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Category Archives: Cover & Book Design

The Best and the Worst Book Covers

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Interesting book covers are getting more exposure on shelf-displays, both online and off-line. We are a very visual culture, which influences our book-buying habits. A stunning book cover is one of the best marketing tools for any writer!  And you will never have a second chance to make a first good impression with your book – online and offline!  In the last weeks I have seen so many ugly and boring book covers and lots of beginner errors on self-published books, I just had to write this reminder.
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Chris Robley wrote recently in a blog for BookBaby:

  1. Before someone buys your book, they will probably read your book description, blurbs, bio, and maybe even skim a few pages from chapter one.
  2. Before they can do any of that reading, they will have to pick the book off a shelf, or perhaps click to the book’s page on Amazon, B&N, etc.
  3. And before they are compelled to click a link or pick up a book, they will have to be attracted to your book’s cover (or thumbnail image).

From the moment a person picks up your book, you have about 6 seconds to convince them to buy it. This includes the time they take to look at the back cover and the spine.

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Front Cover Tips
E-books are bought online, usually displayed on a page with many other books. Therefore clarity, simplicity, brightness and information must jump off the screen. Use simple, yet stunning graphic elements and bold clear text for the title and the authors’ name, both must be easy to read on the tiny online image.
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Born2Barl

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And Never, Ever:
use the word “by” before your author name. Using the word ”by” screams DIY self-published.
use a white background for your book! White on white is barely visible and on websites your
book will not stick out, as the sites’ background are almost always white.
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BookCover_eat-pray-love-elizabeth-gilbert
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Back Cover Design
Book Layout Designer Joel Friedlaender posted in a great blog 7 Secrets to Writing Persuasive
Back Cover Sales Copy http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2013/05/casey-demchak-back-cover-copy
“If your cover is good enough to grab readers, your back cover copy needs to convince them to
buy. For authors who self publish this can be a challenge because writing promotional copy
many not be their area of expertise. Plus, for many authors it’s never easy to “brag” about
themselves and their own work.”
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BookCover_valkyrie-book-cover-design-think

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Visit a Bookstore
Check out all the books that are similar to yours. Place your book (or a mock-up) between these.
Does it look better? Is the spine eye-catching? Ask other patrons what they think about every
book, but don’t tell which one is yours. Listen to their opinion. Place your book on the first table in
the bookstore where the NY Times bestsellers are placed. Does your book cover really stand
out?  Has any of the bestsellers the word “by …. author name” on the front cover? For sure not!
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BookCover

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Book Cover Size:
Check if there are specific or popular sizes in the genre your book is in. And do all these
BEFORE your book is ready to print. Later changes only confuse readers and they are very
costly.
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Discuss these Points with Your Cover Designer:

  • Use bold or complementary colors
  • Use light on dark for dramatic effects (if it fits to your book content)
  • Test the cover in thumbnail size to make sure it looks good at Amazon’s website
  • Use not more than different two fonts in total
  • Use not too wide vertical spaces between lines of text
  • Use few shadow, bevel, gradient or glow – keep it subtle
  • Align the cover text – centre, left or right
  • Place text on plain background to stand out
  • Let the front cover design flow into the book’s spine
  • Use the same fonts for all your books and readers will be able to identify them easily
  • People read left to right, top to bottom. Position your elements in appropriate levels of importance

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Read more:

