From A Child’s View

I found myself thinking about book covers yesterday afternoon, as I visualised my unpublished books on the shelf of a book shop.  🙂

Whispering Caves isn’t finished yet, but I have always had an image in my mind that I associate with the cover.  However, Cat’s Eyes is finished and because of that, I concentrated on that cover more.

Later in the evening, out of boredom, I opened Photoshop and tried to put my thoughts into an image.  It was difficult!  When I went to bed several hours later, I had a cover that appealed to me, but there’s the big problem…

…I’m a lot older than the intended audience.

This morning, I left my warm bed and decided to research the covers of children’s books and I found From A Childs View: 30+ Creative Children’s Book Covers.

To me, some of the covers shown in the post look old fashioned (and perhaps they are).  The ones that appeal to my young heart are the ones with vibrant colours.  They stand out from the rest.  They scream “READ ME” and isn’t that what every author wants?

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but remember when preparing one that just about all readers do, so investing time into a brilliant cover is worth the effort.

Advertisements

Anthology: Press Release

I’m a writer, but now I’m trying my hand at marketing. I’ve borrowed a number of books from the library, which are giving me ideas to try. All of them talk about the importance of writing and distributing a press release upon publication.

There is a specific format to follow. Here are links to some examples:

Write a Press Release

Press Release Format

Tips, Guidelines and Templates for Writing an Effective Press Release

Writing a press release is not easy. It took me many, many days of fiddling with words, then rejecting what I had and starting again before I ended up with something I was satisfied with. Even though there are a number of free distribution packages, I chose to purchase a distribution package through PR.com. The package meant higher visibility, in more places online and world wide and regional distribution for newspapers and radio too. Of course, there is no guarantee the press release will be picked up by anyone. That is a risk I took and it’s too soon to know if the $60 I spent was well spent or not. Let’s just hope it was.

The first press release has been distributed and a copy of it can be read by following the link below:

Writers Worldwide Join Forces to Publish Speculative Fiction Anthology

Designing A Cover For Your Book- A guide for self publishers

by Anthony P. Palmieri

In these days of computers, the internet, digital cameras, and on-line publishing companies, individuals can more easily express their creativity through writing and publishing their own written works. Whether it is a novel, a short story, or a how to guide, having a creative cover is important to help capture the attention of your audience. There is that old saying, “You can’t tell a book by its cover” is so true, but your job as an author is to make sure that the cover best reflects your written works. With the growth of E-books and on-line books, having a well designed cover is even more important. The web surfer can quickly have tens if not hundreds of books at their fingertips, but why should they select your book over another? Without spending many dollars in marketing, one of the best tools at your disposal is a cover that will get their attention and hopefully pique their interest to make a purchase. If you are writing on a topic that already has many similar topics, such as “Vegetable Gardening”, you have to compete even more for the consumers dollars.

You could purchase the different graphics tools of go off to a company to design your cover for you. Most of the covers that you are familiar with in a book store cost hundreds of dollars to design, and in some cases thousands. Now whether you are writing 10 pages or 5000 pages, this article will give you some basic ideas that will help you design your next book cover into one that is different, unique and personal. Remember that a well done book cover will boost your sales.

Designing A Cover For Your Book – A guide for self publishers

You have already expressed your creative side by writing a book, now lets express your artistic side. By using a collection of clip art, or a low cost digital camera coupled with some imagination can open the door for you to create unique cover that portrays your writings. Even with that saying, “You can’t tell a book by its cover”, the cover definitely gets attention. Think of the book cover as a marketing tool that promotes not only your book, but you as the author.

Software packages like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator have many capabilities that allow you to customize your pictures and illustrations. The question often asked is; “What should I do?” The intent of this article is to give you a few ideas to spark your creativity and see what fits your personality. Our focus at http://www.PalmieriConcepts.com has been on pet and automotive art, so we will use an automotive car show judging guide as an example, although these ideas can be applied to many other topics.

With E-Books and on-line publications, having an elaborate cover is a one time upfront cost since there is no printing involved, so it is worth it to do it right since the book revenue in part will be dependent upon the cover.

Publishers for hard copied books have the ability to use different papers, and cover media such as foil, and other eye catching materials. On-line publishing has to leverage the graphics appeal to grab the readers eye and entice them to read further. A brief list of tips to consider when designing your book cover is as follows:

Always try to use high resolution images (clear and crisp) for any initial artwork. You can always lower the resolution later on. 2. As an author, if you expect to have multiple books you may wish to have a common theme where there may be a similar layout or border between books. Define your own brand identity. 3. Design your a layout with layers giving a three dimensional effect. For example the palm tree in the background of the “Pet Photography Book Example”. 4. Some customers will also print out their book, so you want a design that is printable, and will still look good. Make sure that what ever resolution you use is sufficient for printing. Typically 150 DPI will work unless there is intricate details that may require higher resolution. 5. For best versatility and color representation use RGB color specifications versus CMYK. 6. Hard copied books use different cover effects to catch the readers eyes, such as fabrics, and embossing. You want to obtain a similar visual effect, so use different background textures to give a feel like cloth, diamond plate, fabric with out them being too pronounced. Select something that relates to the content. One example we used was a diamond plate border for an automotive engine book. The rugged diamond plate linked nicely to the bold metal engines. 7. Remember your target audience. If it is children, select clip art that they can relate to. For hobbyist, try to incorporate some aspect of the hobby on the cover. 8. Do not clutter the cover too much with images or text. It can make it difficult to read on line.

