Author Advice

Self publishing on Amazon

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Self publishing on Amazon is a must for any authors looking to self publish their own books. While Amazon is not the only way to self publish it is certainly the easiest way to do it.

What do you need to successfully publishing in Amazon?

A book

An original book that you own the rights to. It probably goes without saying but you can only publish books that you have full rights to. That means something that you have written yourself, a work that you have commissioned from a ghost writer or a work that the author has released its rights to you.

An editor

Quality is key in publishing, particularly in self publishing when you can't rely on the reputation of a publishing house to sell your book.

Regardless of how many friends or family members have read your book, get an experienced editor to look through your book in terms of: spelling, grammar, continuity errors and ensuring the plot works.

A cover

Think of Amazon (or any other online sales platform) as a brick and mortar bookstore. When customers come in the peruse the shelves (pages) looking for a book that catches their eye. How does this happen?

It's the cover that gets their attention first and that makes them stop and pick up (or click) the book to read the blurb or look inside.

That means that book sales are linked to cover design, the better and more eye catching the design the more customers will take note.

As a self publishing author it's tempting to cut costs by designing the cover yourself, however unless you are an experienced graphic designer it is best to get a professional to help you out. While custom covers can be expensive, buying a premade cover from a site like Boost Book Covers is a great compromise, you save money while getting a quality, professional cover for your book.

Layout

A well formatted book will keep readerS reading and boost the quality of your book. Formatting books for Amazon can be done in a variety of ways including HTML, Scrivener and Microsoft Word. Remember to always test and check your formatting on a Kindle or e-reader simulator to make sure that it looks the way you want it to.

Marketing

The last piece of the Amazon book sales puzzle is marketing. While Amazon does a good job of getting your book out into the world, the platform is filled with thousands of books, with new ones being added everyday. Because of this you need to actively market your book through soliciting reviews, email newsletters, social media and GoodReads.

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9 Book Cover Design Tips
Author Advice

9 Book Cover Design Tips

We have put together some awesome book cover design tips, just for you. We know that as an author you may feel like all the work goes into your novel, leaving little time for the final touches like book cover design. This is something that is often left to the publisher and sometimes even friends and loved ones who fancy themselves designers.The problem with this philosophy is that while those may be low cost or even free book cover design options, it can cost you book sales.Humans are visual beings and we are attracted to well designed novels. It is just that simple.To help you we have put together some book cover design tips that could help you:

1 The Feel

What kind of book are you writing? A funny book should look really different to a scary book.

2 Title Size

Is the title on your cover big enough to read easily? It is the most important part of your cover and the font is difficult to read or if it is too small then people may just pass by your novel.

3 Think About The Thumbnail

With digital books growing much faster than print books, it is important that you think about your cover as a thumbnail. If it isn’t easy to see what the cover looks like and what the title is then you have a problem.

4 The Three Font Rule

Stick to two or three fonts only on your cover. A book cover just doesn’t have the space for more fonts and it can make a book look really poorly designed to have more.

5 Keep Images Professional

When choosing images for your books don’t use your own pictures and don’t use those created by your kids, friends or relatives. They may be beautiful to you but the chances are that they won’t seem professional to others.

6 Banish Boxes

Having text inside boxes or pictures framed in a box will make your cover look cluttered. This sort of design cuts the flow of the cover and looks unprofessional more often than not.

7 Stay Bold

Keep colours solid and run away from colour gradients, especially rainbows. It usually looks cheap and makes it difficult for people to take your book seriously.New designers love using gradients. Don’t let them.

8 The Three Colour Rule

Keep the cover simple. Finding a good photo can be 90% of the design work. Thereafter, don’t mess it up by using too many colours on the cover. Keep it to three at the most.

9 Get Professional Help

I am not talking about a psychiatrist here, more like a professional designer. A professional designer has the right book cover design software, the right training and their book cover design ideas will probably be better than yours. They are impartial and are therefore not emotionally attached to bad artwork or strange designs.It may be true that your book cover design cost will go up if you use a professional, but it is also true that you are more likely to sell novels if you have a professional cover.
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Book Cover Design In 5 Easy Steps
Author Advice

Book Cover Design In 5 Easy Steps

Your book cover design is single handedly one of your most important sales tools as an author.Here are 5 steps to help you make it the best cover for your novel.