Lousy Book Covers
http://lousybookcovers.tumblr.com/
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Inside Random House: The Journey from Manuscript to Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFUcWguqr7U
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Inside Random House: “The Art of Cover Design”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2Z86L25v30
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“23 Creative Book Cover Designs and their Story” is a showcase of creative book cover designs,
indicating the typefaces used for the title or text:
http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/inspiration/creative-book-cover-story
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Front and Back Cover Copy for Book Covers
http://www.coverdesignstudio.com/book-cover-copy/
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Joel Friedlander wrote a great blog about brilliant book titles in one of his blogs:
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/06/how-to-write-book-titles-for-people-robotsJoel
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Book Design and Production
http://www.amazon.com/Book-Design-Production-Pete-Masterson/dp/0966981901
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Basics Design Layout, 2nd edition
http://www.amazon.com/Basics-Design-02-Layout-Second/dp/2940411492/
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“40 Extraordinary Photoshop Text Effects”, it shows detailed tutorials, how to create amazing book title effects, step by step and is using lots of screen shots.
http://www.problogdesign.com/resources/40-extraordinary-photoshop-text-effects

Fonts for book titles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typeface
http://www.dafont.com/themes.php
http://www.1001freefonts.com
http://www.identifont.com

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From Blank Slate to Cool Cover

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How to find the right cover designer for your novel
by Nicole Eva Fraser

I’m not usually a procrastinator—but I delayed getting a cover design for my novel I Don’t Think It’s
That Simple till after I’d polished and proofed the manuscript and prepped it for e-Book formatting. Why? Because Cali MacKay, who designed the cover for my first novel, The Hardest Thing in This World, was no longer working in the profession, and I was going to have to start my designer search from scratch! Finally, when I couldn’t procrastinate any longer, I dove back into the process.
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First Steps
I wrote the cover blurb for I Don’t Think It’s That Simple. After that, I jotted down a list of key ideas and
their visual translations. This gave me starting points to share with my new designer…whoever she
or he might turn out to be.
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Here’s My Cover Blurb:
Do you think Evan Leighton is a stalker—or a good guy looking for love in all the wrong places?
And how about Julia Atwater—is she an innocent flirt or a shameless manipulator? The one sure
thing is that they both love Julia’s teenage son Hunter—then a surreal accident changes the course
of all their futures. Evan and Julia may touch your heart, they may frustrate or infuriate you, but you’re
guaranteed to recognize someone you care about—even yourself—in their story.
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My List of Key Ideas Boiled Down To:

  • loneliness
  • love (romantic love and love for a child)
  • the solace of nature, especially the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan
  • basketball

My Very Basic Visual Translations Included:

  • a man or woman walking alone on a beach, seen from behind to keep the figure universal
  • maybe an inset silhouette of a young man playing basketball
  • maybe an inset of a man and boy, suggesting a father and son relationship

I sketched the visuals into a rough cover and added the title and my name in the layout.
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Next Steps
I decided to search for existing book covers whose color palettes, layouts, specific images, or
overall feel resonated for me. I searched Google Images for contemporary fiction and contemporary
romance covers, eventually finding some I connected with
Then I began searching for cover designers whose portfolios resonated for me and whose services
fit my budget. Book Cover Designers (list at DuncanLong.com), Book Cover Artists & Illustrators
(Goodreads forum), and Affordable Book Cover Designers (list at RebeccaBerto.com) provided
great leads. Eventually I switched to a basic Google search, “book cover designers,” and found
Fiona Jayde Media. Her site and portfolio captured my interest and I felt she could be The One.
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Working With the Designer
I queried Fiona, attaching my rough sketch and notes. She sent me a personal reply, attaching her
questionnaire for potential clients, including questions about the mood of the novel, main character
profiles, and emotional keywords, and she requested links to the fonts and other visuals I’d been
considering.

After reviewing my answers, Fiona sent me her ideas. She said my idea of a woman walking alone
on a beach, seen from behind, was a strong central image; and that an inset silhouette of a
basketball player would be too busy, but she could incorporate basketball imagery in the font. She
also suggested fonts with more impact than the ones I’d found.

