This is a little embarrassing, but when I first posted my published short story, Two Steps Forward, on Smashwords, I really had no idea what I was doing. I read their style guide and followed the instructions, and gave it away for free since A) it’s a short story – no one pays money for short stories and B) I have no idea what the tax implications would be. So I got to the almost-final step in the process, and then it asked me to upload a cover.

I’m thinking, “What? Only books have covers…” but I know better because I have downloaded my fair share of free short stories for Kindle with cover images. Sadly, I only finally created a cover for the thing and uploaded it today. Check it out at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/36008.

I’ve read enough blogs from e-book author to know that cover art is very important in the electronic book world. It’s often what sways someone into spending the $3 to buy a book. And I’ve seen enough e-book covers to know what and what not to do. Still, I’m not a graphic designer, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t try to do anything too complicated. I had about 10 credits to Bigstock.com for some stock photography, so I ran a search on some of the themes in the story, and found what I think is just about the perfect image for the tone and themes of the story. Then I used my remedial PhotoShop skills to dial down the opacity and add the title and byline. Not bad for a first-timer, I think.

What do you think?