Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Make Your Own Book Cover

Now Available

There is a lot of creative book covers to choose from online, but I couldn’t seem to find one that fit Blood Gold, my latest novel.

The question in the back of my mind had always been... why don’t you make your own book cover? The simple answer to that question was always the same… I don’t know how

But the idea kept prodding me: Come on, make your own book cover... you can do it.

The thought of creating my own book cover scared me and yet appealed to me more and more. My belief has always been if you really want something get tough and go after it.  So...

I downloaded The Gimp. Since I knew nothing about manipulating images, I turned to YouTube and found the Aubrey Watts Tutorials. In about a week I learned some of the basics on how use The Gimp and HOW TO create a book cover. Aubrey Watts doesn’t rush you. Her three tutorials gave me the confidence I needed to create my book cover. She is a good teacher, and that’s all it took for me to get started. 

Here is another good YouTube tutorial by Exquisite Tech. I couldn't have lived without this one. I found this tutorial helpful on how to insert a photo into another photo.

 I made several attempts and spent hours searching for the right stock photos before I settled on the book cover above. The two you see here are not bad for a novice, but the blue cover is a little too peaceful for a suspense thriller. The red cover gave a feeling of a romance novel.

I've had fun doing this. I hope I've helped you in some small way to create your own book covers. Please comment and let me know.  

Check out My Author Page

Thanks much! My best,   

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Don't Miss My New Thriller "Blood Gold" Now Available!

He fought terrorists in Afghanistan. Now he fights a war on the home front.

An old map and a treasure trove of precious gold are all it takes to trigger conspiracy and murder. When Marine Gunnery Sergeant, Michael Drake, returns home from Afghanistan, his wealthy father entrusts the map over to him for safekeeping—then vanishes. Now Michael becomes the target of his father’s sex addicted wife, a corrupt sheriff, and a sociopathic drug lord. From Lakeport California to a ghost town in Rogues Hollow, there’s no shortage of greed, lust and murder. Michael Drake, a near amputee, suffering from survivor’s guilt, is on a mission to find his father and protect the map. To win he must outwit ruthless conspirators. If suicide bombers, IED explosives, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can’t stop the twenty-four-year-old Marine, nothing can. Now on Kindle and in Paperback

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Self Published - A Smooth Operation

Dangerous Presence a Thriller
 by M. G Cronkite
Cover Art by Josh Thornbrugh 

It’s a mixed feeling to reach that final page in your novel and quietly know in your heart you have come to the end of your story. You have loved every twist and turn, every character you’ve created, every scene. But now the time has come to say goodbye, at least for now—to move on and perhaps write a sequel. The time has come to publish—self publish, that is.

 And, that’s exactly what I did. Dangerous Presence, my very first novel is now published to Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Direct.

I followed The Smashwords Style Guide, by Mark Coker. I won’t say it was easy. There were times when I found the guidelines confusing. But then I’m not overly techie, either. I worked hard to get it just right, and I found once I had all the puzzle pieces fit together, it was a smooth operation.

I published to Smashwords. It took a few days to be accepted into the Premium Catalog. But once I was, I uploaded my novel to Amazon Kindle Direct and found the process to be easy and quick.

Dangerous Presence:
Psychologist, Jacquelyn Kincaid’s five-acre garden estate becomes deadly ground when blatant sex acts in a hot tub fuel a serial killer’s lethal vendetta. In her quest to prove her kid brother innocent of the murders, Jacquelyn fights for his life and finds herself butting heads with the law, all the way up the bureaucratic ladder to the FBI.

Buy here at Smashwords: Dangerous Presence

Or Buy here at Amazon:   Dangerous Presence

This video, which I just discovered, may be helpful to anyone who chooses to format their own manuscript and upload to Smashwords. (part 1 of 3)

This video is chuck full of good info for the e publisher. It also gives you the pros and cons on whether to format your own manuscript to Smashwords or hire a professional (very reasonable) and have it done. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Self-Publishing - The Beginning Stages

I will be working each day, going through the process of what it takes to self-publish my first novel. I will be learning many new things.

I want to publish my work to the highest professional level. It may take some real groundwork, but after I self-publish my first novel, I know it will get easier.  I'm excited about this. I will  post each step on my blog as I go along. At the present time, I'm gathering my resources. All the information I need is out there, it's just a matter of discovering it.

I'm reading, Let's Get Digital, by David Gaughran. This is one of the best e-books written on self-publishing. You can download this book on your Kindle CloudReader. It's Free. Here is the link:
Lets-Get-Digital How To Self-Publish and Why You Should

In my search for answers, I've come across this wonderful video, The Publishing Process, by  Steven H. Jackson. If you are interested in self publishing you can't go wrong here. It starts with the basics and moves right through to the finish line. It is helpful, and I value it. 

Right now I am at stage one -- writing the last few chapters of my novel, Dangerous Presence. When I finish, I will jump into the editing stage. See you soon.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Dangerous Presence a Thriller
 by M. G Cronkite
Cover Art by Josh Thornbrugh 
Who says you can't judge a book by its cover?

When Josh Thornbrugh, my writer friend from Writer's Village University, creates a book cover it immediately grabs your attention. This talented man  knows how to intrigue you with  just the right amount of mystery.

Josh is a science fiction writer. I share a writing group with him at Writer's Village University and have the pleasure of critiquing his chapters in the novel he is writing, entitled, Beyond the Gates of Ovrigmark. Never a dull moment in this exciting sci fi.

The Hemingway Hall group at WVU consists of seven active members, and Josh has somehow found the time to make  book covers for all of us. We are so fortunate to have this gifted man in our Hemingway Hall group. Thank you, Josh, and thank you for my beautiful book cover.

To me, the beauty lies in mystery, and of course that's what Dangerous Presence promises. Lots of mystery.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Avoid flashbacks if at all possible. A story should begin at the beginning and go to the end with few visits to the past. However, our characters do have a past, and their emotions tie into their past, happy or sad.  Therefore, if the information is necessary for your reader to understand your story then go for it. But be careful. 

The best way to use a flashback is through dialogue, action and/or conflict. If you don’t want to put your reader to sleep, narrative is a big no-no.  So make your flashback vivid with plenty of tension. “Stein on Writing” says it better than anyone. “Fiction should seem to be happening right now.” This is an important statement because a flashback can be obtrusive and stop the story dead. Before using that flashback, ask yourself if your story would read better without one.