Editing Mock-Ups in Photoshop (In 12 Steps)

I didn’t plan on sharing this but as I was editing some mock-ups I thought it would be nice to share what I am doing.

I am not a professional photographer, and I don’t always have a chance to take professional images. Therefore, I love using free mock-up templates to create professional images of my books. I am learning Photoshop also because if I can master it, I can also start to create my own book covers! (OK, that’s a far way off but a sista can dream).

But, while I am finagling (am I the only one who thinks finagle is a funny word?) around with this, I decided to put together a quick tutorial on what I am doing for those of you who use Photoshop. It’s super easy and if you have Photoshop, you should be able to get started right away.

Note: I’m not a professional “Photoshopper” and have instead found my own way of editing mock-ups because this way is easier for me but there are lots of other ways to do this.

Step One

Get Photoshop. You can get Photoshop CC for as low as $10/month. For me it’s worth the money because I use mock-ups often. However, there is a free trial you can use for seven days if my memory serves correctly. http://www.adobe.com/ (There are also plenty of free ways to create 3D images. I use Photoshop because the quality of the images is top notch.)

Step Two

Once you have Photoshop, find a free mock-up that you like. Be sure the license allows you to use it. Most of them do as long as you don’t try to sell the mock-up as your own. You can find some great ones at http://covervault.com/

Step Three

Download a mock-up you like. I’m going to use this one.

Step Four

Click on the zip file and double click on the Photoshop file to open it.

OK so you can pretty much change anything on here to make it your own. Eliminate the background, upload your own images, change colors, etc. But…

I’m just gonna show you how to change the book covers.

Step Five

Go to the side panel here. Let’s start with the front book cover. Click on the arrow next to Front Book, scroll down to front cover and double click on the space where the front book cover is…right where my arrow is.

It will bring up the mock cover here..

Step Six

File > Open > Find the cover (or image) you’d like to use on your computer and click on it….and

Screenshot (601)Screenshot (602)It will open in Photoshop. When it does, unlock it at the bottom. If you don’t unlock it, you cannot edit it.

Step Seven

Click on your cover and drag it to the mock layer.

Step Eight

This one has lots of special effects I don’t need. If ever you don’t want something in the image you can either delete the layer or hide it. Click on the eye next to the layers to hide them. I want to hide the mock-up text and other things…

If you did it correctly it should leave only your cover and look like this (below)…if you look at the layers next to where my marker is you will see that the eye is closed. This means I am hiding these layers so they don’t show.

Step Nine

As you can see, when you move your cover to the layer (see step seven) it will be too big. On your MAC click command T to highlight it to resize. On PC click ctrl T. Now just resize it to fit the space.

Step Ten

Save your resized cover. File > Save as (save it under a name you will recognize. You will need to remember where you saved it.)

Screenshot (621)Screenshot (627)

Step Eleven

Go back to the panel and right click in the space next to the front cover.

Step Twelve

If you did it correctly, it should bring up the box below…where you see replace contents, click on that.

When the box opens, find your saved image from Step Ten and replace the mock image with your own.

And that’s it!

For the back cover follow the exact same steps:

  • Click on the arrow next to back cover.
  • Double click on back cover
  • File > Open > Choose the image for your back cover
  • If it’s locked, unlock it
  • Click and drag your cover to the mock layer (you can’t move it if it’s locked)
  • Hide any layers you don’t need/want
  • Resize image > Command T (MAC) or Ctrl T (PC)
  • File > Save as to your PC
  • Back to the panel, right click in the space next to the back cover > Replace contents
  • Find saved image > place

The last thing you will do when you have both the front and back cover done is to File > Save as > PNG

You’re done.

Renaissance: The Nora White Story Book One. July 15, 2017. yecheilyahysrayl.com

No Whining Wednesday – Look for Solutions

Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, criticize, or complain. I missed you all last week! And, I hope you have not been complaining! If you are new to this blog or this segment please check out the first post HERE for more on what this post is all about.

I love the strategy we’re going to talk about today to stop complaining! I didn’t think I would have had the time to get one in today but since I’ll be virtually MIA next week I thought, why not?

