35 Days to 35: Super Book


After the nail biting incident last night, I went to my room with a queasy stomach and a headache, drained and frustrated by the lack of ‘fast enough’ results on designing the book cover. I am decidedly from the “I want it now” generation.  Last night, I dreamed about the book cover and woke up still feeling exhausted and physically ill.

This. This is what I do best. Worrying. Did it help the book cover magically materialize? No. All it did was make me feel sick, cranky, and distracted.

Today, I sat down again and decided to do some research. While most of America is gearing up to watch the Super Bowl, I was determined that Sunday would come to a close without a book cover.

On Friday, I had listened to a podcast interview with cover designer Derek Murphy. I looked up his blog and found an article (http://www.creativindie.com/8-cover-design-secrets-publishers-use-to-manipulate-readers-into-buying-books/). After reading it and deciding I agreed with just about everything he said, I tried again on our book design.

Mr. Murphy had suggested finding some different fonts than the ones that come with your program, so I looked up ‘free fonts’ on google. I found a few, but some wouldn’t allow you to use the fonts for commercial use. As I’m hoping we sell some books, this would definitely qualify for ‘commercial use.’ I settled on a nice, actually ‘free in every way’ font, but then couldn’t figure out how to download it into my version of photoshop.

About three hours later, and with absolutely no headway on any fronts, downloading or designing, I finally said, “God…I just can’t do this.”  I got up and walked around my office. Simon had jumped up on his perch next to my office window and I scrubbed his head, thinking. I was right. I couldn’t do it with that kind of attitude.

So I looked up pricing for someone else to do it for me. One such designer was about $500 for a complete cover design, front, back and spine. As much as I wanted, like really, really wanted to hand over the project to someone far more capable, I just didn’t have that kind of money to spend.

My prayer then changed to, “Okay, God…I have to do this. Please help me do this.”

Lack of money is a grand motivator. So is prayer. It’s almost as if God said, “Oh, hey…you finally decided to ask for My help, huh?”

Out of nowhere, I found a button on my design program called ‘graphic,’ and under that ‘graphic,’ I found exactly what I needed. A textured background and a design bubble. I was also able to download the fonts into my program. I’m still not sure how I did it, but it got done.

After that, using Mr. Murphy’s color and design suggestions as a guide, I was able to design exactly what I needed in ten minutes.


I tweaked the design a bit after sending it out for critiques, but unless there is a public outcry of disdain, I think it’s done. Just like that. I had been on the struggle bus for roughly seven hours all told, and after that prayer, it was done in ten minutes. Sometimes, I am such a slow learner.

Things to Remember:

1. Stop worrying. I am the only one that suffers from it. No, seriously, Ashley. QUIT IT.
2. Ask God for help a LOT sooner.
3. Repeat.

Thanks to Ani Alexander for interviewing Derek Murphy. http://www.anialexander.com/
Thanks to Derek Murphy for sharing his insight.
Many thanks to Rebekah Raymer for the design/illustration of the Raptor.
Many, many thanks to Fran at http://lauryngreen.blogspot.com.es/2013/04/introducing-happy-fox-free-font.html for her free font, Happy Fox.

The original website with other free fonts: http://www.creativebloq.com/typography/best-handwriting-fonts-12121527


Right at 35 days before my 35th birthday, Rachael and I found out that a book we wrote about our experience making our first film “No Lost Cause,” was being returned to us by the publisher after a year of waiting for it to be printed. Instead of wallowing in our collective misery, I committed to blogging every day while I searched for ways to overcome this perceived rejection and obstacle to our goal. I currently also have about three other projects brewing at the same time, and write about the progress of each of them. This is part of that series.

Read the first entry here: https://ashleyraymerbrown.com/2015/01/23/35-days-to-35-dealing-with-rejection/

2 thoughts on “35 Days to 35: Super Book

  1. I’m so glad the interview was helpful! I really like the illustration. I might change the bold blue cover of the text and I’d definitely remove the drop shadow from the text on the bottom. I added you to DIY book covers in case it helps!


    • Thank you SO much, Derek!! What color would you do instead of the bold blue? And I’ve gotten feedback to delete that drop shadow from others, so I think that’s a definite!! I really appreciate your time and advice!!


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