That all sounded good to me, and I felt relieved to be in the hands of a pro. At that point, Fiona and I
agreed to work together, I paid a 50% deposit of $67.50, and the project moved forward in earnest.
Fiona selected a stock photo from one of her preferred sites. She adjusted the colors to a moody,
natural palette I wanted, selected the fonts, and devised the layout. Her very first draft was close to
perfect and I requested only a tweak before signing off on the final cover; click here to see.
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Wrap-up 
As you can tell, getting from the blank slate to the cool cover was a somewhat painstaking process that, for me, couldn’t be rushed. Be sure to allow enough time in your pre-production schedule for your ideal book cover to be professionally designed.
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About the Author:
Nicole Eva Fraser is the author of I Don’t Think It’s That Simple, forthcoming in Summer 2014; The
Hardest Thing in This World (2013); and GPS for New Novelists: Navigating the 5 routes to
publication (2014).

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars  Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,030 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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How Bookmarks Promote Your Books

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Sometimes I get a blank stare from younger clients at our Seminars when talking about business cards and bookmarks, these essentials to hand-out at book signings or at book fairs and writers conferences.
Business cards are a familiar item but bookmarks? No, they have nothing to do with bookmarking and filing a URL address of a website : )
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What is a Bookmark?
Bookmarks are around for centuries and are used to mark the page were a reader ended – or better where she/he wants to continue to read next time they open their book. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia says:
Bookmark  “A Bookmark is a thin marker, commonly made of card, leatherette, or fabric, used to … As the first printed books were quite rare and valuable, it was determined …”

In the past bookmarks were made out of thin metal, fabrik or paper and artfully decorated. I once received a bookmark, made of silk and decorated with real pearls. Well, nowadays they are made of thin cardboard, gloss-finished or plastic-coated …. but still some are equipped with a small tassel or a ribbon for easy use.
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Hand Out Bookmarks as Small Gifts
Instead of handing out a business card, give book lovers, friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, book clubs and visitors at fairs or conferences this more casual, but very attractive symbol that ought to show the cover or another image from your books content. It should be colorful and artistic designed, printed on both sides, and show the title of your book in bold letters on the bookmarks top or bottom. And you certainly want the reader to visit your website or blog, so don’t forget to add the URL and also a link to your Amazon author page.

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Get Quotes
Ask not only your business card printer, but also search the Internet for price/quality comparisons. Here are just a few of many companies that offer bookmarks:

Book Mark Printing Samples and Designs of Custom Bookmarks
http://www.uprinting.com/bookmark-printing.html

Bookmark printing – start with a FREE proof. Did you know that most of our products have custom size options? Simply select “Custom Size” on the size drop down and specify.
www.printingforless.com/Bookmark-Printing-Samples.html?
Printed samples of book marks showing a variety of designs and layouts and ways to promote and market your business, product or cause with bookmarks.
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Can I create a bookmark in Publisher? – Publisher – Office.com
office.microsoft.com/…/can-i-create-a-bookmark-in-publisher-HA00123…?
Bookmark templates that you can use to create bookmarks for books. … Publications that are set up to print multiple copies per page, such as postcards, …
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Fast Bookmark Printing Vancouver, Digitally Printed Book-Marks …
clubcard.ca/product/full-colour-bookmarks-digital-printing?
Full Color Bookmarks Digitally Printed, FAST Turnaround! Choose from rush same day, next day or 2-3 business day production time. Digital printing is the …
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Free Printable Bookmarks for Children – Activity Village
www.activityvillage.co.uk/bookmarks?
We’ve got free printable bookmarks here for kids of all ages – great for teachers to hand out in class, parents to slip into a party bag, grandparents to use to …

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Longterm Advertisement – Promote Your Books
An attractive Bookmark will not be thrown away, as many business cards get after a while. It is a long term ad for you as an author and often kept for good in books. How about you? Did you add an image of your bookmark to your Amazon author page? You know that you can post several images – and this would be one to show proudly on your author page.

Tips from readers: 
Stephen from LighthouseMediaWorks.com
Bookmarks should have a QR code so people can scan and buy your book directly from the card.

