Tag Archives: Insecure Writers Support Group

IWSG 101: More Than a Cover Art


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Jacqui Murray | Ronel Janse van Vuuren | Pat Garcia | Gwen Gardner


If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you’ve been traditionally published, how much input did you have on the cover art?


Fishing for Readers (aka marketing)

A good cover has only one job. It hooks the eye. I know—ouch. But that’s its job. As your possible reader peruses the thousands of book covers available, what makes them stop and take a harder look at yours?

Cover art has marketing elements designed to invite your reader to click the thumbnail or pick it up and read the back. Book blurbs sink the hook and get the reader to read the first line. Which leads to the first paragraph. To the first page.


And the hooks just keep on hooking.

What I’ve done

I was too cheap to spend money on an editor or cover artist, so I followed the road to small indie publishers. Most of you know how that ended so I won’t go on about it.

I also tried my hand at cover art, but that’s later in the post.

What I learned

The cover can be more than a book cover. Once designed and before the book release, it can build anticipation. Some authors and their marketers throw a Cover Reveal Blog Hop. Here the readers can win swag and possibly an ARC—Advanced Reader Copy.

This can rally early reviews which always help. The more reviews the more success in sales.

Once out, the author can use the image for social media headers, banners, and avatars.

Beautiful as they are, Book Covers and Cover Art are Marketing Tools. Nothing More.

Merging the Elements

When I first posted on WattPad, I put together some cover art for my submissions. I started with watching some of Derek Murphy YouTube Posts—found in the links below.

I created the covers for Witchery, Mexmur: the huntress, Dragon Eye, and Minor Error. Here I invested nothing but time and a few dollars in simple images. Although I think the covers look pretty good, I’m not a master.

When doing this for an actual book, do a mockup and get feedback. Polish it. Just as you would in your written work.

Or better yet…

Many successful self-published works are professionally edited, within the cover and without. Typesetting to book blurbs. And the professional cover design is just one of many elements the marketing plan includes.

Because the publisher understands, we get one chance with a new reader.

Paying someone who actually knows how to put the marketing elements together seems the wise choice to me. Publishers—indie or self—must meet the high quality their readers expect if they want set the hook.

Make the sale and return on their investment.


What do you look for when searching for your next read?

Gleaned from:


IWSG 100: We are writers. Watch us scrawl.


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



emima Pett | Debs Carey | Kim Lajevardi | Sarah FosterNatalie Aguirre | T. Powell Coltrin


Do you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year? For instance, in 2021 my word of the year was Finish. I was determined to finish my first draft by the end of the year. In 2022, my word of the year was Ease. I want to get my process, systems, finances, and routines where life flows with ease and less chaos. What is your word for 2023?


I’m going to touch on a couple topics this round.

First, Imposter syndrome

I’ve never been so deep in the mire of imposter syndrome as I am right now. I’ve joined a new crit group and they are great. So great. Talented and wonderful people. We’re online, so we are from everywhere.

And I feel wiser because I’ve met them.

And more insecure than I’ve been in years.

You’d think that would segue into my next subject.

Second, the new Year’s resolution

So many of us set the bar high. I did it for years and gave myself impossible goals that I didn’t achieve.

Of the top five below, I’ve done none.

“Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, hoping to spark positive change. The recurring themes each year include a more active approach to health and fitness, improved finances, and learning new things for personal and professional development. Chances are, more than a couple of the top 10 most common resolutions will look familiar to you:

  • Exercise more
  • Lose weight
  • Get organized
  • Learn a new skill or hobby
  • Live life to the fullest…”

From: GoSkills.com

Be kind to yourself and don’t trade one problem for another.

One year, I swore I’d quit smoking and eventually I did, but it wasn’t a resolution. I got fit. Ate better and still try to do both. I’m not successful everyday though. But I knew that change was the right choice.

If you start the New Year with a resolution and postpone success—as I did—treat yourself as your own best friend. Be supportive. Don’t take advantage of your vulnerability and give yourself some nasty self-talk.

The big thing to remember is, you knew you wanted to change. It is the beginning and you will, eventually. We never stay the same forever.

third and last, My answer

Oh, another segue. Hehehe

I see the New Year as a new beginning where all things are possible—including self change.

When my son was young, I reminded him that a new day was a new beginning.

So as of New Year’s Eve I cut strings to the old and welcome the new.

