Author Archives: Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a 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 build profitable publishing platforms. Find me

The only New Year’s Resolution you really need, and how to make it happen in 2014

Today I noticed a few posts popping up on blogs I like about doing a 2013 “Year in Review” and mapping out goals and New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. This is something I’ve usually done on my Birthday (Dec. 22nd) or Christmas, or closer to the new year. Setting and achieving goals has been a huge part of my life. ... Read More »

How to write a press release (plus a $50 off coupon at PRweb!)

Recently I finished a guide to book marketing, and discouraged authors from using a free or paid press release service because I don’t think it’s worthwhile for authors or book promotion. But you might want to do it anyway, especially if you A) have a non-fiction book or B) are promoting some kind of business. I’m doing both soon so ... Read More »

How to format your book’s sales page listing on Amazon.com (through KDP or Author Central)

The last time I added a book to Amazon (2011) things were a little different, and I had to learn to tricky, not-quite-html code. But the situation has improved. From what I understand (as of Nov. 2013) or so, you can login to Author Central and manage your book description, but on Author Central you can only use the html ... Read More »

The confusing double standard between indie and “normal” publishing (as it pertains to book cover design)

DIY book cover design template in MS Word

Something interesting I thought I would bring up, because I encounter it often in my work with indie and self-publishing authors. If you do a search for “best cover designs”, you’ll routinely see covers that designers love – like on this page. And they are very clever, very clean and simple, usually “flat” or “retro” styled, because it’s cool to be ... Read More »

DIY December – Can you tell these book covers were made in MS Word?

I’m about ready to launch a package of DIY book cover templates in MS word, to give indie authors and affordable options for high quality cover design. I’m trying to bulk upload to Pinterest (where “DIYdecember” is trending) but alas, Pinterest is fickle, so I’m going to upload some of my favorites on this page as well so I can ... Read More »

Book marketing secrets you need to know before you publish

I’m writing a book on book marketing. It’s not exactly revolutionary, but after reading everything else available, I’ve realized a lot of advice for indie authors is outdated, disorganized or just plain wrong. Which is why most indie authors are terrible at promoting their own books. Since I’ve worked with hundreds of authors, often suggesting simple, small changes that double ... Read More »

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