IWSG: Book Covers

Logo for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Picture of a lighthouse with text reading "THE INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP"

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the February 1 posting of the IWSG are Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner!

So, here I am. I’m a month into the 52 Week Challenge and I’m… not behind? Is that right? **checks notes** Yup. I’m actually on schedule to have 52 short stories by the end of the year. (Plus or minus a little editing.) And I’m starting to understand what I’m actually going to gain by writing 52 short stories in a year. More than the stories themselves, I’m going to wind up with a sense that I can find the beginning… the middle… the end… and do it rapidly.

And I’ve been sending things out. My original goal was to get a hundred rejections, this year. I think I’m going to up that to two hundred. Or… something in that neighborhood. Fifty two short stories is a lot of juggling. I think the rate will just go up from here.

In fresh, shiny new drafts, I’m still adding words. I like my main character. I like my side characters. Hell… I have side characters. Now, all I need is a plot. Something to get from point A to point B. And… maybe a love interest? There’s not a single person in the book who’s appropriate for my MC.

What were my other goals? Was I supposed to be revising something? Well, that’s where life gets in the way. My old manuscripts and all my notes are packed up in a cardboard box somewhere. I had hoped to be back on track with that, but… nope. Still in a box.

February 1 question – If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

Uhh…. What about those of us who are in between somewhere? I’m not exactly an Indie author, but I haven’t gotten that first book deal, yet. At the moment, I’d be thrilled just to have book covers.

Realistically, though? I know just enough about graphic design to know how bad at it I really am. A few art courses in college do not count as qualifications. I’m not super great at paring things down to a single, attention-grabbing image. I don’t have a good grasp of what makes a great cover. And… I’d probably spend far too much time working on my main character’s scars, or the mole over his left eye. I’m probably an excellent example of reasons why more control isn’t necessarily a good thing.


  1. Reply

    At work, design was somebody else’s job, whole department, in their own space, but using our data – the nerdy number crunchers , – basicaklly, hoiw not to die, yet,, Not mentioned in my Feb 1st post ? Horrific bills, , crazy inflation, everybody’s on strike,
    How to justify the cost of design, especially if not really a writer ? (yet) And we do have fun

    • Reply

      I would love to make covers someone else’s job. They feel way too close to graphic design for me.

    • Reply

      I’m glad I sound focused. Believe me, I feel so scattered I can’t see straight! Happy IWSG day.

  2. Reply

    Wow, 52 stories in a year is quite a challenge, and it sounds like you’re off to an excellent start! I love giving myself challenges, big and small, like that. It’s a great way to build up those creative muscles.

  3. Loni Townsend


    Awesome work with keeping on track! Woot!

    Plot is where I struggle the most with everything thing I write. The one short story I wrote last year was very much lacking in the plot department.

    • Reply

      By the time I get to revision, you’ll be able to borrow some of my plot. I’m always horrified by all the tangents I manage to throw in on the way to finding what I actually need.

  4. Diane Burton


    Like others, I hope your acceptance rate exceeds the rejections. You’ve set a high goal for yourself. Keep writing.

  5. mlouisebarbourfundyblue


    That’s impressive, Lynn ~ 52 stories in 52 weeks! I hope you start receiving lots of acceptance letters.

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