Here is this month’s BRAVE Interview with author, Jennifer W. Smith. ENJOY!
Who is Jennifer W. Smith?
I put my family first, so I’d start with I’m a wife and mother. My next top three answers: I’m a novelist, a world traveler, and a foodie. I live in a cozy New Hampshire town in a busy household including a blue-eyed kitty and a collie who looks just like Lassie. I’ve had other careers before I became a fulltime writer in 2015. I’ve used my experiences from when I was a flight attendant and interior designer to inspire my story ideas.
What is my One Brave Thing for 2016?
Well, if you asked me my brave thing for 2015, I’d have said publishing my first novel, Flying Backwards. In 2016 I published two books, The Rare Pearl and The Forsaken Pearl, but I’d say the One Brave Thing was pushing myself to maneuver—and conquer—the digital age to produce all aspects of publishing my latest books—mainly book cover design. The cover is critical. It’s the first thing a reader sees. If the cover isn’t appealing they won’t bother to flip it over and read the back. I worried that I’d be unsuccessful, but I was determined to give it my best effort. Let me state, my skills were basic at first. I’m happy to report that after all the puzzle solving I’m pleased with the final products.
Why did you do it?
So why make my own book covers if I could just pay someone? Well, I love design in general. As I mentioned I’m a former interior designer by trade. Also, I spent a decade taking photos and documenting my family’s life in scrapbooks. So a part of me thought it would be fun and creative. Besides, I found it difficult to explain what I wanted my cover to look like to someone who hadn’t read my story. I paid to have the cover done for my first novel Flying Backwards. I explained what I wanted, and I do love the cover, but it’s not perfect. For example, in that story the main character is an international flight attendant and the airplane on the cover is a domestic plane (it should have four engines instead of two). I know it’s a tiny detail. But the control is what I like—and it is kind of exciting and fun.
When and how did you do it?
I spend loads of time the whole year reading and watching YouTube tutorials about how to produce a successful book cover. Who knew fonts had so much impact! It took me a while as I tried different programs, but eventually I discovered which ones worked best for me. My fellow friends and authors recommend sites where I could purchase photos or fonts. I also stumble across Derek Murphy’s book cover design tutorials which helped me immensely. After vastly improving my MS Word skills, I managed to produce book covers for my Broken Water Series, which include The Rare Pearl and The Forsaken Pearl. I was able to manage 95% it, but I confess, my husband helped with the file conversions. I may have shed some tears of frustration throughout the learning curve, but it was worth it.
Where did you do it?
I learned, and continue to learn, right from the comfort of my home. After I got used to navigating the internet—I realized the world is at my fingertips. With dedication to succeed, I’m grateful to live and thrive in this modern age. This is a usable tool to become self-published. I hope I inspire other budding authors to give it a try.
I always love to hear from readers. Please check out my website at JenniferWSmith.com for book trailers, release updates, events, blogs, and more. Also, you can read the first chapter of The Rare Pearl, Book One in the Broken Water Series for FREE. You can find me on Twitter @authorjenwsmith and Facebook at AuthorJenniferWSmith.