René Penn

Aspiring author writing about the journey.

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Pre-Made Book Covers—They Exist

If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking about your book cover even though your manuscript isn’t polished yet. It doesn’t hurt to imagine what your book will look like, does it? While working on my first draft, I scanned through stock photos online, then put my book title and pseudonym onto images that I liked. Here are examples of what I came up with.


My book cover won’t look like any of these. The photos don’t have exactly the historical romance vibe that I want. The fonts aren’t the style that I imagine. And the type placement doesn’t work well. I’m clearly not a book designer. But these photos represent a vision board concept for my cover. They inspire me to keep going, to keep writing, to keep plugging away.

Luckily, there are professionals out there who are available to design book covers for we writer folks. In fact, there are pre-made book covers out there, already designed and ready for download. I spent way too much time perusing websites that specialize in pre-made book covers. The sites make it easy to search by genre to find a match for your book. Many of them also include pricing, timeline, and specifications.

It’s good to determine if the designer will sell each cover design only once. That will minimize the possibility of seeing a repeat of your cover image all over

Even if you don’t buy a pre-made design cover, it’s still good to see what types of covers are out there. It may even help you determine what kind of cover you want for your book.

Have you used a pre-made book cover design?


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Being a Mom vs. Being a M.O.M. (Mother of Manuscripts)

There are a lot jokes out there that compare writing a book to having a baby or raising a child. I’d like to add to that fun metaphor, by introducing the term M.O.M.

I am a proud M.O.M., a Mother of Manuscripts. I have two. christin-hume-311288The older manuscript turned two in October. And the younger just came into the world on November 1—born early, thanks to National Novel Writing Month. Both of my manuscripts are fiction, which means they can be a little rambunctious with lots of personality.

Oh, the joys of M.O.M.’hood.

There is a Parents Magazine article that discusses the joys of being a (real) Mom. If you substitute the term “manuscript” for “kids/children,” the similarities are fitting, uncanny, and hilarious. I’ve placed some quotes from the article below for fodder’s sake.

“There are wonderful days when I feel my cup runneth over. There are days that I want to run away and question every decision I have ever made.”

About finding purpose in life: “…I am a better person for knowing my children and I am very honored to be their mother.”

“When my kids are happy, so am I.”

“I have learned to rise to any occasion and found myself lifted to new heights while stretching myself beyond any and all limits I once put upon myself.”

“With rarely a dull moment, I’ve experienced more adventure in mothering my sons than ever imaginable.”

“Life is great, but life is even better once you have been blessed to become a mom!”

Thanks to the (real) Moms out there who allowed me to indulge.