• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
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  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Three Top-Secret Secrets to Designing Your Own Book Cover

WU Admin note: Enjoy a little humor this Saturday morning.
Whoever said “Don’t judge of book by its cover” probably had a lousy cover designed by some art-school reject he’d never met. How could anyone else know enough about your book to make a cover that does your book justice. You don’t need to shell out big bucks to a graphic designer. I’m'a serve up some hot tips that those fat-cat graphic designers DON’T want you to know about.
Tools of the Trade
If you’re on a budget and don’t know anybody who can pirate you a copy of Photoshop, Microsoft Paint is a perfectly fine program for illustration. Otherwise they wouldn’t install it on every computer.

They say a bad carpenter always blames his tools. The solution to this is to buy tools so good, you can’t screw things up. Instead of having to shell out $700 bucks for a version of Photoshop or Illustrator that will be obsolete in a year-and-a-half, you can now get Adobe’s powerful suite of graphics programs for a mere $50 every month, for the rest of your life (which is totally worth it, since you’ll probably write four, maybe even five books before you die, right?). If you’re on a budget and don’t know anybody who can pirate you a copy of Photoshop, Microsoft Paint is a perfectly fine program for illustration. Otherwise they wouldn’t install it on every computer.
You’ll need some serious processing power to keep up with the advancing graphics technology. Whatever size monitor you have, you’ll need at least one size bigger. Or get a bunch of them, like this guy. This is a good excuse to buy that fancy Alienware laptop you’ve had your eye on. Those things could probably handle a shuttle launch–not to mention some sweet games. You might want a nice headset, and possibly a joystick, too. Wait, what were we talking about?
Effects are In Effect
Now that you’ve got some software, put that high-end computer of yours to work by adding some photo effects. Lens flares are always a good decision, even when your protagonist is indoors. Don’t forget the posterize button, which won’t make your cover look like a poster, but does…well, I don’t really know what you call it, but you should probably do it anyway.
Taking Stock
Can’t draw? Who needs God-given talent and years of practice when you have a whole internet’s worth of random photos at your disposal? Stock photography and clip art are the Dragon Punch and Hurricane Kick in every aspiring designer’s repertoire of moves. You can find stock photos that will evoke pretty much any dramatic situation in your book–and may spark some ideas for how to make your book even better.
Don’t shy away from clip art, either. Sure, everyone’s seen it a thousand times before, but audiences respond to what’s familiar. Remember getting misty-eyed during Don Draper’s nostalgia-laden Kodak Carousel pitch on Mad Men? You can get basically the same effect by using that stick-figure question-mark guy from those unending PowerPoint presentations at work. Clip art has “art” in the title, and they wouldn’t be allowed to call it that if it wasn’t gallery-quality, wine-and-cheese-type stuff.
Show Your Stuff
Did my advice lead you to create the Great American Novel Cover? Of course it did! Show off your creation in the comments section so the entire internet can judge your book by its cover.

About Bill FerrisAfter college, Bill Ferris left Nebraska for Florida to become a rich and famous rock star. Failing that, he picked up the pen to become a rich and famous novelist. He now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife, Jen, and his sons, Elliott and Wyatt, and he looks forward to a life of poverty and ridicule.Web | Twitter | More Posts
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Write on.Three Top-Secret Secrets to Designing Your Own Book Cover was first posted on October 19, 2013 at 7:00 am.

"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph."
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • Thanks SOOOOO MUCH to Judy Blume and my editor Justin Chanda for this wonderful photo  taken yesterday at the annual American Library Association conference (ALA). This photo makes me VERY VERY HAPPY FOR MANY REASONS. Here's more info about the revamped books from Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, how I became a Judy Blume illustrator and my history as a Judy Blume fangirl.
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Fast fact about writing

By definition, the modern practice of history begins with written records; evidence of human culture without writing is the realm of prehistory.