book publishing

How much will you spend self-publishing your book? Please leave feedback!

Recently a lot of my authors have been sending the printing requirements for the small presses and publishers they’ve signed up with. These are author services companies, that usually charge a huge up-front fee (average $1000 for ebook publishing, $3000 for ebook and POD print book). But since these publishers and small presses have really ugly cover design options and ... Read More »

A simple and bizarre trick to help you write and edit your book (by switching between creativity and laser-focused attention)

I know one of the biggest challenges for writers is A) coming up with creative ideas for their writing and B) going back through their writing to self-edit, rewrite, improve and restructure. These are vastly different skills which need vastly different mind-sets. But there’s a simple and easy trick you can use to switch between them. I’m reading Imagine, How ... Read More »

Copyright laws for book cover art: stock photography licenses and other things you should know

I mainly use stock photography for my book cover designs, but if I can’t find anything, I search long and hard to find an alternative. With book cover art, you need to be careful to get permission so you aren’t breaking copyright. But at the same time, copyright laws are confusing and open to creative interpretation. Here are some things ... Read More »

Matte or Gloss varnish for book printing: Createspace now allows both, but which is better?

Createspace just announced that Matte cover finish is now available for print books, on new and existing titles. For the past decade or so, that option was only available on Lightning Source. So let’s talk about which one you should choose: Matte is smoother and has less glare, but the colors are slightly muted. For non-fiction or more subtle literary ... Read More »

5 common book cover design myths most indie authors believe

I’ve been designing covers for a few years, and I often have to confront cover design myths perpetuated by indie-publishing gurus and thought leaders. There’s a lot of advice out there for indie authors, and some of it is contradictory, which has the unfortunate effect of allowing indie authors to accept the advice they like and agree with, and ignore ... Read More »

8 cover design secrets publishers use to manipulate readers into buying books

Indie publishers are slowly coming to realize the importance of an amazing book cover. Since many self-publishing authors are starting out on a very small budget however, homemade, DIY book covers are still a popular choice. But be forewarned: although book cover designs come in a wide variety, publishers consistently use reliable, time-tested techniques and guidelines to catch your attention ... Read More »

What authors need to know about conversion, split testing and lead generation

Most authors don’t know enough about business. While some savvy non-fiction authors succeed through grit, willpower and constant bullhorning, the majority of authors are making a mess of their book marketing and promotion, using decade-old techniques and advice, which will move few books off shelves and even worse, can be detrimental to an author’s professional reputation. So I’d like to ... Read More »

Why I don’t ship my pants or anything else until I’m ready

In most regards, I think authors and artists have a lot to learn from the young entrepreneur crowd chilling in San Francisco and Silicon valley. They are reckless overachievers and productivity chasers with their eyes on the end goal. They are developing “minimal viable products” to test out the market and then “hustling” and “being scrappy” until they “get shit ... Read More »

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