Marla from marlamadison.wordpress.com
Vistaprint does not have bookmarks but they have a wonderful postcard that costs only about 20-24 dollars for 250! Can’t beat it and it is a great thing to hand out when selling books at an event. They really help to promote your books to all the ereader people. They love it when you sign them for them!

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,015 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Cover & Book Design, Marketing

 

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Comparison of Trade Publishing – Vanity – Author Publishing

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Comparison

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Every writer, no matter if they author-publish (self-publish) or if they have sold their manuscript to a publisher, has to do their own marketing. But how can you promote your book, if you are at the mercy of a publisher – trade or vanity?  What if you don’t own the ISBN and if you have no access to the retailers’ publishing / author pages, such as Amazon, B&N or Apple?  We had clients whos publishers were not able to properly set up the Amazon page, did not choose the proper category, took weeks to make changes to a wrong price and months to add the images and text the author had provided for their Goodreads or Amazon page.
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This is a huge problem (among many others) that authors face after they have given away their work for a pittance – or worse, have paid thousands of dollars to a vanity publisher. So, what’s the difference between both, beside the fact that they make it difficult for their authors to market their books?
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TRADITIONAL PUBLISHERS

  • Author needs to have a platform
  • Trade publishers accept very few submissions (average: 4%)
  • Authors might have to pitch dozens or hundreds of puplishers / agents
  • Authors receive a small advance and even smaller royalties
  • They do not use POD (single or few books), rather print large quantities
  • Authors have barely any say to cover image, publishing date etc.
  • Authors cannot decide the sales price, e-book prices are often un-competitive
  • It takes very long until the book is published (12-18 months average)
  • Publisher pays for printing, editing services and cover image
  • Distribution services are covered by the publisher
  • Professional marketing services available – but only for celebrity writers
  • They own the ISBN for the book

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VANITY PUBLISHERS

  • Author needs to have a platform
  • Accepts almost ALL submissions
  • Author never receives any advance in this “partnership
  • Author contracts are often worse than those of trade publishers
  • Author pays for printing or ebook-formatting, editing services, cover image
  • Authors have barely any say to cover image, publishing date etc.
  • Authors cannot decide the sales price
  • Mostly Quick turnaround and Print on Demand (POD)
  • Barely any distribution services, compared to commercial publishers
  • Vanity publishers don’t live from book sales, they live from printing/author services
  • No professional marketing services
  • Very few royalties – if any at all
  • They own the ISBN for the book
  • Your book has only 3 months time in bookstores to sell – before being discarded!
  • Bookstores generally are wary of vanity books (except maybe local writers)

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AUTHOR-PUBLISHING

  • Authors needs to have a platform in order to build a brand
  • Needs to learn about the publishing / book distribution industry
  • Needs to plan the publishing / marketing process
  • Authors have to find / compare author services (POD, distribution, formatter, designer)
  • Authors pays for printing or ebook-formatting, editing services, cover image
  • Authors can decide everything: cover image, publishing date, retail price etc.
  • Authors can do their own or hire marketing services
  • Authors get up to 70% from the books retail price (or 100% if sold from own website)
  • Authors own their ISBN – which is FREE in Canada! and low-cost in other countrie
  • Bookstores generally are wary of author-published books (except maybe local writers)

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Conclusion:
If an author has all these challenges, waiting times (or costs to cover, in the worst scenario) – and cannot even do the necessary marketing without huge problems, what is the point in having or even paying a publisher?  Why not author-publish / self-publish in the first place, and be totally independent when it comes to your marketing?
Whatever you will decide, take your time, don’t rush in anything and don’t let you sell any services, before you have thoroughly evaluated them. It does not matter if your book launches a month or a year later – important is that you have a platform as a writer and that you find a way of publishing that suits you and that gives you the freedom of your own decisions. If you decide to go with a publisher, don’t forget: Real publishers sell to readers – vanity publishers sell to writers!

