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?

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

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!

New Computer = New Premade Covers!

One of the reasons I slowed down on adding premades to the shop over the last year was because of my poor, ancient, ailing computer. It was getting so slow that all I could manage was the work I was absolutely required to do. When it takes ten minutes to open a file, another 5 minutes to change one thing, another five minutes to save the file, and then maybe a computer crash and a restart to then email said file to a client, which takes another 20 minutes… Well, you get the picture. It was maddening. But then my husband spilled cherry coke all over my keyboard, and then a few days later my cat threw up all over the keyboard, and that was just it, and I finally had little choice but to bite the bullet and spring for a new machine!

So I’m back in business. Still not doing much with custom work because of other life commitments, but I’m loving getting back in the premade game. Here are a couple from the past few days:

Visit the shop here!