Evelyn Chartres Author

The Ghoul Hunter’s Review

Ghoul Hunters, a coda to The Grand Project has been revised and updated on both Google Docs and Wattpad.  This is the first major revision of this chapter since they were consolidated into one work for an overall review.  The Google Docs version allows for both comments and change proposals so readers are encouraged to use these capabilities.

The Grand is a Gothic Horror novel with a Grand Hotel as a backdrop during the Roaring Twenties and focuses on victims of the hotel’s guests.  Ever wondered what would happen in a hotel that caters to Things That Go Bump in the Night?

Taglines and Layer Styles

Dressing up the Cover – Part 5

This is Part 5 of the Dressing up the Cover tutorial and previously we covered Borders and Text.

Make use of the Pick Tool from the Tools Bar to reduce the size of Lady Shade until she fits within the confines of the borders. Take your time to ensure that the resize operation is done using one of the Corners to maintain Aspect Ratio.

Note

Sometimes the Pick Tool will not Resize. Attempts to modify will instead alter the Perspective which is not the desired behaviour. To correct this behaviour change the Mode to Scale.

After completing your adjustments Lady Shade should look roughly like below.

20-Lady-Shade-Adjusted.png

Now is the time to add a Tagline, a sentence or short paragraph which is used to grab a reader. Since we not use complex Layer Styles for this section we can go ahead and create it one layer.

The Liberation Sans Font was used for the tagline. The Font Size was set to 72 Points so we can work on it later. Note that Bold or Italics in the Font Styles were not selected.

To match our example the following line was used:

A vision from the

past becomes a

writer’s deadly

obsession

Once the text is inserted, resized then moved the appropriate location (shown below) the image should resemble the following.

21-Tagline-Inserted.png

Next make use of Layer Styles to finish up the Text Lines and Borders.  From the Layers Panel, select one of your Author’s Name Layer’s then click on the Layer Styles icon.

22-Layer Styles.png

The Layer Properties window will open and feature effects applicable to layers. As seen below, operations range from Reflection and Drop Shadow effects.

23-Layer-Styles-Window.png

For the Title and Author we want to make use of the Emboss style, use the settings above then click on OK to set the Layer Style. This process must be repeated for each layer, so save these settings to use as pre-sets. This will ensure consistency throughout all of the elements.

24-Layer-Styles-Window-Tagline.png

Now for the Tagline Layer, we will adjust Drop Shadow. You can copy the settings found above, to provide a subtle shadow effect to create the illusion the tagline floating over-top the Lady Shade Layer.

Use Layer Styles to Emboss the Borders as well. Once complete the cover should appear as it does below.

In Part 6, we will talk about Notes and Variants.

Borders and Text

Dressing up the Cover – Part 4

This is Part 4 of the Dressing up the Cover tutorial and previously we covered Creating a New Image and Placing Lady Shade.

To continue with our design, we need to add two rectangles that have a Black Border and Fill. From the Tools Bar, select the Rectangle Tool.

15-Rectangle-Tool.png

Create two new Rectangles, one at the top and the second at the bottom and have them in the same Vector Layer to manage. Also ensure the Lady Shade layer is just above the Background Layer else the rectangles will be obscured.

Now create a Rectangle that has a Red Border and Fill. This one will be small and narrow to create a transition between the Lady Shade Layer and the Filler Layer. Duplicate this Rectangle using CTRL-C/CTRL-V combinations then move them over the transition points.

These two Rectangles should be grouped as this permits the application of consistent Layer Styles later on. This Borders Layer should then be placed on top the Filler Layer.

The image should appear like the one shown below.

16-Rectangles-Added.png

Now it is time to add text. For now, we will work on the Title and the Author’s Name. These elements are prominently found on covers, although the prominence of the Author’s Name tends to vary with name recognition.

From the Tools Bar select the Text Tool.

