Tag Archives: graphic

Design for the free cover contest winner revealed!

Whew! I was quite a bit nervous when I started working on the cover for the Free Cover Design Contest winner – Amir Ghazi of The World of Horror. I mean, I love Stephen King just as much as every other person on this planet, but I can’t come up with a horrific image! Not unless it involves a cockroach in a soup or something…

I’m relieved to report that after a couple of mock-ups and a lot of back-and-forth discussion, I came up with a design that made Amir happy. Here it is, in paperback wrap and Kindle format:

The Nightmare wrap - final.jpgThe Nightmare Kindle version - final.jpg

And the best thing is, after the initial jitters, I had a ton of fun working on it! It was practically an addiction for a couple of days, I’ve learned new tricks, and can’t wait to start working on a final version of the cover for Indiot. Originally I was going to run this contest again in maybe six months, but now I think I might do it sooner – so if you are interested in submitting your pitch for a free design, sign up for my Don’t Miss It list.

Let me know what you think!


Filed under Win a free book cover!

Win a free book cover custom designed by Ana Spoke!

UPDATE: please review the entries below and then vote for who you think should get a free cover design:

Only one vote per person/computer is allowed. Voting will close on 24 January.


Omg, you guys – I had the most genius idea ever. You’ve been so nice and supportive while I’ve been going through the ups and downs of trying to hire not one, but two designers, getting sorely disappointed and then designing both the ecover and the wrap myself.  Just to remind you of what I can do, here is the wrap:

Shizzle paperback final for production

A lot of you took the time to comment on the process – thank you again! Several of you have also mentioned hiring me as a designer. To be honest, I don’t want to branch into that – it’s a stressful job, takes a long time, and just thinking of taking somebody’s money and then disappointing them gives me the heebie-jeebies. So I just answered those comments with jokes. Sorry.

But then I had a light bulb moment. Sure, I don’t want another job, and I don’t have the time to create covers for all of you, but I can do one, for free! Then my marketing brain jumped on it, and I came up with an awesome win-win idea: a free contest!

So here it is: until the end of the year, I will accept pitches from anyone who has written a book, or has an idea for one, or wants to publish their NaNoWriMo creation. You don’t have to have the book ready for publication or even written – perhaps having a ready cover hanging over your desk will keep you motivated to finish that dream project?

Here are the rules:

  1. Write a pitch. Imagine that you are submitting your book to an agent – write a blurb/pitch that will hook the reader. Remember, people will vote on it (more on that below).
  2. Post the pitch on your blog or website. If you don’t have one, post it in the comments below.
  3. Let me know about it – in a comment below, with a link to your post.
  4. Make sure to post it any time before midnight on 31 December!

That’s it! After the contest closes, I will create a voting page which will be live during January. Everyone and anyone will get to vote on your pitch. The voting will close on 31 January and the winner will be chosen based on the number of votes – I will stay out of it!

The winner will get the following:

  1. A shot of endorphins at the news of having won a contest.
  2. One custom cover (ebook or paperback wrap, your choice), including:
    1. Up to three initial concepts to choose from (or your concept, developed).
    2. Up to three images from Shutterstock, your choice (regular license, up to 500,000 prints). You get the images to keep.
    3. Detailed design with up to three “fixes” (sorry, I will have to draw a line somewhere!).
    4. Final, layered Photoshop file uploaded to Dropbox – unlike designers, I won’t keep it to myself! This way, if you ever want to tweak a word, or add a “bestselling author” stamp, you can easily do it yourself or get someone local to do it for you.
    5. My relentless perfectionism.
    6. A free value of (according to quotes I got from designers) up to $750!
  3. A special blog post on my site, announcing the final design, with a link to purchase (if available).
  4. That warm, fuzzy feeling of accomplishing a goal.

I hope you are as excited about this as I am! let me know what you think 🙂

CURRENT ENTRIES (in the order received):

  1. Ninja at Law by Jim Peacock

Ninja at Law (Ages of the Seed, vol. 2)

Life at the tail end of the 24th cee is fairly righteous. The advent of Stringtech mere centuries ago revolutionized the world. Hunger and disease are concepts of the past. Free energy is here for the taking of it and mankind enjoys an unprecedented period of largess, peace and growth.

