Special: Cover Design Process

Friends,

Welcome to a new week and a new post. The topic for this one is in response to a reader’s question regarding my book cover design process. There’s also some other news as well. Let’s get started!

My Process

I usually brainstorm ideas for my book cover early on the writing process, after I am certain of the plot of the book – or at least the basic gist of it and who the character is. For example, in the roughly six months it took me to produce my first book, Resistant, I probably started work on the cover around month 3. For my second book, Unguarded, it was probably around the same time or a tad earlier. sometimes the process gets a little drawn out. For my third book, Imminent, I think I had the cover done about a month and a half before release. It just depends.

Cover_front

As for the actual ideas for my covers, that comes from my own creativity based on events in the story. The idea for Resistant came early on; I basically knew what the cover would look like from the beginning. I just didn’t start its production until halfway through writing. The main character is female and the initial setting is Paris (something identifiable with most people), so that’s where I started. Some of the designer’s own take on my desired cover description shows up in the covers – it’s almost impossible to have everything look exactly like you want it. I basically give him a run-down of what I want in the cover, and I use photos from the internet to help give inspiration and clarification on what I’m saying; then it’s up to him from there…I simply give feedback for revisions until it’s what I’m satisfied with.

Cover - Round 2

 

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to covers is that having a collection or series look uniform and similar is very helpful in marketing and getting (potential) readers to make the correlation that there are multiple titles to read, and they’re all related. Plus, having the same designer make the covers allows for some continuity and consistency, which is something I personally prefer.

cover_6

That’s basically how I come to a final book cover: brainstorm ideas, finalize them in a list for the designer (and include some pictures), then give feedback on the revisions until it’s ready. Having done it a few times by now, it’s gotten pretty simple!

As for other news…

I’d say things are finally into a rhythm now with the new house, and I think being back to normal teaching (since testing is over with) helps with that. It’s the last week of April, which is crazy to think about, so I’ll get things done this week to prep for next week: resuming a regular writing schedule. The story is coming together, and I’m excited to get back to work on it. Who knows what kind of progress the summer holds ahead!

Until next time,

-Eli

Out with the Old, In with the New

Friends,

Welcome to a new week, one that’s ushered in some beautiful weather if I say so myself, and to a new opportunity to accomplish your goals. If you’ve set a goal for yourself this week, this month, or whatever – but find things blocking your way or hindering your progress – take a step back and remember: you can find a way to achieve what you want, you just have to know where to look within yourself to find the will. I’ve been working on overcoming some of my own goals in the past month or so, and I feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter! Let’s get into this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

I’ve not written a word in about two weeks.

Acknowledging the struggle or problem is half the battle in achieving your goals. My goal: writing a new historical fiction novel. The obstacle in the way: the busy and tiresome process of moving into a new house. Never having done this before, I had no idea what to expect. I know now that since we’re completely out of our old house and into our new one, things are getting to the point of settling back down into a regular routine again. At this juncture, I foresee the first week of May being my target date for resuming my normal writing schedule. State testing will be over with by that point, or at least to the point of minimal involvement by me, so hopefully my weekends will be more open to crank out the types of word counts I did before moving began.

When I do resume, I’ll continue writing Part I, which is very exciting and fun to write thus far. I’m interested to see how my characters develop and where the plot goes from here! I’m still awaiting the final book cover files from the designer, but again – they’re not needed right now; I just wanted to get them designed and out of the way. Also, I’ve gotten information about my summer schedule for school, and I’m fairly pleased: I’ll have summer school to tend to, but it’s not any teaching, only live help in the virtual rooms. So the students work through the material on their own and come to me with any questions they have about the work. After June 18 (graduation), things die down until August. There were rumors going around that school might start the day after Labor Day this coming year, but it’s not confirmed. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! During that time after graduation, I’ll be writing a lot – I’m hoping for 1,000 words a day, if not more.

That’s about the main gist of what’s going on with writing right now. I wanted to tell you that so you knew I hadn’t given up or got into a rut…moving and off-site testing for school really take it out of me!

YouTube

I wanted to take a moment to talk about my absence from the YouTube community. Given everything crazy going on with my schedule in the past month or so, getting footage every day or even once or twice a week was very hard. I know that moving could have great vlog potential, but I think that since I’m not a daily vlogger and it’s not a solid habit I wasn’t already thinking “I need to vlog the move” before it actually happened. I’ve taken pictures of the new house and of things we’ve fixed up, and I’d like to include those in the first vlog back. I’m planning on resuming vlog the first week in May – coinciding with the continuance of writing as I mentioned above. At that point, I’ll have a lot to talk about and show, so it’ll be a good time to come back!