Use visual effects that reflect the contents and the value it brings to the reader. A consumer is more likely to purchase a book f they perceive the value more than the cost. Your cover needs to reflect the value, but it is equally important that the contents justify the cover. Do not mislead the reader. The judging book example has a trophy in the background implying if you follow the advice in the book, you could have a trophy on your shelf. Or the pet photography example where it tells he reader it will help them create a picture like the one on the cover. These are things that have a tangible feel to them that reflects value. Many of the books we sold were purchased as a gift. The giver wants to make the receiver happy, and wants confirmation that it’s a great gift and often looks for a smile. When someone sees your cover you want them to smile.

This value in a cover that gets attention is dependent upon how well the design is done, and what message it gets across.

Marketing studies have show that having a catchy box or cover for a product sells more products, so take the ideas presented here and sell some books.

Final Remarks On Designing Your Book Cover

Even though we are only presetting a few examples and ideas, you should realize that like the words you have written on the pages, the book cover is an extension of the writers personality. As long as basic principles are adhered to, there is no right or wrong way, as long as the message gets across. Accurate representation of the books contents along with a cover that is memorable are two of the keys to make your book stand out.

Competition for consumers will continue to increase as more titles compete with yours. Look at what other authors have done and open your imagination and embark on the first step to create yours. By utilizing the tips here you are one step closer.

So to get started, take what you have learned here, finish your book and get a cover designed.

About the Author:
Anthony Palmieri founded Palmieri Concepts after 20 years of creating custom artwork for his own pleasure and enjoyment along with 30 years as a car enthusiast. This business initially grew out of a love for motor vehicles and was started to share with others what began as a hobby. For additional information on how to designing book covers or having a custom cover designed for you, visit Palmieri Concepts at http://www.PalmieriConcepts.com. There are many examples that have helped authors like you have a great cover.

Other Related Links:

Aiming at Amazon: The NEW Business of Self Publishing, or How to Publish Books for Less, Sell Without Hassle, and Double Your Profit (or More) With Print on Demand and Book Marketing on Amazon.com

The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency As a Freelance Writer in Six Months or Less

Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote, and Sell Your Own Book

Uncommon Book Promotion Tips

Whether you self-publish or are lucky enough to get published through the conventional method, the author should always take an active role in advertising (or marketing) their own book(s). This goes without saying. Right?

Thing is, we are writers not advertisers, so what would we know about getting our book “out there”?

Thanks to Benjamin Solah, I found an article over at Absolute Write called Uncommon Book Promotion Tips. It’s a short article and some of the tips are common sense, but it never hurts to be reminded of the simple things. Besides, maybe you hadn’t thought of doing some of these things. 😉

Write, Create & Promote a Best Seller

I’m taking the 2007 Anthology seriously, and have spent some time each week doing some research on marketing. I’ve created a new category in order to share the information I find, and my experiences. It seems quite daunting at the moment, but I know as these unknown procedures fall into place, in my mind, it will get easier to grasp and understand.

At the end of last year I set some goals for 2007, one of them being to buy and read some “how-to” books on writing. Today, I found an ebook written by Lee Masterson called Write, Create & Promote a Best Seller. Looking at the list of contents I feel this book will be helpful in promoting the anthology. It’s written by an author whose name I recognise and that makes me feel comfortable in purchasing my first ebook online. Besides, at the moment, a second book has been thrown in for free, it’s called Write Here, Write Now. I’ve heard of this book too.

Pen Names

When I first started writing, I was determined to use a pen name. There were three reasons for this 1) I didn’t want to use my married name because I’m divorced (but kept the name for my children’s sake), 2) I lacked self-confidence, and 3) I didn’t want the people close to me knowing that I’d written a book.

The first two reasons speak for themselves but the last reason is a bit strange. Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about this even more.

When I delve into the reasoning, I have to admit that I was scared. First and foremost, I was scared that they would hate the book, which relates back to the lack of self-confidence. I really didn’t care what other people thought but I didn’t think I could handle my own family giving me that “it’s awful” look. Secondly, I was scared that they might see too much of me in the main character because the main character was me but with a different name. I didn’t want my family and friends finding out all the secrets I’d manage to keep in the closet all those years.

Hence, I chose a pen name. A name I could hide behind.

However, years have passed since then and my view on this topic has changed, and the confidence I have in myself has grown. Suddenly, I no longer care what anyone thinks and I no longer want to use the pen name. In fact, I stopped using the pen name almost a year ago, but I never really felt completely happy with that decision until recently. The manuscript starring me is no longer looking for a publisher either and I believe that plays a large role in all this.

Whether we use a pen name or not isn’t really an issue, but I believe the reason you chose to use a different name should be thought through carefully. For instance, an author who dabbles in many genres might want to use many names – that’s an acceptable practice in the publishing industry. An author with a name that is really hard to say or spell might consider using something that is easier to remember – this is a good marketing ploy. An author with a surname that starts with “W” might use a surname that is between the letters “D” and “L” so that their books are placed at eye level, instead of at the readers feet. However, an author who uses a pen name solely because they don’t want people pointing at them and whispering, should probably admit that they aren’t ready to be published yet.

I won’t use my real name, my married name, because I don’t want to but I’m proud to use my birth name – Karen Lee Field. What name will you use?