Last month, one of our NWW talked about waiting it out. (Read it Here) about being patient when things go astray instead of anxious and frenzied. Today, we’ll use a similar strategy. Except instead of waiting it out, we will look for solutions. It sounds like common sense right? We complain about things that are not going as planned. It seems obvious that the thing to do is to look for a way to solve the problem! Well, this is life and it’s not always this easy. We can never control what kind of day it is going to be because the moment passes quickly.

One minute we are reading a book and the next there’s a thunderstorm that shuts off the electricity. One minute we are happy-go-lucky and the next the feeling of sadness, anger, and frustration overwhelms us. And so we know the challenge of trying to “figure it out” in the midst of chaos. However, if we take from the image above, it makes sense that complaining never solved a problem. It makes us feel good for sure (hey, you gotta get it out sometimes) but overdoing the venting leads to poverty. It literally comes to nothing.

Today, let’s try looking for solutions to those things we complain about and if we are looking for someone to listen, let’s gather the courage to ask! Hey, we’re human and sometimes we complain because we want someone to listen but what if we just reached out? Today, instead of complaining take action.

No Whining Wednesday – Don’t be a Negative Nancy

Welcome back to another episode of No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, complain, or criticize. Now, if you are new to this blog or new to this segment please visit the first post HERE for more on what this post is all about.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

What is a Negative Nancy or Neil? She or he is someone who cannot find the good in anything. There is always something wrong with the world and if there isn’t anything wrong with the world they will make one. A Negative Nancy or Neil tends to use his or hers personal problems, past or present, as the catalyst or crutch for which they have this grudge. A negative Nancy or Neil complains about everything and anything. These are the people who look for the bad in things first and if they can’t see the bad then maybe they will acknowledge the good. Maybe.

“Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions”

– Will Smith

Usually, Negative Neils and Nancy’s are born from putting energy into other people. We get so caught up in how other people see us that we allow them to use us. We become their toilet stools, their waste baskets, their garbage. A heaping pile of negative energy consumers. People just dump themselves on us. Their views, their perceptions, and their way of thinking.

Now, these aren’t people who have a stake in your life. These aren’t the people who are there for you, who support you or who believe in you and are trying to encourage you. No, these are people who do the least for you and yet, how they feel about you is more important than how you feel about yourself and as that negative energy is dumped into your lap, you now have nothing good to say about anyone or anything and worse, you now project this attitude to the people around you.

Did you know Negative Neils and Nancy’s can be spotted for miles away? It’s not hard to spot that one person who has something negative to say about everything:

“How’s the weather?”

“It’s nice out but I shole wish it would rain.”

Why you can’t just enjoy the nice weather? It’s gotta rain too?

“Sure glad it rained today, don’t ya think?”

“I guess. Would have been nice if it did all this yesterday.”

When the rain comes, Negative Nancy’s and Neil’s still aren’t happy.

“What’s taking so long? I haven’t eaten anything all day.”

“I got some leftovers I’m about to put on. You can have some.”

“Leftovers?”

Negative Neil’s and Nancy’s are never content. There’s something wrong with everything.

I think we get the point here.

Today, as you strive not to complain, think about what’s causing the complaint. Nine times out of ten it is not you or someone who loves you. Nine times out of ten it is from people who do so little to nothing for you. Don’t let them control so much of your thoughts and feelings. Don’t let them have so much control over you and turn you into a Negative Nancy or Negative Neil.

There Are Reasons and There Are Excuses…But Actually Excuses

YOU need to read this! This is so true and so on point.

Dream Big, Dream Often

When you really think about it, most of the “reasons” we use to explain why we didn’t do something or why we didn’t succeed, are actually excuses.

The most common excuses I receive in comments and emails are: not enough time and not enough money.  But didn’t Einstein, Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, Steve Jobs, etc. all have 24 hours in a day?  And haven’t there been millionaires start with no money to their name?

