Thursday, February 2, 2023

Insecure Writers Support Group February 2023


February 1 question - If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

First, I apologize for being tardy to the party. This often happens when the IWSG day falls on the first of the month. Or, sometimes, when it falls on any other day of the month.

I guess I'm a hybrid author. I have published my own work and have also had my stories published in anthologies. 

When it comes to the stories in the anthologies, my input on the cover is zip, zero, zilch, and nada. That's fine with me.

With the books I've published, there's a fair likelihood that I've designed my own cover with the photo manipulation software at and a free use image from Pixabay. Results may vary, but since I'm a broke-ass who hasn't yet reached Kinglike status in the world of authordom, my questionable artistic abilities will have to suffice for the time being.

There are a few things I've learned along the way. Many of you may have known these things before I did. Good on you. I provide the information for the benefit of those who may not know.

Avoid using images including real people unless you can get a copy of a model release. If you do use images with real people, don't include their faces. 

For the cover of the erotic romance novelette, The Shape of Heat: Awakening, I selected an image of a young adult man and woman holding their hands together to form the shape of a heart. I chose this image because the protagonists in the novel are in their early to mid-twenties and because no faces are visible in the image. I discovered the hard way that Amazon gives erotica authors a hard time if they include a real person's face on their cover.

I am planning on using the same background I used to create this banner for the cover of the forthcoming Lovecraftian fantasy novel, The Quest for the Wizard's Key. 

Daft though I may be, I am not so daft as to think my design abilities are good enough that I could charge other people money for them. I'm a graphic design school dropout, and my grandmother lamented the fact that I'm the kind of person who has no eye for anything, I just know what I like. She tried to take me shopping once to help her pick out components for a room. It was a disaster. I had no idea what I was doing. 

However, nobody can design covers for my books at a lower rate than I can. As far as book cover creators go, at this juncture, it's gotta be me.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

Free Use Image from Open Clipart Vectors

"Ornery Owl's book covers look like she must have been drunk when she designed them." --K. Ritik


  1. Blogger/Google is making it increasingly difficult to comment on your posts. On my third attempt it has graciously let me in today. I admire your creativity - and your honesty. You are too hard on yourself though.

    1. Thank you. Sometimes all the things authors are "supposed" to do are frustrating to me. We're "supposed" to have a newsletter. Apparently, my newsletter sucks. I've never been able to get more than six subscribers. We're "supposed" to hire someone to design our book covers. I often publish multiple books a year, and I'm hardly making Kingly royalties from them. Nobody can design my book covers cheaper than I can! They may not be the best, but I think they're passable.

  2. Thank you for reminding me that I have an old account with Pixa, have now redeemed and updated it.


This is a safe space. Be respectful.