Today’s tip: Budget for mistakes. I’m setting up various things that cost money — not just a book cover but a professionally designed website and (gasp, shudder) a professional portrait photo. I’m not just blundering around. In each case I’m looking at the person or company offering the service, attempting to evaluate their portfolio, asking about pricing, looking for recommendations, and so forth.
Even so, it’s not to be expected that I’ll choose the right person or company every time. At least one will turn out to be inadequate, and I may not find that out until I’ve shelled out a sizable chunk of cash. Book cover designers often ask for 50% payment up front, to start work.
If you’re strapped for cash, trying to start a self-publishing endeavor is bound to be stress-inducing at best. It could turn out to be a bottomless pit. (I’ve seen a few covers that authors designed for themselves. I’m no more talented as a graphic designer than those other authors are. I just have more disposable income, that’s all.)
Meanwhile, on Channel Two, I’m continuing the final edits on my fantasy series/saga. Halfway through Book III now, only one and a half books to go. (Lots more editing work after that, of course. I have a 3/4-complete file of a short story anthology I have to put together, and another novel that’s finished and waiting to go, and so on.)
A series needs a series title, right? Book I is called The Leafstone Shield. I can just put “LEAFSTONE BOOK 2” on the cover of the next volume, and so forth — that’s easy. But what term do I use when I need to refer to the series in print materials? I dislike the word “saga” rather intensely. “Epic” has a bit of the flavor of Medieval fantasy, which is not what I want. “Adventure” is too long a word, and isn’t very colorful. “The Leafstone Chronicles”? The story isn’t really chronicles; I think of chronicles as diary entries.
The land that Kyura is trying to save from the evil schemes of the Lord Dahilio Rundel is called Sa’akna. But “Rescuing Sa’akna”? Quite aside from the fact that “rescuing” is a cliche, putting apostrophes in names is also a cliche. The apostrophe I’m stuck with, but I don’t much want to wave it around in a series title. “The Story of Kyura”? Way too vague.
Thinking out loud here. Sorry. But hey, this series of blog posts is a documentary. This is the stuff I’m having to ponder. How about “Gods, Ghosts, & Dragons”? That’s dramatic, for sure. There’s only one ghost, though, and he’s not a major character. Maybe something will come to me. If not, it’s going to be the Leafstone Saga.