Historical and Contemporary Romance Author

A Real Do-It-Myself Project

Last week, I decided that I wanted to put out a short story as a prequel to INCARNATE. The heroine of the series, Elodie Capshaw, has a pretty interesting backstory and I thought it would be fun to explore her history a little more fully. I also thought a free short might spur interest in the series when the first book comes out.

But not only did this mean writing another several thousand words, it meant coming up with a title, a storyline/cover copy, and cover art for the prequel. Of the three, I was most worried about the cover art. I’m not a graphic artist, but I can’t afford to pay a professional like Nathalia to do artwork for a story I’m giving away for free. I needed something I could do myself using relatively inexpensive stock art and my limited skills. I started poking around on iStockPhoto, but I wasn’t expecting to find anything I could use right away. And then I came across an image that was so near perfect, it seemed like the artist who created it must have had my story in mind. It was a fairly expensive image to purchase, but I think it was well worth it.

So, here are two versions of the resulting cover. (They are pretty much identical except for the color of the tagline text.) I’m leaning towards the version on the left, so if you strongly prefer the one on the left, let me know!

I’m still toying with the cover copy, but I have the bones of it:

On a chilly morning in 1852, Elodie Capshaw gets the surprise of her life when she wakes up dead. As if her sudden demise at the tender age of twenty-four isn’t enough of a shock, Elodie discovers that she is capable of materializing in fully solid form. This appears a welcome reprieve from the hollow existence of the spirit world, but it has its own set of hazards. First, her family is convinced her resurrection is the work of the devil and is determined to drive her out of her childhood home. Next, her ability to maintain her physical form will vanish if she doesn’t return to her grave periodically and pour the blood of a living animal into the soil. And finally, there are The Reapers—angels whose mysterious and seductive beauty lures unsuspecting specters into shuffling off their immortal coils.

It’s a wonderful afterlife…if Elodie can survive it.


  • Stephanie Draven November 11, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I love this cover art so much. Here are my critiques.

    1. Your name disappears into the dark clouds on the left. You might consider putting it at the bottom instead.

    2. Papyrus font on the gravestone looks a bit sketchy. I’d use a different font.

    3. I like the tagline in red 😉

  • Anthea Lawson November 12, 2011 at 2:11 am

    I like the one on the left better. 🙂 What program are you working in? It looks very pro. Excellent title and great blurb, too, Jackie! When does the story go live?

  • Jackie Barbosa November 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions, Stephanie. As you can see, I already made some tweaks in an attempt to address them.

    Anthea, thanks so much! I’m glad you like the blurb. I kind of feel it’s still missing something, but at least it’s got me pointed in the right direction.

    I plan to release this story 4-6 weeks before INCARNATE. I don’t want it to be out for too long before the first novel in the series comes out, because I don’t want people to download it, read it, and then forget about the novel. INCARNATE probably won’t release until next summer at the earliest (I don’t want to overpromise and underdeliver), so WRONG SIDE will probably come out in late spring/early summer.

  • Jackie Barbosa November 12, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Oh, and I’m embarrassed to admit that the way I’m doing this is a combination of GIMP and Microsoft Word’s word art feature. I’m sure there’s a slicker/faster/easier way, but I don’t have time to learn it and this seems to work.

  • Amazon Gutscheine December 11, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Amazon Gutscheine…

    […]Jackie Barbosa » Blog Archive » A Real Do-It-Myself Project[…]…


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