Monthly Archives: November 2014

Your Cover Art

Damon Za BannerDamon Za Designs Awesome Cover Art

As someone who has spent years designing web sites and creating marketing material for businesses, I knew that I needed some strong cover art to help me sell my books. While searching, I discovered that there are great artists out there. But the challenges were: they have their own individual style, which doesn’t suit you; they are out of your price range; or they are too busy to accommodate new clients.

Then I located Damon Za. What he does so well is provide a great design package at incredible prices:

  • You complete an online interview that defines your book and your cover art preferences;
  • Offered multiple packages which may include e-books covers, softcover designs, web banners, posters, 3D images; and even the native Photoshop files;
  • Two choices are delivered to you from the designer within 11 days. You choose between them then develop that one with your designer via email.

I found my designer, Alisha of Damon Za, very easy to work with, and we developed her second concept as the cover for The Silver Ships. Much to my delight, her first concept was so great that it will be the basis of my second book’s cover art.

Whether you are a first-time self-publisher or are considering having your cover updated—check them out!

My Writing

How and Where To Start.

When I’m considering what I wish to write about I try to block out specific stories that I’ve readnot easy to do I admit. What I mean isfocus on what you likesubjects that you have followed for awhile. The more familiar the subject is to you, the easier the creative process.

I think its also important to understand your own values. In my case, I know  that I prefer to read about individuals who stand up and try to do the right thing for those around them, who try to make the world a better place. This is one reasons I’ve been a supporter of NRDC, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace for thirty years. It’s been my way of trying to do something that will help all peopleworking toward a healthier environment.

And, importantly, without a passion for writing, I can’t see the opportunity for long term success. This is one of the reasons it took me so long to complete my first novel. I enjoyed the concept of designing a story, but I couldn’t muster the desire, the passion, to see it throughuntil now.

So you have a good idea and your belly is full of fire…where to start? After dozens of incomplete starts, I did discover more than one truth, at least they’re truths for me. One of these is that as I build my story I must constantly ask myself why? Why did this happen? Why is my character like this? Why is this world like this? Answering the why over and over again and noting your answers builds a back story. This back story creates consistent characters and worlds that bring your story to life, and this is something I believe every writer owes their readers.

Do You Need An Editor?

I think every writer needs an editor.

Each writer may have that group of individuals that help with early reviews of the book to provide feedback on the plot, the characters, and the style.

But, in the end, i believe there needs to be a single individual that you can depend on to review your work with professional detachment and provide the feedback necessary.

For the self-published, there are independent editors. They aren’t cheap—the average story/copy editor, working in the industry, appears to charge around $.03/word, but often gives you two rounds of editing for the price.

I know that I worked so long and hard on this first book that after a while I couldn’t see the book for the words. There was no way I could be judge the results of my efforts.

Organizing Yourself

Everyone Needs Their Own Method

Throughout the years, I found my greatest challenge to be the discovery of an organizational system that worked for me. All of you who are still struggling with that first novel need to overcome that challenge.

I tried postcards pinned to the wall, until I became embarrassed by the number of trees I was destroying. I tried Dragon Speaking so that I could dictate the book, but it took forever to train the application. And, I tried a half dozen other methods.

In the end, with my many years spent in the corporate world, I chose MS Office 2010, which gave me the control I needed. Using an outline format, with the side navigator bar allowing me to jump and search, I was able to cut, move, and edit the plot until I was ready to write.

Then, it was just a matter of  developing my outline, many areas containing dialog, into my first draft.

Welcome to my blog!

Headshot of Scott Jucha

Scott Jucha

Hello and welcome.

I’ll be noting the challenges I have faced concerning my efforts to create and self-publish this series. Where I can I’ll offer tips on vendors, books and sites that were of great value in assisting me to achieve the final work.

I’ll also include information on my novels’ production progress, publishing dates, and art work. Please feel free to visit my web site and register for email notices.