Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book editor turned book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors write and publish bestselling books. FREE GUIDE: Sell your work without selling out.

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 …

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How to use your book cover and subtitle to hook the right readers and sell more books.

Sometimes the cover design process focuses too much on what looks good and feels right – this is especially true for indie authors who want to represent their story with accuracy. But try not to forget, the cover has ONE job – to sell the book. It’s the packaging. It’s the glossy picture of a Big Mac that doesn’t really …

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BEWARE: The Sandos Mexican Timeshare Scam (Should you trust strangers when you travel?)

Recently I spent a few months in Mexico, culminating in a week-long stay at the all-inclusive resort, Sandos Cancun. Part of our package deal was a mandatory time-share presentation for Royal Elite, which filled me with dread. I went in convinced I wouldn’t be sucked in, but left having spent $6000 on lots of timeshare weeks. Initially I was optimistic. …

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Createspace vs. Lightning Source: Which is better for Self-Publishing Authors?

I’ve seen versions of this debate raging around the internet for several years. The short version goes like this: 1) Lightning source produces better quality books 2) Lightning source offers more professionalism and the right kind of discounts therefore 3) Even though it’s more expensive and a pain in the ass, you should go with LS instead of Createspace because …

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Living Everywhere: Notes from Cyprus on the Life of a Digital Nomad

I’m in Paphos, Cyprus, sitting in the bar downstairs of my hotel drinking a Mojito and listening to a trance remix of “Ain’t no mountain high enough.” I had a Greek Gyro for dinner, a welcome change after nearly 3 weeks of Turkish food. Yesterday we traveled from Sanliurfa to Northern Cyprus, spent the night on the Turkish side before …

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Why “The War of Art” is Stupid: How to be a hack without selling your soul

  Recently a lot of my creative friends have been raving about “The War of Art” – a little manifesto about art, creativity and creative production by Steven Pressfield.  It’s an inspirational book that’s popularity is based on the fact that it tells would be authors and artists the New Age message that creatives have embraced for the past hundred …

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How to make a business card to promote your business (or book, or art…) for under $100

I spent today making new business cards for Creativindie. I love making business cards. I’ve made dozens of sets of business cards for all my little projects, websites and books. Business cards are handy to give out to people when you’re casually talking about stuff, or new people you meet, and they can even serve as mini-adverts or posters if …

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