Marketing, Resources, Writing Non-Fiction, Writing:

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

Editing & Rewrites, Planning, Writing for Children, Writing Habits, Writing Non-Fiction, Writing:

The Lure of a New Project

If you visit a lot of writers’ websites, you’ll soon find a large majority of them openly admit to starting more stories than they finish. There are several reasons for this, but I’m going to talk about only one of those reasons today – the lure of a new project.

Yesterday, after a strong fight against it, I allowed the lure of a new project to take hold of me. I must say that the feeling is quite overwhelming and I can attest that the excitement of working on something new and fresh is what forces writers to stray from their current project. The writer has not stopped loving the old project; they just need a complete change of scenery. We do this all the time in everyday life. We change jobs when we start feeling bored and depressed with the old one. We seem to change partners at the drop of a hat these days. So why can’t a writer change projects too?

We spend many long months, even years, planning and writing a project (this is especially true when writing a series). Is it any wonder that we grow a little tired of the … well, same old, same old? To me, it’s not surprising at all. New ideas are always surfacing. We might write the idea down, but we will usually return to the job at hand. However, as the months tick by, the lure is more tempting and then…before we realise what’s happening, we have strayed.

Be warned, if you allow the lure to take you too often, then you will be one of the writers who openly admit to starting more stories than they finish. Do you want to fall into that category? I believe none of us do.

A serious writer will discipline themselves against the lure. They will set up guards to force the enemy back. They will build traps to stop the evilness from approaching their sanctuary. They will do whatever it takes to see their current project completed and submitted. That’s how a writer becomes an author. They submit completed manuscripts for publication, which is something you cannot do if you never finish a manuscript.

So, take this as a warning. The lure of a new project feels great. It’s exciting. It’s even inspiring and motivational. But if you give in to this weakness too often, you’ll never finish a project…and you’ll never become a published author.

Writing Non-Fiction, Writing:

Write Nonfiction With Passion: Four Steps To Emotionally Charge Your Article

by Catherine Franz

You have completed the draft of an article, but it seems flat and lifeless, even to you. It needs to have the spark that ignites that all important emotional connection to your readers but you are at a loss as to how to spruce it up.

Breathing life into a nonfiction article is tough, especially if it doesn’t include a character or an emotional storyline.

If you have written an article from your own personal experience, perhaps you have already included emotionally charged language. Then all you need to do is ask, “Does the article have enough emotionally charged language to touch my readers, to pull them in, to keep them reading, to move them to action or possibly a conclusion?”

Why would you even want to add emotion to a nonfiction article? Adding emotion to your writing, any type of writing, fuels the reader’s attention, helps them connect with the action. It gives the reader an experience. Experience is why people go to the movies or watch TV. More importantly, it keeps them reading.

What does emotionally charged mean exactly? Emotionally charged means using language that stirs the reader in some form. When and how frequently emotions need to occur depends on your article’s subject, tone, and angle. Yes, even tone matters in a nonfiction article. Is it to be terse, confident, or are you talking as an expert? Maybe it’s a learning tone? From a previous student-now-teacher. An informing tone, usually overused in nonfiction, turns off readers if used consistently, like in a column, or multiple articles, on your web site, or in a newsletter.

Step 1: Find the Emotion

Begin by defining what main emotion you want the reader to feel or to understand. Were you peeved about something and it set off the writing of an article? Maybe you saw a wrong and want to set the record straight, or to convey a different truth, one from your perspective. Is it compassion-oriented or spiritually based? Maybe you want to convey an inspirational or motivating tone. Is it love that you want to convey? Love for a topic. Love for a hobby or something you’re passionate about. Your love, someone else’s, the world’s, how much love do you want to send out?

You can limit the number of emotions according to the word count. Here’s a common calculation: under 600, one emotion. Under 1200, two. Over 1800, three or four.

You can choose the emotion you want before the first draft. Yet, many writers, including this writer, prefer to add emotion during the second draft or first edit.

Close your eyes and feel your own inner self on your topic. Find the emotion, the tone, give it one or two words, and then write it in the article’s margin for easy access. If it’s a personal experience, think back to that time, reconnect with that emotion. Did you feel numb, affection, anguish, excitement, shame, guilt, remorse, violent? How about confused?

One of the many reasons I love writing marketing articles is because I see so much misinformation on the topic and it riles my feathers. When this occurs, I write from this emotion and that language naturally flows into the article. Since this isn’t the emotion I want to convey to my readers, I rewrite a second draft in the emotion that I truly want to convey. Usually, from a more loving and patient perspective.

What did you hear, smell, touch, see or even taste during the experience? If you personally didn’t experience what you are writing about, do you know someone who did? Ask them to share their emotions with you. Put words to those feelings. The taste language doesn’t necessarily have to be food related either. Your lips could be dry. You’re tongue can taste like you just liked a stamp. Relate the taste to something that the readers can understand because they have experienced it as well. We’ve all licked a stamp sometime in our life and remember the icky dull bad breath feeling it leaves on our tongue. My face is curling up just thinking about that taste.