In my opinion a reason sounds like this…”I couldn’t pick up the spoon that fell on the floor because I have no hands.”  An excuse sounds like this…”I couldn’t pick up the spoon because I worked all day and my back is sore.”  The more I operate this blog the more I believe that the vast majority of us use excuses and not reasons.  I’m not judging, nor am I trying to give anyone a hard…

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No Whining Wednesday – Laugh

Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, criticize, or complain. Today, we focus on not complaining for a 24-hour period. If you are new to this blog or this segment, please go HERE for our first post for a more detailed description of what this segment is all about.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

Now I really wanted to share a good one today. There are many quotes and pieces of wisdom we can gain based on how important it is to laugh. But I wanted to find one that really spoke to the nature of this segment and will give us something to think about. It took some digging and there are some really good ones but the one I found that stuck out was this one:

“Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.”

–Bob Newhart

In the first draft of this post, I mistakenly used wine instead of whine so that it read: “…you do not get to wine, criticize, or complain….

Lol

Good thing I went back over this. That was close. (Phew)

Laughter is everything and I believe that if you are too serious to laugh then you are too serious and your life is probably real boring. The next time you find yourself in a sour mood, try to find the humor in the situation. Of course, depending on the situation this will be harder for some than for others but if you concentrate on the positive then you will find it. It may take awhile, but you will find it.

I’m at a point in my life where I’ve come to appreciate positive affirmations and the high vibrations the universe puts out when we focus on the good instead of the negative. According to an article in Laughter is the Best Medicine, laughing really is good for your health:

Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Laughter burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.

This next one speaks to our quote:

Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.

Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.

I believe that hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.

–Robert Fulghum 

No Whining Wednesday – Wait It Out

It’s that time of the week again. Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday. The only day of the week where you do not get to whine, criticize, or complain. If you’re new to this blog or new to this segment, please visit the first post HERE for more on what this is about. For those of you who’ve been rocking with us since we started, I hope that you’ve settled into a no complaining routine! OK well, at least on Wednesdays!

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

Today’s motivational quote for not complaining:

“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.”

~ Brian Adams

I almost complained this morning and the day just started. In fact, I almost complained putting this post together about complaining. Here’s how I stopped myself: I waited to see if I could solve the problem before getting upset.

I don’t know if this will help you but it helped and has helped me on more than one occassion, today being one of them. Sometimes you have to just wait and see what happens. I literally tell myself: “OK, let me try and do this real quick and then I’ll panic.” Well, it works because I usually figure it out and by then the moment has passed.

I came home from out of town one day and couldn’t find an important USB with work on it to which I had not backed up. Worst case scenario is that I’d lost some critical documents. But I decided this day that I didn’t feel like worrying about it (worrying drains your energy too!) so I literally put off looking for a few days.

On the day I decided I needed to find it, I thought about where I seen it last before I panicked. It worked. I found it.

Today, have a little patience. Wait it out and see what happens.

Writer’s Wednesday – Beyond the Colored Line

Sooo. Yea. One reason I don’t like saying what I am going to do is because I end up not doing it (don’t ever say what you will do. Bad idea.) So, when I said Chapter 3 of The Men with Blue Eyes was coming this week I did not anticipate not finishing it. But yea, it’s not finished. So, this week I am sharing a Chapter from my novella “Beyond the Colored Line” (2015) instead. Enjoy.


September 4, 1923

“You’s white.”

Margaret and Josephine had their hands on their hips again, Josephine taking the lead role as always. The wind felt soft against their skin and swayed the handmade dresses in all directions, hovering well below her long, skinny legs.

Her pony tails were twists that never really wanted to stay together. Stella got lost for a minute. Slightly envious. She wished her hair was as thick as Josephine’s. But instead hers could never keep a braid. School had just started at Crestwood Elementary of Belvedere City, just south of Boone County Illinois and already Stella could see this would not be a good year. Same as always.

“I’m not white; I’m Negro, same as you.”

Josephine rolled her eyes, “You look white. You sound white. I thinks you white.”

The girls laughed. Meanwhile, Stella’s blood boiled. Her hazel eyes darkened, blonde hair glistened in the sun, and the blush of anger showed quickly in the space of her cheeks and around her ears.

“You’s white ‘cause we say you’s white,” said Margaret.

“That’s right”, co-signed Josephine, “what kind of name is Stella anyway? What, you some kind of slave?”

“Naw, said Margaret, “she ain’t no slave, she massa.”

