That all-important cover

posted in: On writing | 0

One of the nice things about being an Indie author is that you can make changes to your book almost at will. I’ve been known to make a few tweaks to my published books – an improvement here, a bug-fix there.

But being able to change the cover is marvellous. I’ve used cover designers in the past and been very happy with what they produced. They’re not cheap, though. I find it hard to justify the expense, given the number of sales I make. Since I know my way around Photoshop I’ve gone down the DIY route and make my own. So, when I decided to bundle a few of my short stories into an anthology, I made my own cover.

I rather liked it. The concept is of a reader surrounded by fragments of story. Until a friend who is an avid reader bought the book. She did that because she knows me – but she said the cover would not have attracted her to make the purchase. Which gave me food for thought. After all, the whole purpose of the cover is to attract readers.

She said she would have expected something a bit more science fiction. I asked Bob (ChatGPT) what he would recommend for a cover to a science fiction anthology. And he gave me some ideas for a scene. I created the scene in Midjourney and added the separate element of two people arm in arm. My friend liked it.

After the cover has attracted potential readers, the next thing they do is read the blurb – the book description that entices them to part with their money. It’s also every writer’s nightmare, trying to condense the thousands of words they’ve toiled over into a compelling couple of hundred words. That’s especially true for an anthology. Fortunately, it’s the kind of thing Bob is good at, so I sent him a few sentences of blurb for each story and he produced what I think is an intriguing description, much better than I would have done on my own.

Here it is.

A collection of short stories from across the Galaxy.

Dive into worlds where intrigue and danger lurk around every corner, where unexpected reunions reignite old flames, and where the line between friend and foe is blurred. In this collection of gripping short stories, join a cast of characters as they navigate treacherous waters, from the corridors of warships to the depths of space, from the tranquil halls of a restaurant to the unforgiving wilderness of distant planets. With every turn of the page, prepare to be swept away on a journey of suspense, betrayal, and unexpected alliances. Will they emerge unscathed, or will they succumb to the darkness that threatens to consume them? Find out in these thrilling tales of adventure and survival.

Available at your favourite bookstore

There are uses for AI in writing which do not entail writing the actual story. In fact, I was interested to note that WordPress, the internet’s favourite website creator, has several AI features. I could have asked it to create an excerpt for this post and also to create an illustration. AI is becoming a mainstream tool in many areas. We’d better get used to it.

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