Another way to find the emotion is to relate the article, topic, to music. Does it remind you of a fox trot, waltz, rock and roll, jazz, R&B, what? It could even remind you of a particular song. Can you access the song, or remember the lyrics? Musically, lyrics are great places to find emotional words and language.

Step 2: Connecting

Close your eyes, sit quietly with the article. Sense yourself reading the article in your mind. No, not the identical words but the idea, the vision, the thoughts. If that’s a challenge, read the article out loud, very softly, as if reading it to an angel. Even notice where you take breaths. These are places where new paragraphs begin, commas or periods needs to occur. If you run out of breath, maybe the sentence needs dividing, eliminating, or even combining.

You can even tape record your reading. Listen with your eyes closed. This is also a great way to hear the flat places in the article. Identify the emotion from what you hear. Record all the emotional words you hear or feel in the margins. Every word is right, so don’t miss any. Place all judgment in a shoe box for now.

Step 3: Adding In The Emotion

Review your words. Brainstorm with a thesaurus, synonym finder, or dictionary. Online resources you can use: http://thesaurus.reference.com, or
http://www.acronymfinder.com, http://m-w.com/netdict.htm.

Continue your list in the margins. Now its time, before the editing process to add in the emotion. If the first draft is very dry, this is a good time to realize that it’s not uncommon for writers to rewrite the article completely because the emotion conveyed was too far off at the beginning. If this is the case, consider the first draft a brain dump, a warm up session. And now you’re ready to roll. Your hot, the feelings are sizzling.

Step 4: Editing

Usually, editing is to help clarity and tighten. Caution though, it is easy to remove the emotionally charged elements that you painstakingly added. Sometimes, when using an outside editor, someone who doesn’t hold the same emotions as you, they remove the emotions. And sometimes too, there are too many emotions. There is a delicate balance. However, many editors walk this tightrope carefully and with honor.

Most writing needs energy and emotion that conveys the story, the information, so as not to put the reader to sleep. Or even worse, stop them from reading. And your passion is what needs to be conveyed from you to them. Watch the magic when you read someone else’s material that conveys emotions. See how they use the words.

When I’m in the flow, I feel the emotion pushing the pen as fast it can across the paper. I know, through experience, when this is occurring and I’m writing so fast, I have a tendency to leave words out. I used to stop at the end of every paragraph and reread and add them. Don’t, let the flow occur. Trust that whatever is needed will again be there for you to fill-in any missing blanks. Let the magic come through. Your readers desire it.

Special Note: An accompanying list of emotionally-charged words is available in the Abundance Center’s Forms Section.

About the Author:
Catherine Franz is a syndicated columnist, author, radio talk show host on marketing, International speaker, and master business coach. Visit her websites at http://www.abundancecenter.com and http://www.LetsTalkMarketingShow.com

Other Related Links:

Get Paid to Write on the Internet

Write An Article-A-Day, The Easy Way!

Software that will quickly help you start – and finish – writing your novel.

Novel Writing Made Easy.

Write, Create & Promote a Best Seller

Agents, Publishers & Assessors, Submission Process, Writing for Children, Writing Non-Fiction, Writing:

Publishing with Lulu

Lulu is a self-publishing company. Anyone can use this service and this is where I have a problem with self-publishing. If anyone can use it, then there are bound to be badly written books out there. Let’s be honest, it’s a fact that there are.

But…if a book is badly written, or if there is no storyline, or if the characters are two dimensional, then readers will quickly avoid anything else written by that author. They would have wasted precious money on buying the book, and most people don’t like that. Even if a real gem, written by that author, is released many years down the track it can easily be swept aside and ignored (even if it is published by a mainstream publisher). Once bitten, twice shy. This is a risk writers face when self-publishing.

On the other hand, good writers have been noticed through self-publishing. Some writers have made a name for themselves and sold thousands of books. They are often approached by a main stream publisher for publication of the second or third print.

And let’s face it, just because a book is published through main stream doesn’t automatically make it a good book. How many books have you bought that you thought were a waste of money? It happens far too often.

For me, as a writer, I dream of being contacted by a publisher who is excited about my writing, and wants to publish the book. That would be the ultimate moment for me, followed closely by the first time I walk into a book store and see my book on the shelf.

*Day dreams for a few minutes.*

As writers we think all that needs to be done is to write the story, but there is so much more to do. So many other decisions to be made. Writing is NOT easy, no matter what the woman next door thinks, or what your parents/partner might say.

I’ve always believed that for me the only way to go is main stream. I still believe this to a large degree, although I do think that things in the publishing industry will change in the future. However, I’ve recently found myself wanting to know more about self-publishing, wanting to experience it. How can I run something down that I’ve never tried?

And it is for this reason that I’m considering a new project for Scribe’s next year. The anthologies of past did not work out the way I had planned. That’s fine, I learned a lot from those projects. It’s just a pity that I couldn’t manage to get the stories published. Next year, the anthology will be different – completely different – but I’ll share that news at the appropriate time.

For now, if you have thought about self-publishing, but know nothing about it. Deborah Woehr is writing posts on her experience with publishing with Lulu. The first post, Self-Publishing through Lulu: The First Step in Creating Your Book gives tips on getting started. This post is followed by many others. I’m positive you’ll find the series interesting to read.