Cover challenge, version 2.0

When we weren’t sure about our cover design, we thought it came down to the overall amount of yellow in the cover. But our heads were stuck inside some box and losing sight of the forest through the trees — thinking that a tint or hue or tiny tweak to color was going to impact visibility, reader interest, or sales.

It took two posters in the Scribophile forums (I’m a member) to help us see the real issue.

This is what we thought was such a big deal — the amount of orange-yellow tint in the two cover options.

“If the choices are just those two …the yellower version is more evocative. But I would suggest taking it even further. If your story includes murder — how about doing the image in red — or parts? or making it darker to appear more sinister … something that is more evocative of the story. Just a thought.”

This was from E.M Hale and he was so right, so true!

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Help us pick the perfect cover!


Self-publishing is the epitome of freedom. Self-published authors have so much of it — their story, their pub date, their channel, their price, their marketing plan, their plot twists, etc., etc. But all that freedom comes with a hefty amount of responsibility. The choice may be ours, but which choice is the better?

‘Nuff said about freedom, though.

We’re in the middle of some decision-making as it pertains to our cover and we need your help.

Of the two covers above, which do you prefer?

Hint, hint: the only difference is to the color palate. On the left, a golden-yellow tint. On the right, less golden. Lighter, brighter and leaning toward white.

If you had to pick between the two, which would it be?

Vellum to the rescue

December 25th, 2017. Christmas Day for most people — a day where family, presents, and if you’re lucky, snow greets you as you wake. Not us. Not this year, at least.

First off, we’re in Japan, where for all the Christmas music in the stores and blustery cold in the air, there is no celebrating of Christmas, per se. The occasional present is exchanged and the occasional cake is consumed, but the overblown mash-up of religion and markdowns doesn’t exist here. The second reason Christmas isn’t a factor for us is that Getting Even is exactly two weeks into its run on Amazon. Which means we are still in the midst of promotion, the occasional revise, and, to be honest, equal amounts of wonder and worry. And a bit of fatigue.

Notice I didn’t mention celebration. I can only imagine what other self-published authors feel when their book goes live on Amazon. You know, when the reviews, downloads, and money start to pile on up. For us, well, it’s been interesting.

With today’s post, I hope to begin the task of putting into words the steps we took to get our book live. One step, one post. You’ll probably learn more about our path to publishing then you might need to, but the goal is for you to grab a takeaway or two you can apply to your own publishing adventure. One thing for sure. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice, so why should you make it even once!

Today’s misadventure down memory lane goes back to preparing our book for upload to the Kindle store. Merely having a manuscript written, edited, proofed — what you might think is a manuscript ready for others to read — doesn’t mean it’s formatted for acceptance to the Kindle Store. You’re going to need a third-party application to massage your manuscript into final form that includes all the usual elements of a book — table of contents, title page, copyright page, acknowledgments page, bio, etc. We don’t think anyone needs to go overboard with design elements and fancy flourishes, but if you’re going to compete with the other million-plus ebooks on Amazon you ought to at least look the part.

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Day 12 of Getting Even, live on Amazon. Now, the reality check.

We are still learning the ropes of the self-publishing world. I just discovered that the price of the print version of my book includes a four-color cover. It means I can sell the book for $9.00 (no profit for me) with a full color cover! This might be basic to most Kindle authors but it was news to me. I originally designed a black and white cover page so the book wouldn’t be expensive.

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Getting Even now on Amazon!

Happy Birthday!-3

Hi there, past guests of the bnb!

Here’s an update from Hiouchi and bnb hiouchi we want to share.

We sold the property last September and have started in on some extended travel. We’re pretty amazed we did it, too!

Meg and I planted ourselves in Berkeley for two months after the sale and then relocated to Osaka, Japan where we’ve been living since late-November. We figure on a minimum of one more month in Osaka before making a next move, which could be more time in Japan, or maybe Nepal, or maybe Cambodia. I’ve been reading up on Baja California and now that’s on my list, too.

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