Okay, maybe that sounds more intriguing than it actually is. But recently, I had the opportunity to get the rights to my four books back from my publisher. I wanted to sell the e-versions myself on Kindle and Nook myself. I studied the formats and talked to my friends who have already done it. I was just about to publish, when my friend Jana said, "What are you going to do about your covers?"
"What do you mean?" I asked. I'd liked my publisher's covers...well, except for one book. I really hated that cover.
"You don't own the rights to the cover image - the publisher does." Then she told me I would have to design my own.
I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that the thought intimidated me more than the time I met Bill Clinton (and then couldn't shut up as I held his hand in a vice grip). I felt a little ridiculous because what author wouldn't want to have total control of their covers? My concerns were in my complete lack of photoshop skills. That and I had no idea where to begin.
My friend Gemma told me about a photo service where I could pick, edit (and pay for) images to use. After hyperventilating for a while, I sucked it up and thought I'd just try one to start. Finding the photos was easy. For reasons that are beyond me, there are millions of stock photos of people holding guns. Maybe I shouldn't question that and just consider myself lucky.
I just used color banners across the top and bottom - similar to the way my publisher did it and found a similar font. After that, it was just a matter of pasting on the reviews. And I did it all in...(graphic designers should look away for a moment) Microsoft Publisher. But hey, it worked!
I even found a photo very similar to my original cover on one of my books. Now, I just had to upload them to Amazon and Barnes and Noble. No problem!
Except that they didn't take the format I created them in. I called up my photographer friend, Todd, and he helped me - while simultaneously making me feel like an idiot.
BTW, did you know photogs don't use film anymore? Weird.
So I finally got the right covers uploaded to the right books. And now that I look at them, I smugly think (forgetting how nervous I was to do it in the first place) I did a good job. (If you don't agree, please don't tell me...I crumple easily.)
The second coolest thing about getting your rights back? Seeing your sales as they happen online. But that's a story for another time.
Keep writing and don't be afraid to try new stuff...because it's all new stuff.