How to Make a Book Cover on Picmonkey.com My Way…

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The idea for this post came about after the amazing launch of my mystery thriller book, Silent PayBack. So many people admired the cover, and Colleen Chesebro wondered if I could write a post describing how I did it.

I have tried to make it as user friendly as I could and really hope it inspires you to make great covers too.

Picmonkey.com is an amazing site and has a free option, so you can play around and get used to all the lovely effects they have. It is possible to make covers and posters with the free option, but for a very reasonable £7 a month, you get a lot more choice of techniques.

It took me an age to decide what the cover for SPB should look like, and even longer to make it. I’m not that clever with technology, and if a process is too complicated, I tend to run for the hills! I have tried several other sites in my search for one I could learn to use, but always return to Picmonkey.com

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First, open Picmonkey.com. Once you log in, you are presented with the work area.

Choose a blank template: Up on the left, by the Picmonkey symbol, I clicked on CREATE NEW and chose a blank template 1000 x 1600 (kindle size)

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Also on the left, just beneath CREATE NEW, I selected Add an image. Added my background image and stretched it to fit the blank template.

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I clicked on Add an image again and added the first man’s face to the background image. I chose erase from the box on the right and removed everything from the right side of his face.

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Then I added the heroes face using the same method and removed the material from the side of his face too. You will have noticed by now that I am working in layers, all of which can be selected in the box on the right if I need to go back and change anything.

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When I was happy with each layer, I started to add the text. Title, subtitle and author name, all added individually as layers. Finally, I downloaded the finished cover image to my pc.

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All the image layers can be faded individually if necessary. The ability to create these layers on Picmonkey.com enables you to make some great effects.

There is so much more on offer too, so many great ideas and effects, and the best part is, its so easy to use with all the many step by step tutorials.

I should also mention that all the images I use come from Pixabay.com.


 

There is an alternative (easier) method of removing unwanted background, something that comes in very handy for all manner of ideas.

CREATE NEW < size < choose translucent background < Add an image < erase unwanted bits< save

This saves to your hub to used later.

Creating book covers and promotional posters has never been this much fun!

 

©jayemarie

 

 

Wrong Move!

 

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Image by Scott Webb from Pixabay

I had half an hour before the man came to install the new bannister rail, so I decided to nip to the market.

I crossed the road from my house, hardly reaching the pavement when one of those alien people came towards me, head down and holding a mobile phone where his face should be.

Now, as a rule, they see you coming from the corner of their eye, but not this one. I stepped to the right. So did he. I stepped to the left, he did the same, and we seemed to be doing a two-step.

Now I know this happens all the time with people with phones in their faces and is usually quick and you are on your way.

Not this one. He wouldn’t look up from the phone and by now I was getting annoyed, so I let him have both barrels. “Will you stand ******* still so I can get to where I’m going?”

He looked up with a smile on his face, and I guess he wasn’t expecting a woman of my age to have such a mouth on her. He looked to be in his mid-twenties and for a second I thought I might get a mouthful back.

To my surprise, he grabbed my arms and danced me around in a kind of waltz. When he stopped, I was facing my front door, showing me just how far I hadn’t got. He kissed my cheek and wished me a Merry Christmas, leaving me standing there with my mouth open.

For a woman of my age that was quite a moment, and I watched as he went on his way, phone in his face again, neatly sidestepping the people who came towards him.

I stood there with a stupid smile on my face, wondering if any of the neighbours had been watching. If any of them were, they probably thought I had lost my mind. I decided to wait for the bannister man, before taking a second shot at getting to the market.

Hopefully, I wouldn’t bump into any more strange men…

©anitadawes

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 49

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This week I have set myself the task of re-editing an old manuscript, one with the old-fashioned straight speech marks. I did try to find a way to remove/replace them with curly ones, with no luck. At least, not on the version of Word I am using.

There must be a way to do this, but the advice I get from googling the problem seems impossible to implement. So, unless someone knows an easy way to do this, I am destined to be doing it by hand for the next six months!

Changing the subject to something a little closer to my heart, I have to report that Autumn is happening rather slowly outside my back door where most of my bonsai trees are taking their sweet time to drop their leaves.

Which turned out for the better really, for me that is, as it gives me more time to clear up after the ones that have obliged. Because it has become so cold out there, I am having to cut my trips outside short as my hands get so painful even with gloves on, which means I am having trouble keeping up with everything.

Normally, my trees drop their leaves quite quickly and I can get them all tidied up and bedded down in one afternoon. But this extremely cold weather is playing havoc with all things garden related.

The grass is getting longer by the minute but cannot be cut as it’s much too wet. There is going to be such a backlog to catch up on come Spring as most of my trees will need repotting by then too.

On one of my lightning trips outside, I happened to notice the state of some of the bonsai shelving. The wood is rotting, the brackets are rusting and the wall these shelves live on desperately needs a coat of paint too, so the list of outstanding jobs is getting longer.

