write in my Moleskine, but in all honesty, my notes are more likely to make it into my main word processor if they are already in digital format. That's where Write 2 comes in. Write 2 allows me to take notes in a user-friendly, and attractive I might add, environment. Then I can synch to my Dropbox account and upload my file. I can even pull down and edit files from Dropbox. If you're not a Dropbox fan, you ca…

Posting from my iPod Touch

This is a test post from my new iPod Touch using the Blogger app. I'm not sure that posting from an IPod is really going to be useful, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.

I'll go ahead and snap a photo to post as well, just so I can test out that functionality too.

And here it is...