Derek Murphy

Hey there! I'm a philosophy dropout and book cover designer with a PhD in Literature. After spending a decade as a starving artist, I vowed to create the life of freedom my restless spirit demands. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write young adult fantasy novels and do a few editorial critiques to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles. FREE GUIDE: Book Marketing is Dead.

What happened to Createspace’s book cover design prices? (How much does book cover design cost?)

I’m thinking of raising my prices again, and looking around to check the “going rate” for book cover design. On my book covers site I make a big deal of pointing out that my covers are cheaper than createspace’s $1049 Custom Cover Premier Plus. But I just checked and that cover design option has disappeared. They used to have an even more expensive illustrated …

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Book marketing 101: Don’t sell a book; build a brand

For a lot of authors, “book marketing” still means something like advertising or publicity. In other words, you put something in front of people that tells them about the book, and that they should go buy it. Here’s why that doesn’t work: People need repetition before they notice, then take action. So they’ll need to see whatever it is you’re …

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Fabricating Controversy for Publicity and 3 More Powerful Marketing Lessons I learned from Houdini

I’m at the airport in Houston, waiting for my connecting flight back to Portland (after spending a few days talking about book marketing in Cleveland). Since I can’t get much work done on the road, I just watched the new Houdini mini-series starring Adrien Brody. It shows Houdini in a mostly sympathetic light: he’s a struggling self-starter, and entrepreneur, a …

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Why I hate Cover Wars and Book Cover Contests

Cover design contests and “cover wars” are becoming a staple of indie book promotion and marketing. For awhile I’ve been quietly voicing concern but I thought it about time to take a stronger position. Here’s why: 1. The underlying assumption behind book cover contests and cover wars is that the best designed cover will win. This is rarely true. Instead, it’s a popularity …

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100 Publishing Questions Answered: Another Free Book Devoted to Helping You Succeed

Recently I asked you guys if you had any publishing questions on this post: “Ask me anything about publishing – please!” I answered a lot of questions on that post, but I also decided to put them altogether into an ebook. And it’s free! I’ve sent it to my list already, but if you aren’t on that, just sign up …

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