Tag Archives: cover

The Self-Publishing Specialist ???

Specialist,_TheDoes this sound a little grand? The eagle-eyed of you might’ve noticed that a new sub-title has appeared at the top of the site and I thought it would only be polite to explain myself.

I wish I was a specialist in something else but with everything else I’m unfortunately just average. I would love to have skills in something exciting but that isn’t to be. It happens that I’ve been concentrating on writing books, publishing books, printing books, marketing books, listening to others doing stuff with their books, reading books and, in the mean time, I’ve ended up becoming a bit of an expert on self-publishing books.

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Watching The Bookshops Wither And Die

borders_bookshop_closing_down_sale-640x480I’m in a slightly disgruntled mood today. I popped into my local Waterstones, which for readers in other countries is the largest and pretty much only bookshop left in the UK. It’s always been a nice experience, the smell of new books and exotic covers, you can get lost in one for hours.

In this particular local Waterstones, they used to have a Local Interest bookshelf near the front door which included local authors of fiction. It was extremely hard to secure a spot on this coveted shelf and the requirement seemed to be that the story must be set on the Isle of Wight. Coincidentally, my new novel is set on the Isle of Wight. However, to my chagrin I have discovered that this shelf has now been replaced with another Sale shelf instead.

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How To Make Your ‘Title Page’ Stand Out Using Scrivener

photoDon’t you hate the way that self-published books can sometimes look, well… amateur. You know what I mean, don’t you? They put the reader off before a word has been read. Why is this?

There are the obvious things that have to do with the cover, then there’s the dimensions of the book itself (average US and UK paperback sizes are different, make sure you know what you want), and then you turn back the cover to reveal the title page. This is the first page of the book usually. You know the one that has the title on it. The title page of my latest novel is pictured here.

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Plaster Scene Coming Soon

PS Web Final MACI’ve been busy over the last few days finalising my new novel, Plaster Scene, in preparation for its release. The paperback is in progress, as is the eBook, the posters have been ordered and all of the i’s have been dotted. Not long now.

Although this period is kind of stressful it’s also exciting. There’s so many little things to do but I’m not really too concerned about the big launch idea because it’ll be around forever.

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted once the paperbacks have been proofed.

The Development of a Book Cover

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 11.14.01We all know that the maxim, ‘ you can’t judge a book by it’s cover,’ is nonsense when it comes to the actual reality of this metaphor. I’m not sure about exact numbers but somewhere in the region of 80% of the buying decision is made from the front cover. Most of which is made in the first few seconds.

The cover is hugely important and so it’s important to get it right. When you accompany this with Author Branding as well, having a good relationship with your Cover Designer is compulsory. I’m fortunate in this regard because my Cover Designer happens to be my best friend, Simon Raine, who I’ve known since I was 5. In this post I’m going to show you the progression that my latest cover has made and explain how the iterative process worked.

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How Susceptible Are You To Covers?

pinkchicklitThere’s an interesting article here which highlights the limitations of choosing a stereotypical cover. Traditional publishers commonly force their authors to display the most effective title, the most effective cover and, in some cases, the most effective name, in order to hopefully sell more books.

I heard an interview last week where JK Rowling explained how the publisher forced her to drop the Joanne from the name on the front and go to initials instead. Apparently, they assumed that the readership would be mostly boys and would be put off by a female author.

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How To Get Under The Covers With Your Cover Designer

artistOne of the most important parts of a book is the cover, in fact it is THE most important part. Somewhere between 80-90% of the buying decision is based on the look of the cover. As a writer I spend a load of time concentrating on the words on the inside and yet it hurts me to say that the way it’s wrapped up is, at least initially, the most influential aspect to the reader.

This annoys me somewhat because I find it impossible to explain what it is that I want as a cover, to my illustrator. I’m fortunate that he is one of my longest and dearest friends, so I know that my continually changing brief will not damage our relationship, but one must be careful. I think there are a number of steps you must go through to achieve the cover that you desire.

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