Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book editor turned book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors write and publish bestselling books. FREE GUIDE: Sell your work without selling out.

A Crash Course in Book Marketing

I made this for an event recently, it was a handout – decided to post it here in case it’s helpful… #1 Write a book people want to read. #2 Connect with influencers or other authors in your genre/topic. Review their books. Share their stuff. Comment on their posts. Get noticed. #3 Set up a website that catches emails. Run …

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Can Hugh Howey teach us anything about book cover design?

Today I saw that Hugh Howey had posted an article on book cover design. “That’s cool,” I think. Hugh Howey is one of the most successful self-publishing authors in the world. He started out with pretty unprofessional book covers that embody the design tastes of most indie authors (they focus on scenes and symbolism and details, instead of being simple …

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What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s Sunday. I’m feeling sad, nostalgic, as I tend to do on Sundays (through strangely, haven’t in a long time…) I’m not stressed, which is a major change – I’ve been behind on work for going on two years, but I stopped accepting clients until I can catch up and things are starting to become manageable again. The strange thing is, I’ve …

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8 Tips for Getting the Most out of WDS – Preparing for the 2015 World Domination Summit (or any other conference)

This year will be my third WDS (Word Domination Summit – a meetup for people living unconventionally). I wrote this post just before last year’s conference, and had a lot of people tell me they’d read it before coming and it had set their mind at ease. So I’m updating it and reposting it for 2015, in hopes it will do …

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A new reflection on image copyrights and legal issues with book cover design

Today I saw this post about Richard Prince taking other people’s Instagram photos without permission or warning and selling them in a New York art gallery for $90,000 each. It’s not his first offence: he’s previously taken photos from magazines or from other photographers and changed them just a little bit (like cutting out and swapping them figures). He’s been …

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Content or Keywords? How to write a book subtitle or tagline that grabs readers by the throat

The title of this post is a little too violent, but it exemplifies the purpose of this post: your subtitles and taglines need to engage readers. Firstly: a subtitle is usually what goes on a non-fiction book, and non-fiction book readers are mostly looking for information and content, so you need to focus on keywords (sort of, more on that later). A …

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