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites:  We offer all this and more for only $ 179 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.international-ebooks.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 900 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Secret of Great Book Cover Design and Layout

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Book-Design

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In a former blog: “Becoming Your Own Publisher” the book production process, you can find lots of tips and links for your book layout, cover and formatting process.  Many new authors are complaining about the pre-print process at CreateSpace, other POD service companies or the printing company they use for larger quantities of paperbacks and books. They are suddenly confronted with fonts, typography, page and other book layout requirements. However, not only for printed books, but also for e-books it is essential to know a bit about the possibilities and rules.
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To familiarize yourself with this (often) completely new field, read Joel Friedlander’s beginner
articles

Understanding Fonts & Typography
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/understanding-fonts-typography/

Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2013/08/book-layouts-page-margins/
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Joel Friedlander explains the basic building blocks that books are made of, and the typography:
type fonts and they way they are arranged on the page. He says: “There are so many tiny details
and decisions that go into formatting a book that you pretty much have to be someone who enjoys
working on that scale to appreciate book design. It may involve differences of a hundredth of an
inch one way or the other. That’s true for the decisions you make about margins, too.”
He cautions for example that “the “minimum” margin of .25″ that CreateSpace refers to is too small for most books. This margin measurement is meant to create a “safe area” so that nothing on your page is in danger of getting trimmed off.”
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Michael N. Marcus explains why book margins are so important: “One of my basic rules of thumb
is that the a book’s outside margins must be large enough to comfortably fit human thumbs without
covering up any text. It’s really annoying to have to constantly re-position pages while reading
through a book.” His blog is another great reading for new author-publishers how book-layout works. He also wrote a great cautionary book “How to NOT Get Screwed by a Self-Publishing Company“.
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Want to read and learn more about book design? If you are a writer working with a publisher (large or small) or if you are a small or first time publisher, these books will help you to understand the book production process and the principles of good cover and interior book design.

Book Design and Production
http://www.amazon.com/Book-Design-Production-Pete-Masterson/dp/0966981901

Basics Design Layout, 2nd edition
http://www.amazon.com/Basics-Design-02-Layout-Second/dp/2940411492/

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 179 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-Book-PR.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 900 of them : ) – if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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100-plus Ways to Promote Your Book for FREE

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Travel-Case

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You might have read and saved already almost a hundred websites to announce your book for FREE from these reader communities and blogs*:

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/50-web-links-to-let-your-book-go-viral/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/part-2-45-more-websites-to-promote-your-book/

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However, there are even more possibilities to promote your book without incurring costs:

1. Show off your cover image
To submit a cover image of your book including a description / link – if it is an outstanding and creative book cover, show it here for free:

http://pinterest.com/111publishing/books-worth-reading/
http://bookcoversanonymous.blogspot.ca/
http://bookcoverarchive.com/
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2. Use photo-sharing sites to show your cover image
http://Flickr.com
http://500px.com/
http://DeviantArt.com
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3. Participate in a cover image contest
E-book Cover Design Awards by Joel Friedlander, for example this one here: http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2013/08/e-book-cover-design-awards-july-2013/
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4. Show your book trailer everywhere
Upload your trailer not only on your website and blog, but also on Goodreads, Amazon, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and FB, but also on more than twenty major sharing sites, starting with YouTube and TubeMogul. Add a link to each of them on your website or wherever your book is sold.

See also an extensive list of video sharing sites for your book trailer in this guide book:
111 Tips to Create Your Book Trailer”.
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5. Google+ and its communities
There are dozens of reader communities alone on Google+ (for example ours http://bit.ly/VmtVAS) and you can access them from your main Google+ page. On all Google+ sites, images of your book’s cover can be shown, along with lengthy descriptions – several times a day on your own time line, however, on communities better only once in a while, not to be perceived as spammer.
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Don’t forget the Basics!
Use your free author pages, that are provided from Amazon, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+, FB, LinkedIn, and certainly your own webpage and your blog, where you can show a variety of your book’s cover and images from the content.
Why I mention this?  Too many authors don’t take advantage of these free webpages, they get from online retailers and at their social media sites and where they can show and describe their books to lots of potential readers … 

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* These blog posts are officially copyright registered. To link to our blog posts, and let your own readers know about these websites, please use the RE-BLOG link on top of this page. Thanks! Please learn more about re-blogging here:
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/re-blogging-vs-copyright-infringement/

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 840+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on August 22, 2013 in Cover & Book Design, Marketing

 

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How Much Does Self-Publishing Cost?

