Frequently Asked Questions
I finished my story and I'm self-publishing. What do I do now?
My friends said they love my story. So do I really need an editor?
How do I select the right editor for my story?
Does a cover really make a difference in book sales?
Why should I hire a professional cover artist to make my cover?
I want to save money. Should I just make my own cover?
What are the most important things that make a cover great?
Aren't covers made professionally really expensive?
Do I choose the image(s) I want for my cover(s)?
Do all cover artists make full, printable sleeves, or just
Which cover artist do I choose; does it matter?
Why should I be published with a publishing company?
Why should I self-publish my book(s) myself?
How do I know which publisher to submit my manuscript to?
How do I self-publish?
Should I get my book(s) reviewed?
Does it matter who reviews my book(s)?
How do I get my book(s) reviewed?
How much are the stock images?
What are my rights in using the stock images?
Is there any way I can't use the stock images?
What happens if I have trouble downloading an image or don't get a download link?
What if I can't log onto my account even if I'm typing in my username and password correctly?
Why are there many images from the same outfit/pose with slight differences?
What is most important in selecting the best image?
If I combine images, what do I need to pay attention to?
Do I get exclusive rights to my Pre-Made Cover I purchased?
Can I get a Pre-Made Cover altered a little?
What if I have more than one profession in the romance novel industry?
|Q : I finished my story and I'm
self-publishing. What do I do now?
|A : Find
yourself an editor that is right for you and your book. See what books
they've edited. Are they written by well-known authors? Are they books with
professional covers? That usually tells you that the author and story most
likely are credible. How long have they been editing? What credentials does
the editor have? Do their credentials justify their fee?
|Q : My friends said they love my story. So do I really need an editor?
|A : YES!
Never, ever put a book into the world without having a professional editor go
through it. This doesn't mean your mom, your sister or your friends. A
professional editor can save you the embarrassment of seeing your mistakes
in black and white. An unpolished manuscript will cause readers to, most
likely, never want to read a book from that author again. Why would they
when there are thousands of other authors out there? All
professional authors get their books edited by professional editors. A
publisher will find one right for your book, or you need to if
|Q : How do I select the right editor for my story?
|A : Genre is
always the best place to start. Most editors edit more than one genre and
list which genres they prefer. Communication with a potential editor is then
key. There needs to be
trust in this relationship.
|Q : Does a cover really make a difference
in book sales?
|A : Does anyone pick-up an
unattractive book cover? An unprofessional looking one? Book covers make a
huge difference in book sales. Covers with cover art (not just an image
with a standard/typical font/text added to it) are what grabs a viewers
attention, whether online or in a book store, to get them to pick it up
and read the blurb. What makes you pick up a book to read the back
synopsis? The book COVER did. If all covers were solid white with black,
plain text of book title and author name, would you be picking up every
single book to read all their blurbs? No, so it's the cover that gets
readers to pick up books to then read the back synopsis.
|Q : Why should I hire a professional cover
artist to make my cover?
|A : For the
same reason someone should hire an author to write them a book and not a
cover artist. The romance novel industry is, and should be, a family. We
all need each other to improve our production, sales and business. Cover
artist advertise your book cover(s) they design, on all their web
pages/sites they use.
|Q : I want to save money. Should I just
make my own cover?
|A : Sure, if
you want less sales than having a professional cover artist make it. Most
authors who make their own covers, don't know the proper size, so
when submitted to many online book stores, those websites squish those
cover images to fit their standard display sizes. They also only have
typical script fonts that come free with photo manipulation software, and they
don't know the do's and don'ts to cover art.
|Q : What are the most important things
that make a cover great?
|A : The proper
image for your story and book title. Lighting in that image compared to
how the image is to be used; indoor/outdoor lighting, direction of light
and shadows, etc. Blending images to a separate background image so that
it does not look superimposed, but a part of the background.
