Monday, April 19, 2010

Art Director R Us ...

I was doing a little more research on ebooks -- with the iPad/iTunes bookstore coming online, there's another dog in the hunt, and a fairly big hound, too, and while it's maybe not quite time to ditch paper and leap into photons whole hog, the industry is changing. Somebody just came out with a conversion program for the Mac that lets you create ebooks from .RTF files, Legend Maker, from ZappTek, looks pretty spiffy, and from the demo version, even I could learn how to do it.

And there is Smashwords, which will take your manuscript, chew it up, and spit out files that can be made available to all the big e-pub catalogs -- Amazon, B&N, Stanza, iPad, and, apparently even as POD on Lulu.com. I love it that their convertor is called MeatGrinder ...

I've been dabbling with this kind of stuff a bit, as you can see from the PDFs for sale here and the links to Amazon.com for Kindle titles.

I'm thinking maybe one of my current projects might be one I could use to take a wider shot at this market. My agent isn't thrilled with my old retired spy novel, I'm not going to rewrite to her direction, and maybe it might be one that could go viral out there in the land of electronica.

Never know until you try.

You have to generate covers for ebooks, at least in some venues, and I've done a couple I thought worked well enough -- Master of Pamor, The Digital Effect. With a few minutes and a camera that shoots to a flashmem card, you can create one easily enough. Cover doesn't have to have anything to do with the contents, I've learned, long as it looks interesting.

I think this one above might catch a certain essence of my novel.

I'm thinkin' hard about this ...

8 comments:

VC said...

Do it. Please.

Ed said...

Pinus Aristata....Death came for them - very high up - and very, very, very, slowly.

Chris said...

I'm liking that cover. Seems to hit the spot based on my impressions of the story as seen here so far.

Jeff Chung said...

I sincerely admire your creativity, plus being right there using technology for your writing endeavors.

I know that as a fan of your work, I appreciate your projects, and I do like that cover design you posted up!

J.D. Ray said...

I like the Bristlecone cover. Nice photography.

You're obviously capable yourself, but have you considered posting a request for cover art on sites like deviantArt? I suspect there are a lot of capable artists there that would be tickled to have their art on a famous sci-fi author's cover for no more than the asking.

Of course, I've already told you 40% more than I actually know about the situation, so, as you say, caveat lector. :^)

Justin said...

"You're off the case, Bristlecone! Get back to your knitting and leave the detective work to us!"

"I considered making you a sweater, Chief, but you won't need one where you're going: HELL!"

Steve Perry said...

Thing with jobbing out a cover, even if the cost is tiny, is that you don't know what you are going to get. Might be better than you expected; might be worse.

If you do it yourself, you know exactly what you have.

With Bristlecone, I had the theme in mind; had the right props and background; got the shot pretty much exactly like I wanted it with half a dozen exposures.

I shot it knowing where I would put the text, and got a highlight behind the title and a darker b.g. behind my name, so I could use black and white lettering.

I have a fairly good eye for basic art stuff and plenty of experience with covers, so I was pleased with how it turned out.

Dan Moran said...

I like the cover. Feels like the book.