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What-are-the-costs-of-publishing?

How Much Does Publishing Cost?

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Launching a book is like starting a company. Putting together a quality book involves not just writing it, but also setting up a marketing strategy, and get editing, book formatting and cover-design for your book. See how much professional services will cost you to produce a high-quality book of about 65.000 to 80.000 words.

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SOCIAL MEDIA, MARKETING & PROMOTIONS
This is mentioned as the first step as marketing of your book and establishing an author platform can and should start before your book is even finished. You certainly can do some of the marketing yourself, for example your social media presence. Professional help should include an author interview, articles about you and your book, help with marketing campaigns, advertisements and most important of all: first establishing a book marketing plan and the author’s platform / brand. 111Publishing is offering all this for $159 for 3 months. Media publicists can get you radio spots and press articles/interviews for anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 per month.

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EDITING
Once you’ve written your book, editing is important. Every writer needs at least some type of editor. She/he will evaluate and critique your manuscript, suggest and provide revisions, make sure that everything flows and is consistent, and shape it into a smooth, workable piece. If you write non-fiction consider also a fact-checker, to make sure there are no errors or broken links. 3-5 manuscript pages/hour for a manuscript page that’s approximately 250 words, will cost you, according to the Editorial Freelancers Association:
$45-65/hour based on the experience of the editor. Spell-check, get beta-readers or use inexpensive editing software to prepare your manuscript before you hand it over to an editor, who charges by the hour, in order to save editing time. However there are many professional editors, who charge you less and charge you by the page, sometimes even starting from $2/hour.

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COPY-EDITING
Once your manuscript is in good shape, the next thing you need to do is hire another editor called copy editor or line editor to go through and catch spelling mistakes and adjust for grammar, punctuation and consistency. Costs are approximately $20-50/hour.

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COVER DESIGN
Readers and even book reviewers judge how a book looks on Amazon, B&N or Kobo online sales pages or on bookstore shelves. For phone users, a thumbnail of the cover is probably the first thing a reader sees. It’s important that your cover design is optimized for print (TIFF) and digital (jpeg) thumbnail sizes, and how it looks on an e-reader or mobile device. Get lots of tips for cover design on Joel Friedlander’s website. If you are a professional photographer you might use your own images, or you might need to buy a license to use certain images. If you are lucky, you might find free images. Some e-book cover designers even sell pre-made cover designs for as low as $50.

But if you want to hire someone to make a custom cover design, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $1,500. The higher end is for award-winning designers who have done very professional covers for big, traditional publishing houses.
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PRE-PUBLICATION REVIEWS
There are many resources for authors to get professional reviews. Sites like Kirkus, Blue Ink, and Publishers Weekly all sell review packages for indie or self-published authors. There’s also a great list of bloggers that you can reach out to for reviews for your book. 2012 review costs by Kirkus are $425, BlueInk Reviews $396, Publishers Weekly PW Select $149. More reviewers can be found in our former blog posts. You certainly can ask top authors in your genre if they would review your book and then use their comments/reviews as a blurb on your books cover.
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E-BOOK and PRINT FORMATTING
This is pre-publishing task that you should leave up to a professional, unless you are very tech-savvy, and learned html programming, as free programs, such as Sigil, Calibre or Pages don’t deliver always great conversions, especially if the text is not pre-formatted. If you’re looking to hire an expert, you can find print-on-demand conversions for as little as $150 or as much as $500 and over to convert your manuscript from Word or InDesign. Higher costs are if your book has a lot of pictures, is highly illustrated or if your original file is in PDF, which is more complex to convert.
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ISBN
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is necessary for a print book, upload it to Apple or you want to see it in libraries. A lot of third parties sell ISBNs, but if you don’t purchase your own ISBN you may not be listed as the publisher of your own work! Never buy it from someone else than the authorized seller in your country (Bowker for the USA).If you plan on selling your book in e-book format and don’t want to use Apple online retail, then you do have the option of skipping the ISBN, which will be $125 for one ISBN and $250 for ten ISBNs.
ONLINE RETAIL DISTRIBUTION
You can do this yourself by following the instructions to get your books distributed into the various retailers, which is easiest at Amazon, B&N and Kobo. There are service companies, among others:BookBaby, Autorems (for Apple only)  or eBookpartnershipThey all charge only a small yearly fee and your books’ revenue is 100% yours.