|Q : Aren't covers made professionally
|A : If you find
$45-$75 expensive. There are many great beginner, intermediate and
well-established cover artist who will make you a gorgeous cover for $100
|Q : Do I choose the image(s) I want for my
|A : If you are
self-publishing, yes. If you are unsure of which image is best for you,
then your cover artist can help you with that once you inform them about
your book's genre, story and hero/heroine. If you are going with a
publishing company, then they will select your cover image and cover
artist, since they are paying for it.
|Q : Do all cover artists make
full, printable sleeves, or just e-book covers?
|A : Depends on
the cover artist, but most do both, but for an additional price for a full
print sleeve (front cover, spine and back cover).
|Q : Which cover artist do I choose?
|A : That all
depends on the genre of your novel, the style you are desiring, the budget
you allow yourself for your product packaging, which is what gets your
novel selected to be looked it to begin with ;) so you are able to browse
through all the cover artist profiles and select one that you like their
|Q : Why should I published with a
|Q : Why should I self-publish my
|Q : How do I know which publisher to
submit my manuscript to?
|Q : How do I self-publish?
|Q : Should I get my book(s)
reviewed if self-publishing?
|A : If you wrote a great story and
want to see your sales increase, yes! Just like how people check movie
reviews before seeing a movie, many readers do the same as to not waste
their time reading poorly written books. Reviews are a great advertisement
for your book. The more locations your book is advertised, especially
where many viewers can see it, the better.
|Q : Does it matter who reviews my
|A : Well there
are professional reviewers, and people that just want free books so they
say they'll review your book and post the review on their website. As long
as that website is seen by many and that reviewer likes the genre your
book is, then it can't hurt if your story is good, and they give it a good
review. See what books they've reviewed, read their reviews to see if they
are constructive, all only positive? What credentials does the reviewer
have? Where will their review of your book be seen? Is it a well viewed
|Q : How do I get my book(s) reviewed?
|Q : How much are the stock images?
|A : The stock
image prices are all clearly stated on the stock image website's home
|Q : What are my rights in using the stock
|A : The stock
image licenses, terms and conditions, and restrictions, are all linked at
the bottom of the stock image website's home page.
|Q : Is there any way I can't use the stock
|A : That is all
stated in the restrictions linked at the bottom of the stock image
website's home page.
|Q : What happens if I have trouble
downloading an image or don't get a download link?
|A : First, try
clicking on the link in your receipt email from PayPal. If you still can't
find your download link, use the appropriate email address on the Contact
page to have your purchased image(s) emailed to you. Please include your
PayPal transaction information for that purchase.
|Q : What if I can't log onto my
account even if I'm typing in my username and password correctly?
|A : 90% of
online glitches are corrected by clearing your cache or rebooting. If that
doesn't work, use the forget password link to reset your password.
|Q : Why are there many images from the same outfit/pose with slight differences?
|A : Each image
has a different feel to it, whether slightly or completely. A different
facial expression, body language, even hand positions, can give a feel of
passive, aggressive, shy, powerful, romantic, passionate or erotic. Each
story and author has a different need and desire for what the cover has to
interpret as for characters and feeling. The many images of one look also
help prevent the same exact image from being on so many covers, as even
slight poses or expression differences, while in the same wardrobe, can
end up looking completely different on covers, especially when created by
a professional cover artist.
|Q : What is most important in selecting the best image?
|A : The image
must fit your genre and story. A conservative story shouldn't have a
shirtless image, as an erotica story shouldn't have a conservative cover.
If you want an outdoor cover setting, then you need an image of characters
that were shot outside (natural lighting). Same for characters shot
indoors with artificial indoor lighting for an indoor cover setting.