That’s all for this week. Please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already, so that you can receive next week’s blog post and all the posts to follow after. You can also check out my website (page links above) if you’re new to my work and are interested in historical fiction or short stories. As always, thanks to those who’ve followed and supported me for a long time. And to those of you who are new, welcome, and I hope you like what I have to say!

Until next time,

-Eli

The Book and The Move

Friends,

I hope this post finds you in a good place with your goals and passions, and that you’re well on your way to achieving all you’re setting out to do! A great deal has gone on since last week’s post, so why don’t I get right to it…

The Faces of the War Collection

Progress on the story is coming along, granted not as well as I’d like. I originally aimed to pump out at least a few thousand words last week, but sadly I only got about 1,000 typed. There was a stretch of time that was taken up by research and reading; there was also the move to our new house (and other errands) that occupied my time for most of the week. But it’s all good, because my lack of writing is due to something greater happening in my life at the moment. Once we’re settled and back into a normal routine, my writing will resume as usual. I anticipate receiving the final cover files for the book this week. It’s taken on a great look, and one that encapsulates the story.

If you’re new to my blog, or perhaps haven’t had the chance to check out my work, you can find my first three books Resistant, Unguarded, and Imminent on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats!

On the Move

It’s kind of surreal, moving out of our current house. I’ve moved before, but I didn’t leave the house empty – my parents still live there. But this time it’s different…we’re cleaning out all of our stuff and taking things away from where they’ve been for so long. The house is looking weird. But the end product is what’s important: we’ll have a house that’s our own, with a roof over our heads and a space to start making memories and building our family. It’s an exciting time and I can’t wait to see how things unfold heading into the summer!

That’s it for this week. I’ll try to take some pictures of the move this coming weekend and include them in next week’s post. Thank you for supporting my passion and for your continued encouragement along the way.

Until next time,

-Eli

Move-in Week!

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well, and that you’re striving toward your goals each and every day. There will be quite a bit going on this week for me, with writing being a good chunk of that, so let’s get on to the material for this post…

The Faces of the War Collection

As of last week’s post, the word count for my current WIP was around 5,000. With this week being my Spring Break for school, I plan on writing all day for the first four days of the week. Three of those days have errand appointments going on (an oil change, closing signatures for our new house, and meeting with the internet provider to get that set up).

Aside from that, my goal is to write at least 3,000 words this week, if not more. Given the rate at which I’ve produced words over the past few weeks, I really think I could get another 5,000 pumped out. It’s important to remember, though, that the story needs to tell itself and that I shouldn’t just write words to hit a word goal. That is something that forms the fabric of my writing process, and I stick to that on every project.

I am currently awaiting the final draft of the book cover for Book Four, and I’m excited to share it with you when the time comes. I’d like to try to get the fifth and final cover in this collection taken care of within the 3-4 months following the completion of this cover, but we’ll see.

Writing TipWhen brainstorming a story idea, it’s a good idea to write (or type) down what I call “detail bits” and form a pool from which to draw as you go further into the process. For example, I started out my detail pool with things like “explosion” and “missiles” and “agent” and “airplane” and “car chase” and…you get the idea. This can really help give you ideas/inspiration to fill in the gaps that inevitably come up during the creative process. 

Other News

As I’ve said, my wife and I are moving into our own house (our first purchased house) and are very excited as to what will come next in this new chapter of our lives. We close on Wednesday of this week and will start to move our things that day or on Thursday. We’ve been talking about things and planning what we’d like to do with the space. I’m very excited about our sitting room on the first floor – we’re giving it a travel theme! And then we’ll have an entertainment room in the basement, which I’ll hopefully be able to develop into an awesome space over time. Once we get into the house and somewhat settled, I’m sure things regarding our routines will go back to “normal” relatively quickly. I’ll continue teaching (as there is still about two months left in the school year) and writing throughout the week in addition to unpacking and getting things how we want them.

That’s about it for this week. I’ll keep you apprised of developments as we go throughout the next week or two, including what kind of word count I reach after this week’s writing sessions. Thank you for your support and encouragement, whether you’re new to my work or have been with me from the start. It means a great deal!

