Tortured Soul

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I’m behind on updating the blog world of new books and covers and happenings. That is why you should join my facebook group.

Odessa Black now has the second book in The Forbidden Series available on Amazon!


To grab your copy…
May I add that the paperback is stunning.

Tortured Soul by Odessa Black Cover Model is Grigoris Drakakis.

I sincerely enjoyed making this cover. It is my current favorite cover, but some others come in a close second. I have a nice large poster of this art over my office desk. It fell together beautifully. I doubt I could be happier with it.


Odessa is already working on a stand alone story to tide readers over while she contemplates the next Soul Eater in The Forbidden Series.




Cost of a Designer

This is a transparency post. I’ll post pretty book covers a bit later. I’ve got a few to show off. It has been a whirlwind of graphics last few months. I very suddenly had a wait list, practically over night. Then it doubled. Covers are a fickle thing…they come in waves. So who knows in a few months I may be twiddling my thumbs. It is a learning experience for me.

Not long ago I was considering my pricing. I do lots of research on what is standard graphics pricing in the self publish industry. Covers cost anywhere between $25 to $2,500. A writer has lots of options to fit their chosen business model, but I want to address why a “designer” charges what s/he does by showing my thought process.

Every designer has over head costs.
I subscribe to Adobe $139.00 per year I believe it is.
Background and element stock subscription and purchases and fonts so far this year it is at $200
Website and domain $30
Memberships to writer organizations – None yet but I am considering it for connections and validation
Promotion opportunities such as conventions – currently I’m at $1,000
Promotional materials to help with branding and gaining exposure – currently at $200 but that could and probably will increase
Reinvestment in my business and skills with classes – currently at 0 but I will be taking classes later.

I’ve already invested in most of the other software and hardware that I use. It was purchased last year and is paid for already from last year’s projects.
So at this moment my over head costs are around $1,570. For this year alone. Certainly, a designer can get away with less. I was prepared with investing in my side business up front with the hope of breaking even with the first three years as I build my client base.

That is over head, now let’s look at the cost of the process.

About 2 hours chatting with writers about their story and cover. For some writers I’ve also helped with marketing and other publishing aspects which increases the time, but this is my choice I do to help support my writers.
2 hours of stock hunting which can and has gotten as high as 4 hours.
6 to 8 hours making the actual cover. Yes, it really does take that long. I’ve timed myself and the majority of my covers take 8 hours at the PC. My style doesn’t lend itself to isolate cut and paste. I paint and over paint which takes time.
Making alterations after feedback from client 2 hours per round of changes. At this moment I don’t limit the number of changes.
Resizing the cover for print wrap 1 hour

That is roughly 15 hours per cover. Now, absolutely some covers take less time. A good solid number is 10. I’m confident my custom covers take about 10 hours each easy.

I charge $125 per cover at this time. I’m building my portfolio and continuing to learn new techniques. Taking only the time spent on covers into consideration at best I make $12.50 per hour for each cover. There are people who work fast food wanting $15 per hour. I know cashiers who make $13 per hour.

So, to break even this year I have to make at least 15 custom covers. Then I start making $12 per hour or less.

This model isn’t maintainable over a long period of time. A cover is not ever green. It is a one time sale. At the end of this year I’ll re-evaluate everything again and more than likely increase my price slightly. If everything goes well, I’ll have a good client base and more exposure. I’ll have to see then.

This should give you an idea of how a designer may price their services. I have set a standard where I should make $10 per hour right now.

I am so thankful that right now I don’t have time to clean my house or cook proper meals or put away clean laundry. I am that busy. I have a wait list. I also have a super understanding and supportive man in my life. I love doing this.

My advice was if a writer finds a quality designer who charges $150 or less per print wrap that s/he should hold on to the designer and love them.

I’ll cover what to look for in a quality cover later.






Futuristic Romance Cover

Odessa Black is starting 2017 off with lots of books. Her next up for release is Object of My Protection. It’s a futuristic, dystopia, SF, romance.

Odessa is wrapping up revisions and will be sending out ARCs to serious reader reviewers soon. If you’re interested in being on her ARC team send her a message.