Example: Indoor lighting coming from the side of someone, does not work on
a cover setting with a sun setting behind them. What sells the cover is
not the wardrobe, is not the cover art, is not the book title, it is the
emotion felt from the expressions within the image. That is what draws the
viewer. Whether romantic, sensual or erotica, the feeling you get from
facial expressions and body language, sell those characters to their
relationship they appear to have, which in turn sells the feeling you will
get reading the story.
|Q : If I combine images, what do I need to pay attention to?
|A : Lighting, lighting
and lighting. An indoor lit model needs to be with another indoor lit
model, same for models shot outdoors. A model shot in direct sun cannot be
placed with a model shot in shade, it just isn't believable that they were
really together in one image. Professional cover artists can prevent your
model(s) from looking super-imposed (placed on top of the background image),
which is very important.
|Q : Do I get exclusive rights to my
Pre-Made Cover I purchased?
|A : No, all
pre-made cover are sold non-exclusively, which is why the cost is so
affordable. New pre-made covers are constantly being added to decrease the
chance of multiple covers.
|Q : Can I get a Pre-Made Cover altered a
|A : Most likely,
yes. Depends on the cover, the cover artist, and what the changes are, but
don't hesitate to ask.
|Q : What if I have more than one
profession in the romance novel industry?
|A : First let
me explain why I have this following advice for you. I've had profiles on
various modeling networking websites for over 10 years. On those sites I
would learn the do's and don'ts, the shoulds and shouldn'ts, what works
and what doesn't, by seeing thousands and thousands of profiles over those
many years, seeing which were annoying, which drove me away, which kept me
on them, which were interesting, boring, ridiculous, beneficial, etc.
Profiles are profiles, it doesn't matter the profession.
Once I started casting directing for photographers and music video
producers and directors many years ago, I posted castings after castings,
did searches after searches, and have seen more profiles than you probably
ever will ;) When doing searches, you are shown thumbnail images of the
talent, to then open the profile to see more. Well when I have thousands
to go through, I'm certainly not going to open every one of them, so I
open the profiles with the striking profile images, not the thumbnail
images where I can't even see the model as they are far away, laying down,
upside down, airbrushed, in a funky pose with their hair covering their
face, has a wig on, etc. Unfortunately these models insist on posting
their latest image, or an image they find cool, even if it does not
represent what they really look like. They are under the impression that
they are on facebook and their friends go to their page everyday to see
what new images they have posted.
These types of profession networking websites are to find talent to be
hired. So just like product packaging, your advertisement of yourself
(your profile image), has to sell your package (the desire to click on it
to see your profile). Yes I know you are not all models, I was merely
giving you an example of why you need to focus on "search
results" from those doing searches for your profession. Now, on to my
profile advice for this particular industry, the romance novel industry...
As an author or cover artist, a photo of yourself as your profile image is
not going to get people to look at your book(s)/book covers, which is what
you want so they'll buy them, or hire you to create them. I first had the
idea to make this website from seeing so many authors on facebook who have
many books out, yet they don't even post them on their non-personal
facebook profiles. I thought to myself "Why are they not posting
their latest book as their profile image if their profession is an author
and their job is to promote it, to sell it?" So I made this
website to have two photo albums "Work Images" and "Event
This is a "business" website for those in the romance novel
industry, to sell your books, your talents, your abilities, your skills,
to get you hired. It isn't to compete with facebook to be another social
website with games, apps, and posting images of your family, friends,
pets, vacations and photos of yourself. Those types of photos do not sell
your books or your skills/services. This website is for readers to find
romance novels to buy, for authors to find editors, cover artists,
reviewers, publishers, events, etc. to help finish and sell their books,
and for those involved, to help them get hired by authors and publishers.
So while creating your profile, please think "What will sell my
work best? Photos of me to show everyone my latest haircut, or images of
my book I wrote, designed, etc.?" That "Wow!" factor of
seeing a great cover is going to get people to click on your profile image
when they see your book cover as your profile image, whether on someone's
friends list, from a comment or announcement you make, popping up in the
random RNC Featured Member spot, a paid Feature Me spot, or through a
search for your profession, same as what draws viewers to click on your
cover in an online book store.