Never use a third party as they do take a percentage of each book sold – mostly between 10% and 15%, and if your book is successful you might loose quite a bit!
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PRINT DISTRIBUTION
A proud moment for every author: to discover their book in a bookstore or library. However, be aware that bookstores take high commissions 40-50%, and even have the right to return unsold books – unless they are printed in demand (which bookstores take only for pre-ordered books).

Many large US book distributors won’t take you on before you have at least five to ten books in print, and they charge a fee for their distribution, usually 20-30%. As an author-publishers with at least 3 books you might be better off with Lightning Source / Ingram and CreateSpace combined – also due to the print on demand possibilities that both companies offer.

Lightning Source connects you with the world’s largest distribution channel of book wholesalers and retailers. In addition to distributing books through their parent company Ingram Books, they print to order, which means, your book is printed and ready for shipment in 12 hours or less. With over 30,000 wholesalers, retailers and booksellers in over 100 countries your titles will gain the maximum exposure. They work with over 28,000 publishers of all sizes around the world. They deliver digital, print, wholesale and distribution services through a single source, and makes it easy for you to reach more customers in more places.
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GETTING YOUR BOOK PRINTED
For small amounts of print books an author is better off to have it POD, (printed on demand), done by CreateSpace or by Lightning Source, who are also the distributors. POD is produced only after receiving orders.The printing might be higher priced, but you can decide on discounts and there will not be any returns from book stores for unsold books, which can be costly. On the other hand, readers cannot find your book in stores, but have to order it there or order online. However, you save high upfront costs for printing.
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FAZIT:
You might also consider trading services with other authors, in order to get the help you need for your project and to save money. Or you could consider to raise funds through crowd funding, such as Kickstarter or Indogogo. As an author your can do some of pre-publishing, but spending money on quality editorial services will set your book apart from the majority of (self-) published books. It takes consistent, quality production over time. Don’t ever fall into the ‘overnight blockbuster’ mentality. Think of yourself as a writer who will never stop producing quality books.
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Self-publishing costs money. If you want readers to buy your book, you will need to make an investment in order to produce a quality product, above and beyond your beautiful writing. And don’t fall into the trap of the so-called “Publishing companies” or “Self-Publishing” providers, who offer you a bundle of services. Stay independent and carefully check out each pre-publishing provider, get in touch with their author customers to learn about their experience and compare editing, design and printing prices.

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Read also:

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/how-to-become-a-self-publisher-step-by-step-explained/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/becoming-your-own-publisher-book-production/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/how-to-organize-printing-or-print-on-demand/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/distribution-of-your-print-book/
http://www.bookpromotion.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-self-publish-a-book/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/12-tips-for-your-crowdfunding-project/
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-18438_7-10119891-82/self-publishing-a-book-25-things-you-need-to-know/
http://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/the-economics-of-self-publishing-an-e-book-part-1-0513/
http://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/the-economics-of-self-publishing-an-e-book-part-2-0613/

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