Reply To: Week 20 Check-in 🌺

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Hi, Cheryl, Kathy, Laura and Dory!

I see some awesome word counts and successes here.

I’m still editing, so my word count is still low, and I haven’t done much editing since Wednesday. That’s because I’ve been working on learning a photo editing program that’s like Photoshop, but it’s free.

I found out about it in a workshop I’m taking through the Contemporary Romance Writers chapter of RWA on self publishing. The instructor has her own business formatting book covers  and manuscripts for eBooks and paperback books for indie authors. In a Zoom class last week Sunday, she demonstrated formatting a paperback book cover. I asked her what program she was using and she said GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). And that it’s free.

Well, goody – FREE – I replied I wanted to learn it. She said it’s hard to learn, there’s a “very steep learning curve,” and that I’d be better off with Photoshop Elements. Well, Photoshop Elements costs $99.00. There’s also a Photoshop Premium Elements that costs $99.00. If you buy them both together, it’s $149. So, I told her I learned how to use KDP and I learned how to build a website in Word Press and I thought I could learn GIMP. She said it was way harder than building a website in WordPress.

But I thought, “The price is right. I’ll try it. If I don’t like it, I haven’t spent any money on it. Well, guess what? I thought it was hard to learn. But I just kept looking for tutorials that I could understand and finally,I’ve learned enough so that I can design my own eBook covers without using KDP’s cover create. Not that there’s anything wrong with Cover Create. I’ve designed some very nice covers with Cover Create. But even if you use your own photographs or stock photos instead of using their pre-made photos, you’re stuck with their designs as far as where you can put  the title and the author’s name on the cover. But with a program like GIMP (or Photoshop), you can decide where to put the text in the picture you’re using.

There are still functions that I don’t know how to do that I’d like to learn – like how to take out street lights or remove other objects from photos and make it look like they were never there. I don’t know what to call this, so I don’t know what term to use in looking for a tutorial. Air brushing?

Anyway, that’s the week that was. I feel like I’ve spent forever on this and was ready to give up numerous times. But now, I’m glad I stuck with it.

Now, for the coming week, I want to spend more time editing my current collection of short stories. I’m wondering if this time, instead of bundling them together into a collection, if it might be worthwhile to publish each individually as an eBook. I wonder if more people would be willing to buy them at $1.99 or $2.99 for each story than they would be as a collection at a higher price. I wonder if I’d make more sales that way.

Anyway, on to next week. Have a good one, everyone.




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