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

My Super Simple Ebook Formatting and Conversion Process for the New Kindle, Smashwords and Epub Rules

I’ve been meaning to learn ebook formatting and conversion for over 2 years. Sadly, every time I got started, the sheer enormity of the process scared me away. Multiple formats? Lots of Code and HTML? Yuck. But I’ve been giving the work away for too long, and I know it’s something I’m going to need a lot of, so this ... Read More »

Becoming DaVinci – how to retire in Tuscany and become an art restoration expert

Today I’m honored to host an interview with an author who’s doing amazing things in art and literature. I met David Clarke while working on his book cover for Rare Traits, a fascinating novel that makes use of David’s interest in art history. Then I found out he’s in Tuscany studying art restoration. Wow – who wouldn’t love to be ... Read More »

How not to be a hopelessly tragic romantically poor artist (why you should buy art, the value of art and how to sell your art)

Today I got an email message from the site Nurturing Creativity. It’s a beautiful site with a good message, and I support Denise’s main aim of nurturing creative entrepreneurs. But something about this message struck me wrong. Rather than an inspiration to artists, it’s a confirmation of some very bad messages about what art is. It’s rooted in the fundamental ... Read More »

Where to find royalty-free stock images for your book cover (and how to avoid choosing the same one as everybody else).

If you’re indie publishing, you probably can’t afford a photo shoot. Fortunately (or unfortunately), these days major publishing houses can’t either, which means everybody is using stock photography. Stock photos are royalty-free images you pay to download, that you can use for book cover designs or other projects. There are lots of websites, and I’ll walk you through my favorites, ... Read More »

How much information do you need to collect from visitors/shoppers on your mailing list form – and is it worth losing sales?

So I’ve just bought an information product to (hopefully) help me improve my ebook formatting skills. I’m a pretty liberal online buyer. I’ll buy something pretty quickly if it looks decent, has good reviews, and costs under $100. If it’ll save me 5 hours of work, it’s worth it. But on this particular website, after I clicked the “Buy Now” ... Read More »

New Book Cover Size and Ratio Requirements for Kindle, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords + some free cover templates!

As a book cover designer, many times my clients question me on my choices for the size and height-width ratio of my book covers. And for good reason: there is no industry standard for ebook covers – Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple and Smashwords all recommend different things. Many indie authors recommend making a perfect, separate file for each ebook ... Read More »

Creatively independent: Will doing what you love get you what you need?

“Follow your bliss.” That’s the mantra that led me through the first two thirds of my life. It seems unimpeachable. Life is to short too waste time doing something you don’t enjoy, so you need to tune into your passion. Find out what makes you happy, what excites you, and don’t do anything else. Forge your own path! Never give ... Read More »

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