Josephine turned her head toward Margaret and laughed in her ear but Margaret saw it coming from her peripheral.

“Josephine!” she yelled. But it was too late. Stella was already on top of Josephine pulling her neatly pressed hair and slamming her face into the dirt. She could hear the screams of the teachers nearby calling her name but she just couldn’t stop.

“I’m not white! I’m not white! I’m the same as you!” she yelled, hot tears streaking down her face.

Josephine was crying now as Margaret tried to peel Stella off her.

“I’m Negro the same as you!” she yelled, slamming Josephine’s face into the ground, the screams from the teachers nearing, inaudible to the anger that consumed her.

Later that Day

Judith stood by the door, tapping her foot impatiently against the hardwood floor as she burned a hole in the back of Stella’s head who sat silently on the sofa, her head down.

“You’re going to have to learn to control yourself Stella.”

“But Mom—”

“Did I ask you to say a word?” Scolded Judith, opening the door at the same time. She expected her guest and opened before she could knock. Mrs. Velma Connor, Stella’s teacher, walked in.

“Good Afternoon, I’d like to apologize again for what happened today. May I offer you some coffee?”

“Never mind that”, said Velma, “I don’t specs to be here long.”

“Well”, said Judith, “let me offer you to a seat then.”

The women walked over to the sofa. Judith sat beside Stella as Velma took the sofa across from them and cleared her throat.

“Stella seems to be having a difficult time adjusting. Her temper is far too easily tickled, if you catch my meaning.”

I do”, said Judith.

“We think perhaps she would be better off in a more comfortable environment. Somewhere more of her liking, if you catch my meaning.”

Judith straightened and looked Velma in her sparkling blue eyes, “Not exactly.”

“Well, Ms. May, the accusations from some of the children are hard to ignore.”

“What accusations?”

“Well, you know. Children will be children,” Velma laughed, “It’s just that they don’t take very well with our kind. Surely you ‘d prefer for Stella— “

“Our kind?” interrupted Judith.

“Why, yes.”

“You don’t have to say anything more Mrs. Conner”, said Judith standing. The fair-skinned woman smoothed the apron hanging from her waist and walked to the door. Opening it, she turned to Stella.

“Stella Mae?”

“Yes mama?”

“Go on upstairs so me and your teacher can talk.”

“Yes ma’am”, said Stella, hurrying up the stairs.

Velma remained seated, “Is there a problem?”

Judith smiled, “No. There’s no problem but I do want you to leave my house.”

Velma’s cheeks turned red as she stood, pointing her nose in the air and strolling toward the door. Her face cringing a scowl.

“By the way, the school has placed Stella under suspension, you understand why.”

“Oh, I do”, said Judith, “you see, defending ourselves, is what we’re taught.”

Confusion washed over Velma’s face as she stared into the green eyes of the white woman in front of her, disgusted that she would stoop so low as to lay with one of them.

“What we’re taught? I’m not sure I follow.”

“Oh yes,” said Judith, “It’s one of the first things my Negro father taught me. You know, our kind I guess.”

The pink rushed to the woman’s nose as she hurried out the door.

And that’s how things had been for us growing up. I couldn’t understand what made Mama so strong. She loved Daddy with every bone in her body but society would never have of it. Mama was Negro sure enough as she was white but Papa didn’t trust it. Being with the love of his life was just too costly for him I guess. I thought about Papa that day and all the days afterward as I stood at the top of the stairs, and watched as my mother waved goodbye to my racist teacher with a smile on her face.

– Stella


This book is available now on Amazon.

Get it free in exchange for an honest review. Email me HERE


“Stella: Beyond the Colored Line is a fascinating walk through the ages–from slavery, to segregation, to the black power movement, to modern times. Through the eyes of one mixed race woman, the author touches on major events in African American history, allowing the reader to experience them in real time. The story deepens when Stella decides to live as a white woman and raise her children as whites. As her family grows and develops within a changing society, Stella and her children reveal complex perspectives and attitudes that make it clear that it doesn’t matter who your ancestors were. Nothing is just simply black or white.”

– Christa Wojo.,

Amazon Customer Review