Self Publishing: Designing the Cover/Writing the Blurb

I kind of dropped off of the face of the planet there for a few days. I got wrapped up in the holiday, then a bit of feeling under the weather… but MOSTLY I was busy re-reading and doing a first run through of the book I wrote this month! It’s time to start wading through the research that needs to be done before self-publishing can really happen, if I want to do it right. First things first, EDITING. Then getting beta readers a copy to read through and for my part, designing a cover and writing a blurb.

I’ve written a blurb, finally. I swear it took me more time to figure out how to write the freaking blurb than it did to write the ENTIRE BOOK.

And it’s not even DONE! It’s just an absolute rough draft that I’m not even happy with. I also can’t decide if I want to write the blurb in first person (like the story) or keep it in third person.

You never know what kind of trauma
you can survive until you’re
forced to live your worst nightmare.

Lila Solomon is a typical 18 year old girl,
finishing up high school and looking forward
to the future… Until the day she wakes up
chained to the wall of a damp, dark cell in
the basement prison that will become her
new home. She makes a mark on the wall for
each day that she is kept prisoner to help
keep her sanity.

Lila must find the strength she never knew
she had to try and escape this new hell she is
living, before the abuse crushes her spirit

This is her story. Of pain, of trauma. Of
growth and finding her strength through it all.

The original cover design idea and submitted it to the Indie Cover Project group on facebook for some feedback:

I used the template from Amazon/Kindle cover creator, which works like this (I layered it on top of my design and lowered the opacity so that I could make sure that the guide marks are where they’re supposed to be)

Someone recommended adding a manacle or chains to the cover to give it a bit more of an interesting flavor. Another person recommended the ‘punch’ of the brighter yellow font. I did both and WOW. What a difference those few steps made!

Then, when I remove the template layer, I get this final product:

I was pretty freaking happy with that cover concept, so I went ahead and made a book mockup and a kindle mockup for facebook ads. I’m REALLY excited!!!

Annnnd… the book is going through it’s first edit/beta reading right now. The feedback I’m getting is really positive!

“Your story is amazing. It’s raw, brutal, and deeply moving in some not-so-comfortable ways. I think you have a real hit on your hands. Though I must say I understand how writing it was difficult. I’ve found myself thinking of it quite often today, so that’s a good sign.
You have a real knack for putting the psychology of it all into words without it being too much or too descriptive. You’ve done a truly remarkable job of finding that balance where the reader has to put themselves in her shoes whether they like it or not.
You’ve managed to capture it in a way that just seems so…. Real.
The way it is right now it reads more like journal entries or a post-event download. I’m afraid that refining the few places that could be worded ‘better’ (as I’m sure a snobby English person would insist on) might take away from the realism that is so damn captivating.”