Until next time,

-Eli

Words All Around!

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and in good spirits, and that you are on the path to accomplishing your goals for the day, the week, or even the goals of your life. I encourage you to push on through the obstacles and trials you face, for the end result is worth the struggle. After a week’s hiatus, let me bring you up to speed on my work…

The Faces of the War Collection

In the past month or so, I’ve written and completed the first draft of the Prologue for Book Four. The word count came in at around 1,650 and looks pretty good to me at this point. Of course, I’ll go through it a few more times down the road, so more may be added, or maybe nothing will. Once the whole story is fleshed out and the scope is intact in raw form, I’ll have a better idea of what will constitute the Prologue in its entirety.

I also began writing the body of Part I (of III); it currently sits a little above 2,500 words. So hitting over 4,000 words in the first full month of writing is right where I want to be! I’ve gotten into the habit of writing on Sundays, or sometimes Saturdays, which is working very well for me. And I’ll have my Spring Break at the end of the month, so my goal is to knock out at least 1,000 words a day that week – that will really bump me forward in my writing schedule.

I’ve also gotten the ball rolling on the cover for Book Four, and so far the draft looks good. I sent back some revisions and am awaiting a second draft, but at this point I’m optimistic. It’s exciting to see it start come into being, just as it’s exciting to see this story start to take shape. If you’d like to get a preview of it and let me know what you think, you can check out the Prologue for free at this blog post link.

The Short Story Collection

I have whittled away at the next volume of short stories, but have put most of my focus on my WWII historical fiction. Fear not – I aim to release Volume 3 by the time fall arrives. I’ll keep you posted on progress as spring turns to summer.

YouTube

Just as I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging over the past two weeks, I took a break from vlogging on YouTube. There is a reason for this decision, but I can’t really touch on that just yet. You’ll understand in the coming weeks…I only ask for your patience.

New Blog Topics

In the coming weeks, I plan to release special topic blog posts that will not only vary the material I provide my readership, but it will also afford you an opportunity to better know who I am. Plus, it can be the start of some great discussions, especially with fellow readers and writers.

That’s about it for this week. Thank you again for your continued support and encouragement, and for taking an interest in my work. If you haven’t yet subscribed to my mailing list, you can do so here…that way you can get my monthly e-newsletter that has the inside scoop and behind-the-scenes details about my life and my work.

Until next time,

-Eli

And We’re Off!

Friends,

Welcome to a new week! My hope is that it will be a week filled with productivity and accomplished goals, for me as well as for you. Let’s get to this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

Since last week’s post, there have been a few developments regarding my WWII collection. First, the details for Book Four’s cover have been sent, and I’m essentially awaiting my designer’s confirmation that he received it, as well as a quote for the design service. Hopefully within a week or so, work will begin on the next cover. Second, I spent some time this weekend (as well as time today after I write this) chipping away at the Prologue of Book Four. I’m just over 250 words into it, and I’m hoping for another 1,000 by the end of the week. I was a little anxious that I wouldn’t be able to start off this story strong, but so far things are proving otherwise!

If you’re new to my work and are interested in my WWII historical fiction, you can check out my books Resistant, Unguarded, and Imminent on Amazon in print and on the Kindle.

The Short Story Collection

Minor progress is being made on this project, but progress nonetheless. I think we’re getting into that part of the writing on this project where I will only update every so often about it, considering that its progress won’t be as quick to come as with Faces. Fear not, for I will keep you informed of this project’s details, especially when release draws near!

If you’re new to my work and are interested in my short stories, you can check out Volume 1 and Volume 2 on the Kindle.

Writing Tip: If you encounter a rut in the road of writing, be open to considering courses of action your character(s) can take that surprise you – if it surprises you, maybe it’ll surprise your readers.

That’s all I have for this week. If you’re new, welcome to my post and my website. Please feel free to browse around and see what I’m up to, and don’t forget to subscribe to my mailing list (click the Contact tab) so you don’t miss the inside scoop on my work. Thank you for reading this post and for supporting me in my passion. It means a great deal!

