Graphic Design

Cheating to win won’t help your book sales: Judging the Author’s Database 2013 Book Cover Design Contest

This month I was asked to be a guest judge on the Author’s Database 2013 indie book cover design contest. It was an interesting experience, both in seeing the quality of what’s out there, and becoming more familiar with my own guidelines for quality cover design. There was a wide variety, and I was supposed to choose a first, second ... 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 »

Why I love to work for free (a book makeover project for Alastair Humphreys)

Tonight after reading some of Gary V.’s new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Punch I followed his advice and searched Twitter for “book cover design” – by way of which I discovered Alastair Humphreys’ invitation for someone to redesign his book cover. I wasn’t familiar with Alastair so I would have passed the opportunity, but then I started reading the very ... 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 »

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 »

How to make your own FREE ebook cover in MS Word that will blow people away

A common piece of advice for indie authors that I hear repeated strenuously is this: “DON’T make your own book cover in Microsoft Word!” Why? Because it’s almost certain to be ugly. But the reason that authors even attempt it, is because Word is probably a program they already know how to use and have installed. A serious graphics software ... 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 »

Trinigan Font used in Danielle Radcliffe’s Woman in Black

I thought I’d take a break from graphic design and watch a scary movie. Danielle Radcliffe’s “The Woman in Black” (very good, very scary, by the way, had me jumping like a little girl). The first 10 minutes or so was a little rough and obvious – working the background story in deliberately and without subtlety… as the protagonist is ... Read More »

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