Now this doesn't apply to everyone; editors, reviewers, promoters and
agents could use images of themselves, or logos/brand images of their
company, and aspiring authors and readers can use images of themselves.
But authors, cover artists, publishers and web designers should use images
of covers of books they wrote, designed, publish and screenshots of
websites they designed. Trailer producers should use a logo/brand image,
costume designers should use images of a gorgeous historical dress, etc.,
they designed, and models should use images that look like they could be
on a romance novel cover, or an image of them on a romance novel cover.
Viewers that come here do not care about your high-end fashion images,
your fitness images or your artistic images, they want to know if you
could sell their book by portraying the hero or heroine on their book
2.) Don't make your profile of all capital letters. It is
uneasy/annoying on the eyes, meaning visitors won't want to read your
3.) Don't start your profile about your family, spouse, kids, where
you live, etc. Visitors go to your page to learn about your
"profession", what you do in the romance novel industry, not how
many kids and pets you have and if you are married and how happy you are
in your relationship. Since there are so many profiles for them to look
at, they are not going to read every bit of every profile in your
profession. So if the first paragraph (much like a book's blurb) doesn't
capture their attention and have them wanting to read on, then they will
move on to the next one, as very soon there will be thousands of profiles
on RNC. If you want to talk a little about your personal life, do it last
so those who don't need or want to know, can stop when they start reading
it, while still getting the information they came to your profile for
4.) If you are an author and a cover artist and a publisher and a
web designer, etc., then you need to make a profile for each profession.
This is best for you and for viewers searching for you. When someone is
searching for a cover artist, they go to the "Browse" page and
click on "Cover Artist". They don't click on "Author"
or "Web Designer" or "Publisher" when looking for a
Cover Artist, nor do they want to read profiles of your book launches and
book signings and the latest books you have out, plus the books you
publish and the websites you've designed. They are looking for a COVER
ARTIST. When they want a Web Designer, they will do a search for a Web
Designer, etc. So don't fill your one profile with blah blah blah about
everything you do in this industry, as people searching for a specific
talent, are not going to want to read your life history. Your profile(s)
should be clean and neat, easy to read and provide information to sell
your talent in that one field.
5.) Visitors will do a search for a cover artist (for example) and
find many. They will then see all the profiles that put their rate they
charge and for what type of work, and they will find many within their
budget. You could very well be in their budget, but if you don't post your
rate, then those visitors will not know that. Do you really think they are
going to message you and everyone else who didn't post a rate to ask you
what your rate is, when they see dozens and dozens of cover artist
profiles who did? No, they won't. As they will figure you didn't post a
rate because it is very high. So they will look through the profiles that
did post a rate within their budget, and then choose one of them based on
their quality of work and style. But don't fear that because your rate is
high that you also don't want to post it, as there are plenty who can
afford you, as long as the work you show justifies your rate and they feel
that as well. The first Work/Rate field is mandatory as I know it is best
for you to show it, and it is what visitors want to see. The "edit my
profile" page is global for all professions, so each profession can
think of something to put there. Examples (not exact figures):
Work: Writing books
Rate: Price per book
Work: Edit up to 10k words
Work: E-Cover art
Rate: $100 per cover
Work: Book reviews
Work: Publish your novel
Rate: 60% of sales
Romance Novel Events:
Work: Registration fee
Work: Create novel trailers
Work: Novice book writer
Rate: not yet
Work: Reading books
Work: Designing costumes
Rate: See price under images
Work: Promoting you
Rate: $250 per month
Work: Representing you
Rate: 15% of your sales
Work: Cover shoots
Rate: $300 a day
6.) Where do I upload photos? Where do I edit my profile? Where do
I retrieve my messages? Where do I approve friend requests? Where do I
edit..........? All editing of your profile is accessed from the "my
stuff" link in the top right corner once you have joined RNC and
created a profile. Rollover the words "my stuff" with your
mouse/cursor and a pull-down menu with all your editing links/pages will