Plot Twist – Back in Business

Well, I tried to quit. It stuck for a few months. But, as of now, The Book Cover Machine is back in business full-time. Certain events have made this a necessary move for me (some of you may have seen my recent post about pet surgery and unexpected expenses, which is really just the smallest in a chain of much larger events). This was not my plan, but life has a way of changing your plans. I was really hoping to be able to stick to some other ventures and enjoy some family time, and I had a short but sweet span of doing just that, but alas. Yesterday some decisions had to be made that drastically changed our living situation, and in order to make ends meet, it’s back to work I go. At least for the time being, I have to return to this as a source of income.

So! What does this mean? In a nutshell, I’m back. Even though I just said I wouldn’t be. But I am restructuring, so I’ll update when changes to my pricing structure, design process, and website take effect.

For right now, I will be dumping premades into the shop (and posting them here), and you are welcome to contact me for custom work (bookcovermachine@gmail.com).

I apologize if any of my posts have sounded frustrated or chaotic. It’s been quite a ride lately! The good news is, my break allowed me to refresh, and I’m coming back not nearly as burnt-out as I felt when I left.

I hope you all are well. Anything I can help anyone with?

New Premade Covers for a Cause

Getting very little traction on anything these days, reinforcing that I probably made the right decision in quitting awhile back, but I am trying to raise funds for a cause right now, so here I go, trying anyway…

New premade covers (email bookcovermachine@gmail.com if interested):

#1365, available for $60:

#1366, available for $25:

#1367, available for $50:

I will keep making premades until I sell something. What is everyone looking for these days?

If you want to check out my cause, here’s the GoFundMe I just set up: https://www.gofundme.com/f/emergency-pet-surgery-for-baby-moo

Even $5 helps. Feel free to share.

Fundraiser for Pet Surgery

Wellll, here I am again, putting on a fundraiser to try to fund an unexpected surgery for my sweet cat Moo. She’s been with me for 12 years, through thick and thin! A couple days ago I noticed an abscess on her foot. She’s an inside cat, so it’s a mystery what could have caused it. Right after, I noticed another one further up the same leg. I thought they might be spider bites, because that’s really all I can think of. The vet also couldn’t say what caused them, but it looks like what happened is the first infection on the foot traveled up the leg and infected the lymph node, thus causing the second abscess, because the second mass is right on the lymph node.

In any case, it’s one of those frustrating cases where it’s really a small thing, but it’s turned into a big thing, and we’re looking at $700 for the surgery.

I’m trying desperately to help fund this, since it wasn’t in the budget. As such, I’m offering some goodies below!

You can now get this trilogy of premade book covers for $150 instead of $350:

Or any of the below covers for $50 each:

#1325:

#1339:

#1359:

#1360:

If interested in any, just email me with the cover # at bookcovermachine@gmail.com. Or if it’s the trilogy, just tell me you want the trilogy. First come, first served.

I’ll be fishing around my archives for other premade covers that still need a home later too.

If you simply feel inclined to donate…feel free to send any amount to my Paypal: bookcovermachine@gmail.com

A Quick Drop-In

Just wanted to drop in and post a new premade cover, which I put together to keep my Photoshop skills sharp.

This cover is available for $350. If interested, email me at bookcovermachine@gmail.com. If that price tag makes your heart stop, all I can say is…these types of covers take a lot of time and tedious work, and it’s come to my attention that I’ve been under-selling my work of this nature for years. I recently followed some other cover designers’ pages just for fun, because I love seeing the art, and I was shocked that while I’ve been selling premades for an average of $49 ever since the beginning, many of my contemporaries are raking in $500+ a cover. While I personally would still feel guilty charging that much (and there are definitely some covers that take less time and I’m okay with letting go for $49), it has occurred to me that I SHOULD take into consideration the time that actually goes into each cover, and I shouldn’t feel guilty for charging accordingly.

I am aware that there are many authors on a budget who can’t afford this higher price tag, and I’m happy I’ve been able to provide cheaper options in the past. I’ll probably continue to bust out premades on occasion that fit the cheaper criteria. That said, now that I have 6+ years of experience under my belt, I feel it’s time to promote myself into a higher league, so to speak.

Now that I’ve taken a break from the cover design scene, I’m less burnt out and feeling inspired to make premade covers again, when time allows. This does not mean I’m returning to custom work. I’m still doing a million other things full-time, and even when I think to myself ‘I have a few days where I’ll have time, maybe I can take on a custom project’…these projects almost ALWAYS expand and evolve and end up taking more time than I have.