17-Text-Tool.png

As seen above, the Neuton Font was used for both the Title and Author’s Name. Since we are working at high resolutions, setting the Font Size to 72 Points and Bold is enough to both select and adjust at a later time.

Because Layer Styles will be used later on, the Title and Author’s Name are broken into smaller chunks. The image below denotes the different segments by alternating colours.

18-Fonts-Adjusted-Coloured.png

Using the tricks learned in Higher Resolution Blues, we lined up then Link the layers for both the Title (3) and Author’s Name (4).

Note

Make sure to line up the individual elements before making any alterations.  Once dimensions change, replicating the change in individual components is difficult to achieve.  To adjust a line, select all layers by holding down the SHIFT key.

Experiment with these Text Lines until it looks like the image below. Be aware that you may need to move the Border Layers in addition to adjusting the Filler Layers to achieve this result.

19-Fonts-Adjusted-Normal.png

Note

When you want to resize a Text Line, always do so from the Corners. Using the other methods will stretch and skew the Text Line.

In Part 5, we will Add the Tagline then Adjust Layer Styles.

New Image and Lady Shade

Dressing up the Cover – Part 3

This is Part 3 of the Dressing up the Cover tutorial and previously we covered Caveats and Workarounds.

Before creating a cover, look at best-sellers within your genre. They showcase trends and expectations, such as the location, placement and style of image. After some research, I created a series of covers including the Bravo variant.

We know that Amazon.com requires their covers to be of a certain size. This guideline informs us that a resolution 625x1000px is the minimum resolution. From the File menu, click on New, which will open the New Image Window.

12-Slate-Create.png

We are going to create an image that is bigger than required to maintain detail:

  • 6250 pixels wide;
  • 10000 pixels high;
  • 300 Pixels/Inch for resolution; and
  • Transparent.

Once you are satisfied with the settings, click on OK, which will create a new image base. Now that we have a blank slate, it is time to start adding in elements.

For this particular version, we are going to use Lady Shade without the Ethereal background. Open up your fully rendered version of this image then copy it into the New Image. To copy a Background, select the Background Layer then use the CTRL-C keyboard combination. Alternatively you can click on the Edit menu then select Copy.

Click on the Tab for your New Image. Then use the CTRL-V combination or from the Edit menu select Paste As New Layer. This will drop in Lady Shade which takes up more than the allocated space. The end result should look like this:

13-Copied-Shade.png

Lady shade is currently not in position, we want her closer to the centre, even if that leaves a blank at the top.  From the Tools Bar, select the Pick Tool then drag it down for a bit.

Note

Do not worry if the image moves off the confines of the image.  This has no effect on the layer being moved.

Resize and adjust as necessary, until you get the result below:

14-Shade-Adjusted.png

In Part 4, we will Play with Borders and Text.

Not yet Time to Pull out the Bubbly

I came across an article on the National Post by Colby Cosh titled Books gain a surprise victory in the war against bits.  To me, this seems to be an unexpected turn of events; print books have sold more this year than last year whereas eBooks have levelled off.  There are a few points I noticed.

A lot of the new sales have to do with new markets.  Adult colouring books being a prime example.

Related to the above, there appears to be a backlash by some groups against new technology.  Books have people who need to feel the grain of paper and apparently younger people are more likely to go retro.  See the National Post article by Andrew Coyne titled Making sense of the analog counter-revolution for more information.

Publishers spend more time making covers look better to get more attention.  This may raise the bar dramatically for Indie authors.

Also, publishers are moving away from discounting hard covers.  Instead, they aim to create the perception of their books being worth the full price.  Much of this is related to the physical nature of books making them ideal for collections.

Some books also do not work well on a KindleThe Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe, the author of the XKCD comic is a good example.  This book is built on a series of large detailed diagrams that are hard to reproduce on dedicated eBook readers.

This article implies that at least some publishing companies are not incompetent.  So we will need to wait a few more years before breaking out the bubbly.