A year to discover who I am. I just hope I’m wise enough to grasp the brass ring if I see it.

I hope this year brings all of us joy, success, and love.

We are writers. Watch us scrawl.

Happy New Year!

Now, a question for you

How do you get past imposter syndrome?

IWSG 99: NaNoWriMo Has Started


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Diedre Knight|Douglas Thomas Greening|Nick Wilford|Diane Burton


Did you ever take part in National Novel Writing Month? If not, why not?

First, I’ll answer some questions about NaNoWriMo that new writers might have.

Who, When, What, Where, and Why

Who? Anyone can participate by signing up and announcing their project on the NaNoWriMo site then start writing on the 1st.

When? All of November.

What? NaNoWriMo stands for is National Novel Writing Month. It is a free yearly contest. The goal is to write 50k in the 30 days of November.

Where? At home, your local library. Alone or with friends. Open up your computer and get the story down. About ¾ of the way through to the end of November, the site will have a text box to enter your work. Don’t worry, they don’t save a thing. It’s only proof of word count. If you’ve hit the 50k mark or more, you are a winner.

Why? So many reasons, like all the sponsor’s prizes.

They are small potatoes compared to making writing breakthroughs like proving you can finish a story.

CampNaNo vs NaNoWriMo

They are different in two ways: CampNaNo runs April and July and the word count is determined by the contestant. Lower pressure contest for those who prefer an easier stride.

Have A Strategy

Daily Word Count: First and most important is to break it up into doable pieces. Some divide by 20 and write 2.5k per day, taking the weekends off. Some divide by 30 and write 1.67k per day. Stick to this plan and you’ll win.

October is really NaNoWriMo Prep Month

If you’re a planner, you’ll have your research, character profiles, and settings well organized and ready. And the big one, you’ll have a detailed outline waiting.

If you’re a pantser, you could give yourself 20/30 writing prompts.

Trust me. At the halfway point, it can be a slog. Do yourself a favor, give yourself something to kick-start your daily word count when your momentum wanes.

One last piece of advice is don’t go back and fix anything. Instead, type these words: Try Again. Then start the scene from the beginning with your new perspective. Don’t look back.

If you must: jot down what is distracting you, let go, and move forward.

A note for Scrivener fans: In October Scrivener offers an extended trail in anticipation of NaNoWriMo and a half price offer if you win.

Answering the Question…

Have I ever participated in NaNoWriMo?

Yes, it was the place where I finished my first book. It was where I learned to push through what I thought was impossible.

I learned to write, Try Again.

To Start again. To Move forward. And to Get It Done.

Now, a question for you

If you’d participated, what did you learn? If not, what is your strategy to succeed?

IWSG 98: Do You Ever Speculate?


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Tonja Drecker | Victoria Marie LeesMary Aalgaard |Sandra Cox


What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

I love to read about magic in fantasy or wild technology in science-fiction.

The what-if that helps bring words to pages can be a wild ride. The thought someone could fly or fix a broken cup on a whim can hook me like nobody’s business.

Don’t get me started on dragons. hehehe

Like most scientists and I apologize if feelings get hurt here, I’m on the naïve side and think breakthroughs should only be used to help humanity. But I know, it doesn’t always pan out that way and am glad some things aren’t possible, yet.

Our speculation and the stories it generates question what we as a people are doing today. Our walk in the everyday world limits us—some more than others. The answers that may come to mind, depending on what side of warrior-verses-pacifist coin a person lands on, may flare despair or hope.

Speculative fiction raises great questions and I think about them. Do we have the discipline to handle our next technological singularity? Will it look like magic does to me now?

Now, a question for you

What about you. What genre raises questions for you?

IWSG 97: What Wouldn’t I Write?


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Kim Lajevardi | Cathrina Constantine |Natalie Aguirre | Olga Godim | Michelle Wallace | Louise – Fundy Blue


What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

A while back, I discovered I was a speculative fiction writer. It was a bit of a shock and I resisted. Only because I’ve never labeled myself before. I don’t think genre when I start with a premise. I think… what if…

Hence the speculation.

So the question leaves me wondering, what wouldn’t I write about?

I don’t know.

Maybe I’ll discover the answer by reading all the other posts this month.

Now, a question for you

Do you always write in the same genre or are you covered by an umbrella too?