Graphic Design

Best free online graphics editors for making your own book cover designs

Update: my design tool is live, here: www.diybookcovers.com/covermakertool. It works, but the real value will be in all the templates that I’ll be adding soon. Go play with it and see what you think. So here’s an interesting problem: self-publishing is exploding globally. People want to publish quickly and cheaply. Formatting can be automated to some extent. But getting a high quality ... Read More »

Everything you think you know about your author website is wrong

I was listening to a session of the Non-Fiction Writers Conference today and the question came up: “How do people find your website?” The answer involved using Google keywords to find out what people are searching for, and then rewrite your content to use more of those search terms. For example, if my book is about is about book marketing, ... Read More »

Createspace’s Cover Generator is Totally Broken

According to Createspace’s submission requirements, To calculate the spine width of your book, White paper: multiply page count by 0.002252 Cream paper: multiply page count by 0.0025 So, for the 230 page cream book I’m working on, my calculator says the spine width should be 0.575″. That’s also what Createspace is telling the author, as it rejects the cover I ... Read More »

The Disappointments of Kindle Formatting (why is Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature so broken?)

In my books and with my clients, I routinely stress to keep ebooks very simple. Nothing fancy. No embedded fonts or images. Because it’s unlikely to look good on all different platforms and ebook readers. But that’s so boring. I ignore my own advice, because for me, style and design are as important as content. Today however I’ve proved myself ... Read More »

Does content matter anymore? Reflections on art and competition

When I was younger and doing gallery exhibitions, I never wanted to explain my art. I don’t want to sully the viewer experience by telling them what it meant to me. “What does it mean to you?” I asked. The problem with that is, viewers don’t know whether or not something is important unless you tell them what it means. ... Read More »

How to make a “sell-sheet” for your book (with free templates!)

I’ll admit I’ve never used a sell sheet for book promotion. Instead, I like to get wicked awesome postcards printed on high quality stock. These I can hand out, put up or leave around indiscriminately. In fact after browsing through Google for sell sheet design examples, I’m pretty convinced they’re worthless. Your book cover is your sell sheet You should ... Read More »

How to make an author website or book sales page that doesn’t scare away your readers

For years I’ve been dancing around the idea of offering author websites. I’m a WordPress pro PLUS a graphic designer, so I’ve got the skills – and WordPress author websites are in huge demand and average around $1000 to build. Why I don’t do it? I don’t want to become the author’s life-long tech person who helps them change pictures ... Read More »

300+ Fool-Proof Fonts to use for your Book Cover Design (an epic list of best fonts per genre)

Using the right fonts on your book cover helps tell the reader what genre your book fits into and elicits an emotional response. You want it to look great, but also be appropriate, fit in well with the cover design, and (probably) be just a little more interesting than a standard font. So I’ve put together some cheat-sheets of the ... Read More »

The 8 brilliant fonts you NEED to use in your book layout (with type combinations and samples)

If you were formatting a book – just the inside – you’d have to choose a strong, perfect body font for the main paragraphs and a complimentary and interesting font for titles, subtitles and chapter headings. Except you don’t really need to do that, because (I assume) you’ve already put together an amazing cover design, and your cover design (I ... Read More »

How to save thousands of dollars publishing your book (9 reasons you shouldn’t work with a small press).

I’ve been sitting on this post awhile. It’s opinionated. I’m rankled. Which means my judgment may be clouded, and I don’t want to pass my cloudy judgment on to you. On the other hand, I’m getting pretty damn good at helping authors publish books and just about every aspect of self-publishing. I can take a book, format it in InDesign, ... Read More »

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