Until next time,

-Eli

Imminent Launch Week

Friends,

Welcome to a new year! I hope everyone’s holidays were fun and safe, and that you got to spend time doing things you enjoy with the ones you love. This is a big week for me, so let’s get on to this post’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

We’re in the final days of the Imminent pre-order, with the book releasing this Friday, January 8. If you haven’t yet picked up your discounted Kindle copy of my third WWII historical fiction book, you can do so here.

cover_6

I am very excited to get this book off the ground and into the hands of readers, and am even more excited to hear what you think of the story. So if you do get your hands on a copy, I’d be delighted if you left a review on the Amazon sales page telling me your thoughts on the book.

In addition to the release of Imminent, this week also marked the highest volume of downloads of any of my books to date – over 500! The book in question is my debut story, Resistant, which was free this past week. In one day alone there were over two hundred downloads, so I thank you all who took part in this promotion. It truly made my week!

As for Unguarded, the second book in this collection, there will be a Kindle Countdown Deal from January 13-19. You can go to the book’s Amazon page to get your Kindle copy if you haven’t done so already. This whole month is a great way to kick off the New Year, so come along with me for the ride!

YouTube

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, if you are a regular viewer, that I haven’t posted any new videos since before Christmas. This is mostly because I wanted to focus on time with family. I’m sure you can understand how important family is around the holidays. That being said, I intend on picking back up with my vlogs this week, posting the first video of the New Year on Friday alongside the release of Imminent. If you haven’t yet checked out my channel, you can find me on YouTube here.

That about does it for news this week, so be sure to pre-order Imminent this week, or at least check it out in the coming weeks, and let me know what you think. And as always, you can subscribe to my mailing list to keep as up-to-date on my work as possible. Thank you for your encouragement and support!

Until next time,

-Eli

Update: Imminent Release

Friends,

The week of Christmas is here! I hope this post finds you well and in good health, as well as in the position of achieving your goals. If you’ve been thinking of implementing something new into your lifestyle or have been wanting to set goals for yourself, there’s no better time to start than within the next couple of weeks. New year, clean slate, many more opportunities! I have a few important items to discuss, so here we go…

The Faces of the War Collection

This past weekend, I completed the final edit of Imminent, which is currently available for pre-order and set to release on January 8. The final word count came in at just over 46.6K, which is almost 1,000 words less than my previous book, Unguarded. Resistant‘s word count came in at just under 38K. Just figured I’d give you a snapshot of the word count across all three books.

cover_6

In terms of the discounts and deals going on with these books in the lead-up to Imminent‘s release, there has been a little change:

Resistant will be FREE from December 28 until January 1
Unguarded will have a Kindle Countdown Deal from January 13-19

Due to the price change I made on the Unguarded ebook ($4.99 to $3.99), there can’t be any promotions made until the book has sat at its new price point for 30 days. So instead of promoting it the week before the release of Imminent, it’ll come the week after. I really wanted to relay this change in information so that you aren’t blindsided by it, and perhaps can better plan for purchasing if that’s what you were going to do!

I still have until next Monday, December 28 to submit the final version of the book file to Amazon, so I think I’ll take today and/or tomorrow to read through the manuscript one last time for good measure.

After Imminent releases, I plan on beginning the process for the next book. As far as my plans are at this point, it will release sometime in 2017. For now, I’m planning on writing the fifth and final book of the collection simultaneously, bouncing back and forth between the two projects for the writing and editing parts of the process. It’s something I want to try with regard to my writing process and style, and in an effort to test my boundaries. I have the stories pretty much planned – I just need to iron out the details then begin the actual writing!

YouTube

For this week’s video, I plan on posting it on Thursday. It will be brief, because I want my readers and followers to enjoy time together with their families and friends, not stuck glued to a TV or phone screen. The following week’s video will probably be more along the lines of a normal video. If you haven’t subscribed to my channel (where I talk about my writing and teaching lives, as well as travel and other things), you can click the link above or search Eli Kale in YouTube.

I think that will about do it for this post. I want to wish you a Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or whatever you prefer – I just hope that wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, that you’re with family and friends. I am excited for the coming weeks and the prospect of new goals to be conquered, as I hope you are too. Take care and be safe this week!

Until next time,

-Eli

Fall Is My Favorite

Friends,

Autumn is in full swing here in Ohio, with the trees turning colors and the temperatures getting cooler. It’s probably my favorite time of year! Let’s get into this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

The editing process continues for Imminent, with everything still on track for a December release. I’ve decided that once I receive the edited manuscript from my editor, then I will reveal the cover and book details. It’s easier and way less stressful letting out that kind of information when you have the story back in your own hands versus still waiting to receive it – mostly because you can’t control it if you don’t have it. I’d hate to reveal the cover and details and then find out there’s a snag in the editing or I need to do a major rewrite, thus prolonging the book’s release. That wouldn’t be fair to you, my readers!