Tobe Sparkles is about to fuck all that up.

2. Head on a Grave by Terry Nelson

While on vacation in 1927, Hollywood screenwriter Chet Koski and his wife Eveleen, both amateur sleuths, antagonize a divided small town, unravel a kidnapping, discover a timber scandal, and Chet fears his cousin may be a killer. These things happen when finding a head on a grave.

3. The Nightmare by Amir.H.Ghazi

When fourteen-year-old Allen Foster is diagnosed with parasomnia, a sleep disorder evoking vivid nightmares, he begins journaling each haunting dream on the advice of his psychiatrist, keeping the notebook safely hidden in a floorboard — that is until a new family moves into the Maine house. When Rita, the daughter of the new owners, discovers the book and begins experiencing Allen’s old nightmares, she tracks him down in an effort to rid herself of the misery, only to find he has no memory of writing them.

4. Mark My Soul by Abby Cashen.

An age old tradition. A few offline cameras. Shadows in the alley. 

Lance works in a busy city, watching out for disturbances and things out of the ordinary. He has no idea just out strange things have gotten until he looks into a missing child case and discovers dark secrets in the shadows. Inhuman creatures seem to appear out of nowhere and are devouring the city. And the only way to stop them…is a tradition no one believes in anymore.

5. The Puzzle by Nick Langis.

It knows your darkest thoughts, your deepest secrets, and your hidden desires. All you need to do; put the puzzle together. Richard and Vivian Cordova discover the puzzle when they move into their newly bought home. One thousand pieces wedge their way between the newlyweds putting their vows and their lives to the test.

6. Confessions of a Good Mother by Kathi Tesone.

Diana, a lonely and neglected, middle age, wife and mother decides to end her loveless marriage of thirty years. On her own for the first time in decades, she struggles to adjust to her new single life, dating and overcoming a devastating diagnosis of  mental illness. Can she learn to love herself so she will be ready to find love with the right man or will she continue to get the thrills her illness demands by engaging in increasingly risky behavior? Will she get the help she needs to live a more fulfilling life before her mental illness wins and she decides to commits suicide?

7. The Hiding Place – By J.K.Tevis.

The bugs were unmerciful in their quest for food. The ants were the most vicious. Her hiding place was their home and she was an intruder. The dried blood on her feet seemed to have driven them into a feeding frenzy making it look as though she wore a pair of black boots. Even though the earth under her was cool the sun had turned the fallen stones over her into an oven. As she drifted in and out of consciousness she kept remembering her mother’s last words…. “RUN,THEY’RE HERE !”

8. Chrysalis by Sharon Gerdes

Joyel is a weapon, a genetically engineered ten year old. When the ruthless faction leader Anson kidnaps Joyel she must fight to save her soul. Anson spends ten years brainwashing her, demanding that she view him as father, embrace a new identity as Joy, and to kill for him. But Joy is determined to be subject to no man.

Cutting is how Joy copes with the years of abuse, etching her hatred of Anson into her skin until the time to mete out revenge has come. Despite her rage, now twenty-year-old Joy struggles to strike out against the man she calls father. Discovering Anson’s plans to restart the genetic program she was spawned from in order to raise an army forces Joy to act. To no longer be a pawn, she must kill Anson and destroy the monster she has become. If she doesn’t, she will never be free.

CHRYSALIS asks which is more important: to know who you are, or to whom you belong?

9. Ember’s Heart by Charca Molson

For Ember Rehksskari, a hated dragon and last princess of a fallen kingdom, there are two kinds of place in the world: those where the people will try to kill her, and those where they’ll try harder. Yet, fleeing from the second to the first, she may just find a third.

The kingdom of Salshira has no interest in hosting a dragon, any dragon, especially not one pursued by the Vohrskrain, but Ean Tavarin, crown prince and engineer extraordinaire, has a plan to make a home for this one…if he can deal with a best friend who wants all dragons dead, a father looking out for the rest of the kingdom, and a romantic interest he didn’t know he had.

It really shouldn’t be this hard to make one damsel safe!

But if Emperor Vohrskrain has anything to say, none of them will be until Ember is dead.


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing, Win a free book cover!