Model stock provided by Period Images


Heavenly Creatures

I was given the opportunity to do two different angel PNR covers back to back. The first was Odessa Black’s Black Soul. Odessa and I chatted a bit about her story. She wanted vines wrapped around the man on her cover but other than that, she left it up to me.

Vikkas Bhardwaj ( did a custom photo shoot for her and I went to work on her cover.

I knew her characters didn’t have wings, but I wanted to convey the genre at least a little. Her half angels travel around by sort of melting into the earth, hence the vines.

I wanted to also go against the knee jerk reaction of making the cover black with the title of Black Souls. I wanted the opposite. I wanted subtle wings and golden heavenly light.


The result was my favorite cover to date. Readers commented that the cover model was perfect for the main character. His pose is spot on for the tone of the story.

This cover was so attention grabbing that the writer had over 40 review requests in two hours of posting on her own timeline. Voice actors contacted her to do auditions. It was a bit overwhelming for her, but in a really good way.


People have been leaving great reviews and are eager for her next book in the series. Well, I’m sorry to tell you, there is a tiny bit of wait. However, she has another series out already called The Cursed Series. There are several books there to keep you occupied and a new one will be releasing in March.

In February, she has a stand alone futuristic novel, Object of My Protection. The cover reveal is happening on the 30th in her newsletter. This is also one of my best covers. It was such a treat to make. A definite labor of love. I’m very proud for it to be on her story.

Tortured Soul is the next book in the Forbidden Series. I’ve already designed the cover for it and I love it. Tortured Soul is scheduled for release in April.

You can sign up for Odessa’s newsletter to stay up to date with her new releases and sales coming up soon. And of course Black Soul is now available in digital and print.

Object of My Protection Cover Reveal


About the same time, Jessie Wrights, contacted me about a premade which was already taken. So, we worked out a custom cover for her. Jessie had a good idea of exactly what she wanted and I am delighted to have been able to live up to her expectations.

She did not want the heavenly angel look, she wanted fire and darkness. Well, she had me at fire. Again we browse Vikkas Bhardwaj’s stock images and find one she liked. It came together beautifully.


Can’t wait for this paper back to be on my shelf.


I can’t thank Vikkas enough for the most perfect stock for these covers.



Newest Cover Reveal

Odessa Gillespie Black-Best Selling Author


Cover courtesy of Winter Bayne. Model: Vikkas Bhardwaj.

Excerpt from Black Soul Book One of The Forbidden Series

I had forgotten how alarming my abilities might be to a human. I was here then there. In front of her.

Her jaw dropped and her knees gave as I leaned in to catch her. She would find my breath hot and strangely sweet as it tickled her face. I couldn’t stop the effect.

Her pupils narrowed, but she didn’t flinch.

With a curled forefinger, I lifted her chin. “Don’t fear me.”

“Noah?” She whispered incredulously. Her aura alternated between purple and orange, back to purple, then red, then back to purple. Love, fear, love, anger, and ended up on the one I hoped for. Purple:Love.

Caroline reached out. Her fingers grazed the dark, cool skin on my chest. The sensation was as flame to ice. She stroked the muscles that hadn’t…

View original post 399 more words

Back from the Abyss

Crystin Goodwin

Well, friends, National Novel Writing Month is drawing to a close …

How did I do?

Not so great. In fact, I almost considered giving up halfway through. But a wonderful friend told me, “Only losers give up, and you are not a loser.” So with her encouragement, I adjusted my goal to simply write every day and build a good habit to carry into next month and the next and so on. And that, I’m glad to say, I managed to successfully accomplish.

But that’s not the only reason I’ve come out of social media hibernation.

After showering you all with several teasing hints, today – finally – marks the release of my holiday short story collection! Behold, I give you …


Isn’t it glorious? Here’s what it’s about:

Ever wondered how your favorite fantasy characters celebrate the holidays?

In this special two-story collection, you’ll journey to Myrillia to…

View original post 190 more words

Sarah Hegger




I am most fortunate to be doing some promotional materials for Sarah Hegger, author of the Sir Arthur Legacy, a medieval romance. She is published through Lyrical Press and you can see her Amazon page here.

She is about to introduce her fifth book in the legacy, so now is a good time to get into the series.





There are more promotional materials in the works, but these are my recent projects.