Why should anyone review your book for free?

If you’ve published a book, you probably already know that reviews are essential to sales: having a bunch of reviews on your Amazon page should be your #1 pre-marketing goal. But recent book review scandals have made everybody skeptical and overly prejudiced against paid book reviews. Paid book reviews – it is assumed – are automatically untrustworthy, false, fake, misleading, …

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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 …

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Best 25 books on creativity and innovation from the world’s leadings experts

Developing my own philosophy of Creativindie and working on a manifesto for this site, I’ve been reading all the books on creativity that I can find. Some offer valuable tips. Others are inspirational but mostly useless in terms of making your own success through creative talents. These books range between academic researchers with real evidence, and seat-of-the-pants artists who got …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Contest winners (2013)

Sometime yesterday my faulty hard drive crashed, so for the past 24 hours I’ve been reinstalling, rebooting, and restoring files – thankfully I recently signed up for an online backup service (BackBlaze), otherwise the loss of data would be devastating. As it is, I’m kind of on a forced leave of absence (I can’t do much “real work” until I …

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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 …

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Diagnosing Dickinson: Epilepsy or Migraine? (How headaches inspire artists and writers)

I wrote this paper a few years ago and plan to publish it, but since it’s just sitting on my computer, I thought I’d share. I’m a frequent migraine sufferer and early episodes (including symptoms I interpreted as paranormal, like hearing voices and seeing flashing lights) were formative of my creative identity. Understanding these relatively common symptoms of migraine (which …

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