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!

 

All Covers Must Go – Biggest Clearance Event Ever!

Hi all – just wanted to let you guys in on the biggest sale The Book Cover Machine has ever held! I’m in the process of marking my website’s ENTIRE inventory of premade covers down to $25 each. All these covers are on my old hard drive collecting dust and must go. If they don’t sell at the discounted price within the next few weeks, they’ll be going in the trash bin so I don’t have to keep storing them on the off chance that someone will purchase one someday. I really need to prioritize and clear out space for other things! If you’ve had your eye on something, now is the time to get it before it’s gone for good  Not to mention, they’ll never be cheaper than this. Feel free to spread the word! www.thebookcovermachine.com/shop

Hint – if you see a cover that you want but it hasn’t been marked down yet, shoot me a note at bookcovermachine@gmail.com and I’ll mark it down for you!

Premade Banners and Summer Availability

It’s been awhile once again! Quick update on what’s going on in The Book Cover Machine world. I’ve decided to start offering premade banners in addition to premade book covers. These are great as-is if you just want to dress up your author profile, or you can add text, images, book covers, etc., and use them for all your promotional needs! I offer them for $5 each (or a sheet of 7 for $25) on my Facebook page. You can peruse the album here. Lots more coming soon! Also check out a few examples below:

And here are a couple examples of how you might add your book covers for promotional purposes:

Also, regarding summer availability: I have a lot of summer activities, gigs, and commitments stacking up outside of the office, so if you need anything from me before September, GET IT NOW. I’ll still be fulfilling premade orders, but if you were hoping to get any wrap covers, promotional material, etc, now’s the time to do it. Most of you know I don’t really do custom covers anymore, but if you really need something and are willing to pick out your images from depositphotos.com, and have worked with me enough to know you won’t need more than 3 drafts, feel free to inquire so I can help you out over the next week or two. Then I’m out! Email: bookcovermachine@gmail.com

Premium Premade Covers

The first half of this month, I was on vacation in Mexico! It was actually a delayed honeymoon (delayed by almost 2 years), because when we got married, my husband and I prioritized getting a house over having a big wedding or a honeymoon. Still think that was the right decision, but it was amazing to get away at last!

Upon returning, I’m more convinced than ever that the direction I’m taking The Book Cover Machine is the right decision for me (little to no custom work, fancier premades in fantasy genres that I truly love designing, more freedom in my schedule to choose what I want to create and when I want to create it…). This approach has renewed my inspiration! So I’ve been gleefully working on covers like these, just for the pleasure of the artwork:

They were both listed as ‘premium premade covers’ over at The Book Cover Machine’s Facebook page, but as you can see the first one is no longer available, as I decided to keep it for myself and use it as a spin-off to one of my existing mermaid books. I just couldn’t resist.

If you’re interested in the second cover (which I also wanted to keep, but don’t have a story for at the moment), it’s available for $200, and you can inquire by emailing me at bookcovermachine@gmail.com.

I should be adding more regular premade covers (the cheaper ones available for $49 or less) to the shop soon!

(If you did a double-take at the $200 price tag and had a small heart attack and wonder how the leap in price fits in, suffice it to say these ‘premium’ covers take a lot more time, thought, and attention to detail to create, and while I still very much want to offer covers that all my clients can afford, I have also learned the worth of my work. After 5 years in the industry, it’s nice to finally realize the only one who’s limiting me to eating Ramen for the rest of my life is myself, and the low prices I put on my own work 😛 )

The Weekly Machine

This week has been a doozy! But the best kind. I redesigned the blog, complete with a new banner, background, font style, and will be tweaking all the tabs and pages over the next couple days, because everything is SO outdated. Most notable of all, perhaps, is that I FINALLY designed a company logo, after 5 years in business. You would think anyone who’s been in business multiple years would have a logo…but ESPECIALLY SOMEONE WHOSE BUSINESS IS DESIGN… The irony is not lost on me. But I finally have one! Yay!

Next on the list of what I’m most excited about is the new direction I’m going with premade covers:

From the beginning, I have ALWAYS wanted to brand myself more with this type of artwork – more complex, detailed scenes in the vein of fantasy, because that’s what I really love and am passionate about, but as I got bogged down in custom work and requests I kind of never had time to make what I wanted, and really got burnt-out creatively as well. But now I’m being extremely picky about the custom projects I take on (and how often I take them on), and am focusing more on what I get inspired to create. You can expect a lot more covers like this! Although they do make more time, so they won’t get cranked out quite like the rest.

Due to the romance cover demand, and how quickly they seem to sell after I post them, I will be doing more of those as well. Here are a couple new ones from yesterday:

And here’s a look at the latest custom cover, which exemplifies the type of project I’m most willing to take on these days, very fantasy-esque:

Last but not least, I want to invite everyone to come hang out over at my Facebook page: Come Hang Out with Me! You get a much more ‘live’ experience over there, can participate in ‘flash’ sales, peruse clearance covers, chat with yours truly, etc. Hope to see you around!