Dr Niamh On The Plum Tree

Childhood Imagination Sows Seeds of Future Brilliance

The Writer/Publisher With Niamh Clune: We Do Judge A Book By The Cover!

I’ll cover you with the moon and stars so that I know you are caressed by eternity! (Niamh Clune 2013)

That’s also what I think about the task of a book cover! A writer wants their content to have the best introduction possible to something that will, hopefully, outlive him/her. The book cover is that introduction. It must entice. It must speak of possibility, of secrets within the pages just waiting to be discovered.

cover5 300dpi And it must suit the style of the writer’s voice. It must not be brash ~ unless the writer is brash. It must not be busy, unless the story is action-packed and geared up to attract an audience in search of sentence-by-sentence action. I don’t publish those sorts of books, as I have no feel for them. I prefer a story woven of mood, undercurrent, intensity, intuition and feeling. Developing a book cover that speaks to the writer’s voice takes careful thought and consideration. Whilst I love doing the art-work for a cover, I am not a specialist graphic artist. So I stick to what I can do. I create simple images and have fun with filters and fonts. Or I ask one of the fabulous artists that I have come into contact with on Facebook to paint or draw something. Don’t you just love hand-made covers ~ the ones that don’t scream at you, but are beautiful in their minimalism, textures, fonts, colours and individuality? A cover such as that makes us think of craft-fairs filled with things made with love ~ time-crafted, thought-about ~ the something-special gift that you would love if given to you. That is the beauty of being a cottage-publisher and writer. I can pour my love into all these stages of helping to develop a writer. test cover 3 gradientAgain, the technical side of cover-creation has been another huge learning curve. Making a cover for kindle is much simpler than having to create a print-ready one. You could, of course, use an already-made template. But these, in my humble opinion, tend to look the same. Getting the specs for the spine right, the bleeds, the minuscule measurements with all the various ring-pass-not margins, had me pondering, analysing, struggling, mistake-making…you know, the usual “why am I doing this to myself,” scenario. Hopefully, I have understood. My hands shake when I upload files and press the magic release button. Then I keep my fingers crossed that I have done it right, that there will be no mistakes, and if there are, that I have the where-with-all to remedy them. Hopefully, the covers of the two new books I shall release in the New Year will be things of beauty that speak of the writers’ voices within.

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamhchildrensbooks.com

11 comments on “The Writer/Publisher With Niamh Clune: We Do Judge A Book By The Cover!

  1. davidprosser
    December 17, 2013

    I do envy you your wonderful creative skills Niamh and your perfectionism. Those writers you do publish are so lucky to be getting the attention you bring to them apart from the brilliant personality they get to meet.
    xxx Huge Hugs and wishes for a Great Christmas xxx

    Like

  2. Imen Benyoub
    December 17, 2013

    you are doing a wonderful job Niamh..for me it was fun to make the cover, to chose the picture and adjust and the result is amazing..Marta’s cover is equally beautiful and very caaptivating..chapeau..!!

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      December 17, 2013

      Yes! Imen. This picture suits you well. Making a picture fit and arranging a suitable font is something I enjoy doing and making sure the resolution is right…all the technical, making of the composition…takes a lot of time and care. I always check with whomever I am doing it for whether they like the progress. I found a picture of a blue jar for Marta’s cover and added a filter to give it that arty look. It was technically difficult in the case of both these images as neither was the right resolution. These images go through many processes before they come out looking like this!

      Like

  3. mapelba
    December 17, 2013

    I’ve never tried to make a cover for Kindle or any other platform. I do know how cranky I can become trying to use Photoshop Elements though, and if that is any indication of how hard your job, then, oh my. What a task!

    But I can never thank you enough for all the work you’ve done on my behalf. I’m humbled by it. And I never thought my novel would really see the light of day. So, thank you. Lovely job.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      December 17, 2013

      It really means a lot, Marta, that you like it. You are a joy to work with.

      Like

  4. thiskidreviewsbooks
    December 19, 2013

    Your quote at the beginning is great. I like your post too. 🙂

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      December 19, 2013

      Thank you, Erik. You notice these things! You are a man of taste. 🙂

      Like

  5. Raven Spirit
    January 17, 2014

    Ha! I am so very visual. As a result I purchased the book as a result of this lovely cover!

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      January 17, 2014

      I am so glad you like the cover, and I am sure you will love the story. Thank you for your support, Raven Spirit!

      Like

  6. Raven Spirit
    January 17, 2014

    I should have mentioned the book – The Blue Jar.

    Like

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