1 Write Your Synopsis

Once you have written your novel or have an idea for your novel write a synopsis. The goal of a good synopsis is to give the reader enough information to make him want to buy your book.This is a fantastic exercise because it forces you really think about what your novel is about and how to summarise it.The synopsis also becomes a useful tool for briefing your designer. If you get it right, your designer will be able to get the idea of how you want to present the novel to the world.2 Test Your Synopsis Often authors are just too close to a story and struggle to really get the synopsis right. To help, test your synopsis on your beta readers, spouse or anyone who has read the book. They will be able to tell you whether of not the tone is correct and what information is missing or unnecessary.Use their feedback to tweak the synopsis. This will not only help your designer but a good synopsis will help you sell more copies.Give this synopsis to your designer to help him understand what your book is about.

3 Research Covers In Your Genre

Go to Amazon and look at the best selling novels in your genre. You will see similarities in fonts and colours used. This is because using expected visual imagery makes it easier for readers to identify the genre.Pick five or six books that convey a similar theme to yours and copy the images to use as references.This will allow you to give your designer a good brief that includes images of covers that you like. This, in turn, makes it easier for your designer to create the right book cover graphic design for you.

4 Find Pictures

Finding a good picture is one of the more difficult tasks because of picture licensing. You may not use just any image you find because most of them are copyrighted and you need to pay for the right to use them.Our suggestion is to find images that suit the mood or theme of your novel, rather than the actual final image. You then use these to create a mood board which will convey the idea to your graphic designer. A good designer will know how to buy photos with the right to publish.

5 Create A Mood Board

Not only is using a mood board one of those fantastic book cover design tips but it can really help you as an author. A mood board is a useful tool before you even begins to write. This can act as inspiration for characters, incidents or even just help with the general tone of your book.If you don’t already have a mood board then think of creating one using the images and covers you have found.Graphic designers respond to visual imagery better than written or verbal concepts and you will get more accurate book cover design ideas from your designer if you use the right imagery in the initial brief.

OR Use A Pre-designed Cover

Often pre-designed covers are a lot simpler because you find a cover that works and buy it.We have had clients who have purchased a cover before they actually wrote their novel because it inspired an idea for a novel.A pre-designed cover is often a cheaper option while still achieving a high quality cover.

What we don’t recommend for book cover design

We don’t recommend using a book cover design template.Templates are great for getting sizes and positions of text correct. But enhancing the image, finding the right font and the million and one other tweaks that a precessional designer can do just isn’t available on a template.However, if you have a good image and a knowledge of graphic design then a template can be useful for sizing.We also don’t recommend you try find anyone who promises a free book cover design. These are often not actually free or they are terrible quality.You want to put a product into the market and a professional cover is an important part of marketing your book, so while a good book cover design costs money, it is worth it if you want to appear as professional.
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Why You Need A NaNoWriMo Book Cover
Author Advice

Why You Need A NaNoWriMo Book Cover

Having a good NaNoWriMo book cover could help you finish your book.Nanowrimo or National Write a Novel Month, takes place in November every year. It is a moth long global event where writers take up the challenge to write a 50 000 word novel in 30 days.One of the tips given by NaNoWriMo is to upload a book cover for the novel that you are working on. The theory is that if you can see the book cover it helps you to visualize it as a finished product, helping you to stay on course an reach the goal of 50 000 words in one month.

Why use a pre-made cover for Nanowrimo?

The focus of Nanowrimo should be on writing, after all that’s what writers do best. Design, on the other hand, is not easy to master and most authors do not have the time, software or skills to produce a cover that they are happy with. Resulting in frustration and a lot of time wasting trying to perfect a cover without the right resources.This is where pre-made covers come in:
  • They are already designed, no need to think up a concept
  • The image has been provided. Stop wasting time and money finding and purchasing the right picture
  • The perfect font has already been chosen
  • The concept and image have been brought together to form a cohesive design
  • It is formatted correctly
  • It’s affordable
  • Can help you get ideas for your story
  • It’s quick. Simply choose your cover, click purchase and send through your book’s details for customisation. You’ll have your cover within 24 hours.
So make NaNoWriMo more inspiring this year by getting a great cover from the start. Who knows, it may even inspire a story idea.Click here to find your cover
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