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

index.png

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

F. Promo banner.jpg

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)

NEW PAGE.png

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.

2019-12-05 (4).png

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.

2019-12-05 (2).png

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.

2019-12-05 (1).png

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.

2019-12-05.png

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

 

 

Four Seasons… #Poetry

 

Four Seasons

The mournful sound of Summer dying

Bare trees, one green leaf clinging

With the last of Summers sigh

Autumn slips past too fast

To the cold grip of Winter

Hard ground beneath your feet

Creatures sleeping, waiting

Cupboards fully stocked for snowfall

Bright buttoned snowmen built

Wooden sleighs sliding

Children laughing

Let me turn the clock forward

Bring on the Spring rains

The smile of daffodils

Let the sun shine

so I can feel warm again…

©anitadawes

The Long Walk… #Poetry

dark-336584_1920.jpg

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

 

The Long Walk

I want to dance

To swim the warm waters

Run barefoot through fields of yesterday

When you were there

I have lost more than my soul mate

There are no sunsets, no moon rise

The breeze no longer moves through the trees

The leaves are still

You have taken the air from this world

I can no longer breathe without you here

I wait, drifting like a slow-moving river

Until I can walk the path you have taken…

©anitadawes

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 49

Jaye's Journal x12

 

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…

linescrollwork_9_gold_by_victorian_lady-dah7mdq

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!

Midnight Child… #Poetry

 

girl-worried-1215261_1280.jpg

Midnight Child

I pour out the magic elixir

The sip I take turns my hands white

My hair is straightened

No fuzzy top to tease me by

No hurtful names for ears to hear

No tears to shed on night-time pillow

Will life be sweeter now I am white?

©anitadawes

#Jaye’s Journal ~ Week 47

Jaye's Journal x12

 

I actually took the afternoon off yesterday.

My head was aching, so I switched off the PC, grabbed my gardening jacket and went out to our back garden. It wasn’t raining for a change, but the grass was much too wet to be cut. It was, however, very cold.

Every year about this time, I like to start putting the bonsai to bed. This involves removing all the fallen leaves and any weeds. Yes, even in those small pots we get weeds, usually brought by the wind. Sometimes, the local squirrels like to deposit peanuts and other seeds in them too, despite the thick growth of moss.

Once the trees are bare, I check for damaged or diseased branches. I also remove any branches that have appeared in the wrong place, so much easier to see at this time of year.

By this time my hands were freezing, so I cleared up the mess I made and rushed back indoors. I wasn’t outside long, but my head had cleared and I felt good. Nothing quite like fresh air for blowing the cobwebs away.

And although there is still more to do out there, I was glad to get something done.

Suitably refreshed, I spent the rest of the day working on the post I had promised for Colleen Chesebro about how I managed to create the well-received cover for SPB.

This involved several screenshots to show the process, for I find images far more helpful than words alone, so I am closer to being finished.

We recently sent out a newsletter to our subscribers, (which I feel could have been better, thanking everyone for their support for SPB and news of upcoming events.)

Any chance you could let us know what you thought of it?

We would really appreciate feedback, so future newsletters will be better and more interesting.

©jayemarie

 

 

Jaye’s Journal ~Week 45

 

Jaye's Journal x12

 

I have been so busy all year, writing (re-writing) and editing (and more editing) my latest detective thriller, Silent PayBack. Then there was the amazing book launch last month and some amazing reviews which totally blew me away, and it took some time for my brain to settle down again.

The past few days, finally being alone with my thoughts, so to speak, I have suddenly realised that the year is nearly over. In a few short weeks, it will be Christmas and then (and this doesn’t bear thinking about) it will be 2020.

2020!

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

I can’t help hoping that it will be a very special year, a new era for us all, maybe?

I had thought that I could take it a bit easier next year and not make any definite plans, preferring to wait and see, but my brain obviously didn’t get that memo and is busy having a field day, trying out different ideas on for size, in theory at least. So, one way or another, things have been creeping up on me.

Anita has a new book coming out, so I will be involved with all the editorial and promotional stuff for that, and we also plan to publish some of her wonderful poems.  (More news and images to follow!)  I have had no ideas for my next book, although the thought of a Christmas murder mystery appealed to me the other day.

I also want to learn how to use PowerPoint, and finally, get to grips with Scrivener. I have always been a loyal Word fan, but since I updated it earlier this year, it’s not the same anymore and everyone seems to wax lyrical on how helpful Scrivener is for a writer, so it might be time to bite that bullet, just to see if they are right!

There are a few family things that will be changing around me too, and I’m not quite sure whether to be terrified or not. Change doesn’t usually bother me though, good or bad, they usually just need some minor adjusting, but I have the feeling some of these changes will be serious and far-reaching…

©jayemarie

Thank you so much for reading my Journal, and please leave a comment or two!

Jaye’s Amazon Author Page:  https://Author.to/JayeLink

My Mind… #Poetry

fantasy-3317298__340.jpg

Image by Pixabay.com

 

My world is made of breadcrumbs

Only there is no Hansel and Gretel in this story

I know I’m not living in a fairy tale

Everything I touch crumbles, harmony is lost

My secret thoughts turn darker

At times my spoken word is edged with barb wire

I lose friends, family with my acid tongue

I feel as if I have fallen into a fog

Laced with hex

It follows me, breaking every step I take

There is no one to tell this sorry tale to

They wouldn’t understand

Besides, what could they do

I must find my own way out of the labyrinth

Before I lose the only thing left to me

My mind…

©anitadawes

A Strange and Unexpected Visitor…

srtyu

 

It hasn’t rained for nearly two days and I was looking forward to escaping the confines of my office and getting some fresh air.  Anita called me to come outside and see something, and she was being very mysterious. I found her standing near my bonsai, pointing to the one on the end of the shelf.

I wondered what had caught her attention, for as far as I could tell, they were all there on the shelf, looking a bit scruffy to be fair for I haven’t been keeping them tidy due to the weather. None of them were missing or damaged, although I thought some of them were looking a bit like naughty children, revelling in my lack of attention.

DSCF3270 (2).JPG

Image by Jaye Marie

That’s when I noticed what Anita was pointing to, a very small mushroom was happily growing in the pot alongside my bonsai tree. This tree was a gift from the birds some six years ago. I found it trying to grow between the cracks of the path, liked the shape and colour of the leaves and decided to keep it. I transferred it into a pot, but never did find out what it was called. So, after all this time, how did a mushroom manage to grow in the same pot?

 

Further along the shelf I noticed that my English cherry had changed into its autumn colour, a glorious red. I grew this tree from a cherry stone about seven years ago. It has never flowered, but I hope it will one day.

DSCF3272 (2).JPG

Image by Jaye Marie

My eyes returned to the tiny mushroom, and I was reminded of our last unexpected visitor.

DSCF1025.JPG

Image by Jaye Marie

I had no idea this could happen, but have seen others since, so quite ordinary really…

©jayemarie

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!