Book Tips

Write another book, conference notes, new release

Why to write another book

“Frankly, the single most effective action I or anyone can take to promote a book is to write another book,” says romance/thriller/mystery author Stephanie Bond. See more at Writing Advice: Authors Share 6 Ways to Market Your Books. (This strategy has worked well for my client Maureen Driscoll.)

Conference notes

I followed the tweets from Digital Book World 2017 (#DBW17) where audiobooks were the focus. Ebook sales have slowed (apparently peaking in 2013) and audio is the new rage. Reported from one session, “The number of audiobooks published in the last two years has grown 44 percent.”

Other snippets from the conference:
“Audiobook sales were $1.77B in 2015. Double-digit growth every year over the past 4 years.”

“PEW Research, 2016: 73% of adult Americans read a book in the last 12 months. Breakdown 14% audio, 28% ebook, 65% print.”

New release

"Roles and Missions" by General Merrill A. McPeak
Retired General Merrill McPeak’s trilogy is now complete with the release of Roles and Missions. I’ve had the pleasure of designing the covers, interior pages, and ebook formats of all three books.

Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.

Book cover design inspiration, beauty, and fun

Book cover design inspiration

My inbox was full of book cover design articles last month. Here are two of the best for you. Enjoy!

This article by Dan Wagstaff displays amazingly creative book covers. It’s a visual treat to scroll through it.

This one in Publishers Weekly shows a cover redesign. It’s interesting to see the art direction and progression.

Beauty

A friend told me about this song and I love it so much I thought I’d share it with you: “Heart is Wide Open” by Danya River.

Fun

Pantone unveils the color of the year: Greenery.  “A fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore, and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals individuals to take a deep breath, oxygenate, and reinvigorate.”

Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.

Who are you writing to?

What surrounds you when you write?

This is an interesting observation on writing from “The Marketing Minute,” a newsletter by Marcia Yudkin, Marketing Expert and Mentor:

Many marketers recommend a tool called personas for getting into the minds of customers. To create a persona, you construct a detailed profile of one customer that includes a name, family, work routine, hobbies, key frustrations, goals and more. Some experts suggest selecting a stock photo to represent the customer persona.

Robert Cialdini’s new book “Pre-Suasion” indicates that posting such pictures in your workspace may improve your ability to connect with customers.

Cialdini observed a marked difference in his writing style in two environments when he was writing his first book, aimed at a general audience. Pages he wrote in his campus office while surrounded by scholarly reference materials and looking out at professors, students and university buildings were more abstruse and academic than what he wrote in an off-campus apartment littered with newspapers and popular magazines, with a view of folks going about everyday lives.

Numerous studies corroborate this effect of surroundings, Cialdini says. For instance, radiologists who had a photo of the patient nearby while they reviewed his or her X-rays performed more conscientiously than those who didn’t.


Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the book cover and interior pages, guide you through the maze of book printing including setting up POD accounts, and design the ebook formats. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.

CreateSpace, elephants, and publishing

CreateSpace news

My client, Robert Newton, recently shared with me that CreateSpace no longer embeds the price in the bar code when it’s printed on the back cover. CreateSpace told him it’s so authors can change the price of their books. (Publishing is a dynamic industry and I appreciate my clients sharing what they learn so I can share with you.)

New release

Did you know that wildlife conservationists estimate that African elephants may be extinct by 2020? I did not. Robert Newton’s latest release, The Vanishing Dragon, is a well-researched, fast-paced novel featuring a U.S. Customs agent tracking down those responsible for the slaughter and cover up. (I designed the interior pages for print and the Kindle file plus the cover and interior pages of Robert’s first book, Soldiers of the Strange Night.)

Publishing tidbits

The Big 5 Book Publishers and their imprints in one cool chart.

An interesting look at the history of book cover design in “Yes, you really can judge a book by its cover” by Michael John Goodman. “Illustrated book covers and dust jackets are a relatively recent development in book history. Until the 19th century, book covers served the practical purpose of protecting the book, or providing a space for advertisement.”

Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.

Book pricing, reviews, and printing

Book pricing

Research the market before setting your book pricing. One of the many reasons that paperback books are still selling well is because traditional publishers are pricing e-books close to their print counterparts. For an enlightened view on pricing, check out the article Indie Authors: How to Price Your Book for Optimal Success! by Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

Book reviews

While book reviews on Amazon are a must, many of my book design clients go beyond (they’re an overachieving bunch!) and use Kirkus, a paid book review service. Kirkus is respected in the industry because of its unbiased reviews. Here’s a list of 10 Paid Book Review Sites That Can Springboard Your Writing CareerPlease research the company before investing in a book review.

Book printing

The Print on Demand (POD) model, such as Amazon CreateSpace, is to sell a book and then print the book to fulfill the order. If you know you can sell over 1000 books, it’s generally most cost effective to use an offset/traditional book printer. Drop me an email if you need a recommendation.

Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.

Publishing industry news

Publishing industry news

I’ve read several articles recently on the growing market of audiobooks. It seems to be the next big thing, after the ebook craze a few years ago. Everything has its place and I still love designing for print! Here’s The Wall Street Journal article, The Fastest-Growing Format in Publishing: Audiobooks by Jennifer Maloney.

iBooks Bestsellers: The Rise of the Self-Published by John Maher.

Bookstore Sales Up 6.1% in First Half of 2016 by Jim Milliot.

Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN)

One of my recent projects was a children’s book: The Diary of Snap Wolf’s Journey to Find a Mate by Morris R. Pike. I learned that having the word “Diary” in the title can be an issue. When I submitted the application to obtain the Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN), it was rejected with this message: “Expendable educational materials such as laboratory manuals, teacher’s manuals, programmed instruction test sheets, workbooks, dairies, etc., are ineligible for this program. Therefore, we are unable to preassign a control number to this title.”

I petitioned the ruling since it was clearly rejected based on the title alone. It was reviewed and assigned a number. (While a LCCN is not required, this is something to be aware of when titling your book.)

Interestingly, when I designed Sally Jo Survives Sixth Grade: A Journal by Karen Keltz in 2013 there was no issue obtaining a LCCN.

Inspiration

Writing coach and editor Christi Krug shared the following in her recent newsletter. She was referencing writing, but it can be applied to anything we want to undertake. Since it had an impact on me, I thought I’d share it with you. Christi wrote, “If we’re forever waiting for the right time and the right conditions, we’re succumbing to the idea that this time and these conditions will exist–ever. If we’re going to do the work we truly want to do, we must give it priority now regardless of what is happening in our world.”

Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.