Teaching Life

My new teaching job is going well, with my second full week beginning today. I teach through an online program, educating about 200 students across the state of Ohio. I’m currently teaching one class – Modern World History – three days a week. And yes, I’m working the other days of the week as well. When I’m not teaching, I’m planning lessons, creating presentations, and answering emails, among other things. It’s an exciting new endeavor in my life, not to mention the profession for which I went to college!

YouTube

I capture aspects of my everyday life through the lens of my digital camera, and upload that footage to my YouTube channel every Friday. I talk about indie publishing and the progress of my writing projects, as well as teaching in this new position. I also touch on travel here and there in my videos. If you’re interested in any or all of those topics, come on over to my channel and check out what I’m doing from week to week!

Indie Writing Advice

As a writer, you should also be reading. It’s good practice to always have a book ongoing, whether it’s in physical form or on a reading device. I actually have a few books that I’m reading right now, each of them different from the others. “Let’s Get Digital” by David Gaughran touches on his experience in the self-publishing world; “The Craft of Intelligence” by Allen W. Dulles covers the author’s experience as an intelligence officer in the Cold War; and “On Hitler’s Mountain” by Irmgard Hunt.

The first book is one I’m reading for knowledge, because learning about how the indie publishing world works is vital to being an indie writer. I’m reading the second book for research purposes, because some of what I’m learning about here will apply to what I’ll write later. And the third book is my “just for fun” book, because reading shouldn’t always be business. So if you don’t have a book cracked at any given time, then get on it! Reading books helps make one a better writer of them.

That’s it for this week. Thank you so much for your interest in my work, and for reading my post this week. I encourage you to follow this blog, subscribe to my mailing list, follow me on social media, or even subscribe to my YouTube channel – any and all of those things will help keep you informed on what I’m doing, and will help us connect with each other.

Until next time,

-Eli

Off to the Editor!

Friends,

I don’t know what it is about the fall season, but for some reason it inspires productivity and motivation within me. I hope it does the same for you! I have some news for you this week, so let’s get to it…

The Faces of the War Collection

I sent the first portion of my manuscript off to my editor Saturday night, and will continue to work on self-editing the rest of the manuscript this week. I don’t believe I’ll have any major rewriting to do, so ideally I’ll be able to have everything done on my end by Friday. I’m excited to see my editor’s thoughts and comments on the story, and to see where it’ll take me from there!

As I near the stage of publishing this book, I am looking ahead to my next project to get things in order for it. I already have the story planned out section by section, and I’ve done some research already through reading and looking information up online. Now it just needs to be written! I’ll touch on that more as the release date for Imminent gets closer.

The Short Story Collection

I know it’s been a while since I’ve talked about this project, mainly because I haven’t been working on it. Considering that I do have three stories (in rough form) to publish a Volume 2, I may squeeze in some writing on that project over the Christmas season with the intent to finalize those three stories by New Year’s Day. It would be nice to get a short story volume released before really getting into my next book, but like I’ve always said: I won’t rush things if they don’t need to happen right now.

Indie Writing Advice

If you are new to the indie writing scene, or new to writing in general, here are some tips I have for you that have helped me:

1. Write for you, not for someone else. By this, I simply mean that you are writing because it’s something you enjoy, it’s something that brings out your inner self and makes you happy…so why try to write a book to please someone else. It’s a simple fact: not everyone will like every book that will ever be published, so why try to cater to that idea? Write what you want to write.

2. Don’t be afraid to seek help or learn more about the craft. This is especially true when it comes to things like formatting your books, marketing your brand, and developing your platform. If you ever have a question about something, just ask someone, or look it up. It will do you no good in the long run to guess at what you’re trying to do. If you learn about indie writing and have purpose in it, then you’ll be much better off.

Those are two things that I have found to be most prevalent in my experience, and so I want to pass them along to you!

That about does it for this post. Please join my mailing list if you haven’t done so already so that you can get all the juicy details about my projects. And be sure to keep an eye out for my cover release in the next month.

Until next time,

-Eli