The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#130

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!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

The awesome co-hosts for the February 01st posting of the IWSG are:  Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner!

Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!

February 01st 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?
The book cover is the first thing that readers see, so it’s the one thing that I wouldn’t want to scrimp on and would definitely use a professional.
And since we’re on the topic of covers, here is a question with regards to a short story or novella collection: is it advisable to have a branded short story cover format and just swap out the image behind it? Thoughts?

I know that those who are in the northern hemisphere are feeling the bite, but it’s the opposite for me. We’ve been experiencing a heatwave and it’s not going to end anytime soon. It drains all your energy and leaves you tired. As a result, many things have slowed down, including progress with the website. I’ll get back to it when the heatwave subsides a bit… but for now, it’s a go-slow…

Happy IWSG Day!


  1. Jacqui Murray on February 1, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    I like the branded approach, but I’d also play with the colors. It tells me quickly this is part of a series.

  2. Alex J. Cavanaugh on February 1, 2023 at 7:04 pm

    No idea on the cover. Sorry about the heat wave. It’s why I don’t like summer. Zaps my energy.

  3. C. Lee McKenzie on February 1, 2023 at 7:39 pm

    I so agree with you. The cover is too important to stint on.

  4. Loni Townsend on February 1, 2023 at 8:33 pm

    Wouldn’t it be nice if weather was a pleasant temperature all the time. I admit, I’m on the freezing half of the world.

    I’m not sure what’s best for the market, but I went with a theme, keeping the same fonts across a series.

  5. Natalie Aguirre on February 1, 2023 at 8:36 pm

    Sorry I can’t answer your question on the cover. I so wish we had a heat wave today. The high is about 20 today. Next week we’ll be happy when it gets to 40.

  6. Anna on February 1, 2023 at 8:49 pm

    I can’t advise you on the cover front; however, heat I get. I land up very lethargic as well. A damp compress round my neck helps me manage the worst of it. Especially when I’m stuck in the garden. Soaking my feet in something cool doesn’t hurt either. Using a kiddie pool can make it a social event. Invite all your friends. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  7. Sarah Foster on February 1, 2023 at 9:10 pm

    They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but we all know how important it really is. Definitely a good idea to go with a professional.
    I wish there was a heatwave right now! Of course, I’ll be complaining about the heat in the summer, too.

  8. Carol Kilgore on February 1, 2023 at 9:54 pm

    It’s icy here, but I can deal with cold better than with heat. I can always move around and add another blanket. Heat zaps all my energy. Stay cool 🙂

    I would advise having at least one quickly recognizable element the same about your short story collections. If you know how many collections you intend to publish in this series of stories, that could prove helpful in deciding. The most obvious of these are the fonts. Next could or could not be titles. Background colors should be different, imo, but the colors should be in a pallet. I believe in keeping the covers simple, but that may be a personal thing. I do not make my own covers, but I’ve picked up things here and there.

  9. Louise (FundyBlue) on February 1, 2023 at 11:03 pm

    I hear you about the heat, Michelle. Heat sucks out all my energy. I find cold clean and refreshing. I hope you get some relief soon! I can’t answer your question. When I get to a book cover, I’m going to have a professional design it. Have a good month.

  10. L. Diane Wolfe on February 1, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    You might want a style or overlay that fits with each cover. It is important that a series’ covers fit together. But something where you just swap out the image might be too simple and kitchy.

  11. Marie Andreas on February 2, 2023 at 12:42 am

    Sadly, no suggestions on the cover–I haven’t done any collections. Send going thoughts for a break in your heat wave!

  12. Hilary Melton-Butcher on February 2, 2023 at 9:19 am

    Hi MIchelle – Covers are important … and I’d definitely need help – but am not in that sphere. Boiling hot with you – yes I understand and remember SA days of heat … it certainly saps one’s energy – the dark and cold doesn’t thrill me – but we (the earth) needs it … then Spring cometh (goody!), or for you the Autumn … take care and all the best – cheers Hilary

  13. MIffie Seideman on February 2, 2023 at 2:22 pm

    I completely understand how heat can zap your strength and leave little left for creativity. I live in Phoenix, and we definitely get out share of the sun. Hope the weather cools down to a navigable range soon!

  14. Patricia on February 2, 2023 at 11:46 pm

    I’ve seen lots of books that do that with a series and I’ve done it with one of my own. It definitely tells the reader which books are part of the series.

  15. H. R. Sinclair on February 3, 2023 at 4:33 pm

    I like the branded approach. The connection I think pulls people to buy the next in the series.

  16. emaginette on February 24, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    When I came across this article I immediately thought of you. Hope you find it as interesting as I did.


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