It's time for another promotion because the sales have flat-lined and all of the groups I participate in say the key is steady promotion. They also say the cover is the key. Social media, Amazon, cell phones, all visual media is dependent on a visually appealing cover. I have never been happy with the cover for Opal's Story, so I changed it.
If you like photography and graphics and haven't tried Canva.com or PicMonkey, you should give it a try. Both have free entry level graphics and fonts. Using your own photographs is a treat, because the options for editing are unique and there are tutorials on PicMonkey that guide a user through some amazing options. Some graphics are changed with the season, allowing the user to do cards, social media banners and badges to display with posts. Check them out. They are free and if I can use them, anyone can figure it out.
I used a tutorial from Derek Murphy to design book covers in MS Word. Derek is the guru for such things and has a knack for selecting images to overlay and fade into others, creating captivating covers for his YA Fantasy novels. These graphics are great for such genres, but my stories, while sometimes a little dark, do not lend themselves to fantasy-fading, women in hooded cloaks type of images. So I gravitated to Canva and PicMonkey, where I don't have to do a conversion equation for converting inches to pixels and back again, or figure out how to convert a .jpeg to a pdf and visa versa. These things make my head spin. Canva gives me choices for downloading and I can do it as many times as I need to get it right, (which is always more than one).
The other issue I have with using stock photography is getting permission to use a photograph. Some vintage photographs are fine, however, I recently wrote to a museum in England requesting permission to use a photograph and they wrote me back to say, "we are unable to give you permission because we don't have the rights, but we would also not prohibit the use." Okay, what does that mean? It was the perfect photo for a book cover I wanted to release in the fall. I guess I will move to plan B on that one.
This image is the one I settled on for Opal's Story. I didn't want to use the profile, because I know readers like to use their own imagination when they visualize characters. I have an image in my head much like the old cover, but I think this one allows that freedom. I hope it shows well in the promotion and sells thousands of copies, which will net me about thirty-five cents each. Let me know what you think.