HOWEVER – if there is something we’ve been working on together, and you feel it’s absolutely necessary to finish up with me and not take it to someone else, I will be checking my email over the next two weeks solely for this purpose. My intention was never to leave anyone hanging. I had to get out for my own health and sanity, and wouldn’t have done you any favors trying to serve you during my burn-out. And, as I mentioned, I’d been trying to get out for some time. All this to say…this is your opportunity to finish up anything we may have started (additional series covers to match others we’ve done, making a paperback version of a cover I’ve done for you, etc). As soon as spots fill for this two week period, I won’t book anything else.

If you reached out to me after my last announcement that I was quitting, please forgive me for missing any messages. When I said I wouldn’t be checking messages anymore, I meant it 😉 If you reached out and didn’t hear from me, please reach out again, and understand I will do my best to get to everyone. My email, in case you need it again: bookcovermachine@gmail.com

A New Chapter

As many of you have surely noticed, my posts have been fewer and farther between over the past few years, dwindling down to almost nothing. I can’t remember the last time I posted. The truth is – I’ve been trying to phase out of the book cover business for about 2 years now. But I have a very hard time saying ‘no’, so it’s been difficult to do when I have such a large list of clients and there’s always someone who ‘just needs one more thing’. I could keep going forever doing ‘just one more thing’.

It is time, at last, to move on completely. My heart has not been in it, and any projects I agree to suffer because of it. It’s not fair for any of you to not get my best, and it’s finally come down to the fact that, either way, I simply don’t have time for custom work anymore.

It’s been such a pleasure working with you all. This was a business I started on my own and built from the ground up, and it supported me for 6 years. It gave me my start when I was trying to hone in on a career, and it’s not only made a living for me, but provided what I needed to completely change and build the life that I wanted for myself. I’m ecstatic to be able to say that, between my and my husband’s ability to work and save money over the past 6 years, we’re now living 100% debt free in a paid-off house on a paid-off plot of land, driving a car we bought cash, building a little nest-egg and paradise to call our own. It’s amazing to me that I’ve accomplished this from my own business. Every time I made a payment on our house, every time we make an improvement, plant a new tree…I think to myself…book covers paid for this. This tree exists because of my art. How crazy.

This business is something I’ve been proud of, something I’m extremely sentimental about and attached to, and it’s very hard for me to make this announcement even though it’s what I’ve wanted for the past 2 years. It’s my baby, and it’s the reason for everything that I have now. And even though I’ve put off officially making this announcement, I haven’t been active in the business for a couple months. I’m not even sure when the last time was that I checked my business email. My days have been full of other things, and I realize that that is not going to change, and it’s finally time to make this official.

Book cover design was never my dream. Writing was a big one. It’s why I got into book cover design in the first place. The truth is, I have many creative dreams other than book cover design, and many ‘life’ dreams outside of those things. Things that typically require a career to achieve. Owning a home, of course, was a big one. Living debt-free is another. Having achieved those, I now have the freedom to pursue some of my other creative dreams without quite the same stress and need of a certain-number steady income. And, of course, it also means that I’m at a stage in my life, with the foundation that I wanted, to pursue other life goals such as starting a family. We’re aiming for a kid next year!

Along those lines, something I always wanted was to be able to be a stay-at-home mom when we do have kiddos. I was raised by a stay-at-home mom, and it’s something I’ve always felt like I really benefited from, and something I really believe in. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for women working and kicking butt in the business world. That should be obvious enough from my own career and the drive that’s gotten me here. I just want to stay home with my kids and enjoy every moment with them.

So, to summarize, book covers have been great, but they’ve really been a placeholder and a means to an end. Now, I’m diving into new things. On the business side of things, I’m focusing on writing and a few passive-income related businesses (businesses where, for example, you post a product once but keep making revenue off of it forever, and never have to lift a finger again because it’s a digital product that gets automatically delivered to customers or it’s a product that another company prints and ships). On the personal side of things, we’re focusing on family – visiting parents and relatives, spending time with our precious nieces and nephews, and starting a family of our own.

I will leave thebookcovermachine.com up for 2 simple functions. 1) to clear out the existing inventory of premade covers. 2) I have started dabbling in modeling and providing stock images for other artists to use, and The Book Cover Machine will simply start catering more to artists, or to authors looking for models, backgrounds, and other items that they want an artist to use for their book covers. Now and then I might hop on photoshop to doodle around, and I might happen to create a new premade cover which would of course be posted in the shop, but they will be few and far between.

Thank you all for your business and collaboration over the years. I wish you all the best!