This year, through no fault of my own, I have not been a very good gardener, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it, so next year I have a lot of work to do once the good weather returns…

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I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

Mirrors… #Poetry

 

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Magic mirrors at the fairground

Turned my life inside out

Like rubber gloves removed from someone’s hand

What was in, is now out, not a good thing

I can no longer hide my thoughts from others

They stick right out, causing all kinds of chaos

I need to find that fairground

Break the mirror that spun my life around…

***

Life’s fairground

Slide up on that beautiful painted horse

Take a spin, roam the fairground

See what you can win

Three balls hit the coconut, soft toy in hand

Music thumping beneath your feet

Gold finned fish in plastic a bowl to find

Sweet taste of candyfloss, the walk home

holding your sweethearts hand

The joy of childhood remembered…

©anitadawes

#Wordle ~ 429 #Poetry

 

 

 

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Looking at the thick diamond crusted sky

It’s true what they say about the dark

It moves, there’s something living within

Slowly marching across my lawn

Holding my warm glass of milk

I like to look at the world outside before bed

The edge of my glass tasted salty

I wondered if Mrs Mack had been

Preparing her supper before bringing it to me

I knew she would take a glass of her favourite brew to bed

No looking at the stars for Mrs Mack

That would be a waste of good sleep time

How much beauty does she miss with her practical mind?

The way my luscious green lawn looks almost black at night

Standing there, reminding myself to write the cards for the gala

By rights, I should have written them yesterday

Clouds fell away from the face of the moon

Changing the lawn from black to silver

Chasing some of the dark shadows away…

©anitadawes

To Be or not to Be?

 

This morning, as I was reading the news on my PC, there was an article about recognising the signs of Alzheimers or dementia, and as I am constantly being told that I am well on my way to having one or the other, I gave it a read.

I suppose it was inevitable at my age, 75, for the remarks to start,  because I must admit I am nothing like I used to be. (Sssh, don’t tell anyone I said that!)

 For instance:

… How many times do I forget what I am doing, or what I was going to do?

… How many times do I ask the same question or misunderstand the answer?

… How many attempts to find the right words to express myself.

… Are my mood swings more pronounced? Although personally, despite public opinion, I think I am having more good moods lately.

… Am I have trouble learning new skills? (This is not exactly new, I have always been a bit dense, but I get there in the end!)

But on the good side:  (That I managed to find a few of these pleased me no end!)

I haven’t yet got lost in the street. (Although I did recently forget my dentist appointment)

I haven’t yet staggered down the road, waving my knickers in the air. (And I hope I never do, but it could happen apparently!)

I haven’t lost interest in any of my projects or hobbies. Just the time I need to do them!

I can still do sums in my head and follow a plot. (More or less!)

I have begun to worry less about our progress, but do wonder if this is down to losing the plot!

One of my main accusers is also displaying some of these telltale signs, so it is probably only a matter of time for either one of us falls foul to the disease of the aged…  This isn’t a competition I intend to win, however…

All joking aside, I am becoming a little concerned about the state of my brain. At first, it was amusing and on a good day, it can be hilarious, watching myself do the most stupid of things. Like going out for a walk without any shoes on, or forgetting to switch on the washing machine/computer/iron/oven and wonder why nothing happens. One of the best was wondering why the kettle didn’t quite fit in the fridge. Even I had to laugh at that one.

All of this is beginning to affect my writing too, despite all the notes I make, and the frantic checking to find what I actually wrote yesterday.

I still get a satisfying buzz when I achieve something or reach my daily total, but the extent of my elation is in itself alarming. I am having to work in short bursts, and this is playing havoc with my productivity!

The Book Tour for Silent PayBack is nearly over, and we have been overwhelmed by the amount of support and good wishes we have been receiving! So huge thanks to everyone involved!

The price will rise on Thursday, so if you don’t have your copy yet, you don’t have long!

 

 

 

Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 42

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It had to had to happen, I suppose…

 

This weeks Journal will not be about my new book release, for I have waxed lyrical about Silent PayBack for what seems like a lifetime. (although, it does seem to be doing rather well, so thank you for all of your support!)

It won’t be about gardening or my bonsai either, because the constant rain has kept me indoors. I dread to think what will happen if it doesn’t stop raining soon. I will probably need an army of machete wielding volunteers to bring what is probably a jungle by now, back under control.

Seeking some new and interesting topics, I found this interesting article about the founder of the internet, Professor Leonard Kleinrock, while browsing Quora for interesting things to write about.

This Professor Kleinrock created the internet on 29th October 1969, and on this monumental anniversary, he has been having second thoughts.

He says that in the beginning, he was thinking about people talking to computers, not people talking to people… and that as engineers, they were not thinking in terms of nasty people behaviour…

I am puzzled by how long it took to come to this conclusion!

So, a New Connection Lab has been formed to welcome research into how to stop online evils, using something called Block Chain Technology, which sounds too much like tinkering with people and their reputations to me.

Apparently, this genius has discovered that this nastiness is far more than John X being nasty to Peter X. It’s nation against nation, and organised crime doing ‘big bad things.’

He says he doesn’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water, but do they really know what they are doing, or what the consequences will be down the line, any more than they did nearly fifty years ago?

Or are we heading for an internet like they have in China?

I wonder what else I can find on Quora?

 

 

Thank you for reading – please feel free to comment or share –

best wishes – Anita & Jaye

#Wordle ~ 425

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Rushing around like a blue arsed fly

I slammed into the finger of fate

And yes, it’s written that I am destined

To collide with many unwanted events

I am free to follow my own path

Barring black cats, I hope to make it through

As a shy child, I was slow to find my own style

With the help of the Gods of light

I will forge moments to remember

No more salt tears for me

From now on my eyes will stay dry

Nothing will make me cry again

After all, this life is mine

Only I can live it…

©anitadawes